Published On: 4th December, 2023

Over 250,000 school learners and adults took part in a live-streamed event connecting them with earth, environmental and Space science for Protecting Our Planet Day.

Dynamic Earth, the UK’s leading Earth science engagement charity, virtually hosted over 250,000 school learners and adults from throughout the UK on Thursday 30 November as part of the ambitious Protecting Our Planet Day (POP23).

Organised by the UK Space Education Office (ESERO-UK) at STEM Learning, and in collaboration with the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency, POP23 is a live-streamed event hosted by Dynamic Earth that aims to inspire primary and secondary age learners about the wonders of science.

Beamed live from Dynamic Earth by presenters including Suzie Imber and Dallas Campbell, the day-long event connected leading scientists, including from the European Space Agency’s Centre for Earth Observation (Italy) and from aboard the RRS Sir David Attenborough (one of the world’s most advanced Polar research vessels) to classrooms throughout the UK. The event provided learners with an insight to the cutting-edge work being undertaken on Earth and in space to help protect our fragile planet.

Dynamic Earth’s specialist Learning and Engagement team led on three interactive sessions throughout the day; focussing on marine environments for secondary pupils, ocean and ice environments for primary learners and a whole session dedicated to STEM Clubs. The marine sessions explored ocean literacy across the curriculum, provided opportunities for learners to see real research kit in action and meet coral reef ecologist, Nadia Jogee. In the Polar session for primary pupils, learners were connected to Polar researcher Roseanne Smith from onboard the RRS Sir David Attenborough!

STEM Clubs hour saw thousands of school children join the expert in-house team for an Our World From Space session. Virtually based classrooms got learners to build a satellite of their own, learn how satellites work and discover the vital and diverse scientific purpose of the thousands of satellites above Earth, including to help monitor forest fires and volcanoes and even to count penguins and track tigers.

Dr Hermione Cockburn, Scientific Director at Dynamic Earth, commented: “Everyone at Dynamic Earth was extremely proud and excited to be tasked by the UK Space Education Office (ESERO-UK) at STEM Learning and its partners with hosting Protecting Our Planet Day 2023. Learners from throughout the UK, including secondary school students who hope to pursue a career in science, benefited from a packed programme of incredibly exciting and inspirational talks and presentations. This includes an exclusive live session by the production team of the BBC Planet Earth III series and beaming in from a classroom to hear from experts at both the European Space Agency and aboard the RSS Sir David Attenborough. Protecting Our Planet Day 2023 was undoubtedly a fun and fact-filled science extravaganza, opening young minds to the many ways scientists – on Earth and in space – are working hard to mitigate for and find solutions to the climate crisis and to protect planet Earth.”

Chris George – Schools and Public Programme Manager at Dynamic Earth said “It was incredible for Dynamic Earth to be a part of POP23, engaging with audiences across the UK about how important it is to protect environments and ecosystems found across our planet. By giving them opportunities to hear from researchers studying these places, I’m confident we’ll have sparked a lot of interest in the incredible and innovative work that is happening on a daily basis – not only on planet Earth, but up in outer space as well!”

Conor Ellis – Head of Learning and Engagement at Dynamic Earth – reflected “POP23 provided such a valuable and enriching opportunity for learners and their teachers to be connected with the environmental science that underpins their everyday lives and futures. I’m so proud of the entire POP23 team for the programme and platforming so may inspiring scientists and role models to learners across the UK”

Recordings of sessions from Protecting Our Planet Day are made available on the STEM Learning YouTube account. Missed out on POP23, or want more opportunities for your learners to connect with the science of planet Earth? You can find out more about Dynamic Earth school programmes here – including free online workshops for schools in remote and rural parts of Scotland and opportunities for learners to meet real scientists throughout the year.

Supporters and Contributors of Protecting Our Planet Day