International Honors for Young Climate Scientists in Germany


Students of the Max-Planck School in Kiel, Germany, entered the GLOBE community relatively quietly, but just one year after joining, they happily found themselves involved in the program at a level they had not anticipated. In 2006, the school became part of the pilot project "Global Climate Exchange Education for School Children" between Germany, Cameroon and Estonia. In 2007, the school's GLOBE teacher, highly regarded Mr. Frank Bünning, volunteered to serve as the regional coordinator for GLOBE Germany. When asked why he took on this additional role alongside his demanding work as a teacher, Mr. Bünning replied, "GLOBE is one of the most fascinating projects I´ve ever known. It supports student understanding of scientific methods and the Earth as a system and it fits perfectly into the national educational standards in Germany."

The dedicated GLOBE students of Max-Planck School continue to draw local and national attention. On 7 July 2008, they were selected from over 500 GLOBE schools in Germany and honored for their continuously outstanding student research. The "GLOBE Climate Group", with students ranging from the fifth through ninth grade classes, wholeheartedly worked in their communities for over one year, not only during school hours, but also after school and on weekends to collect daily measurements of cloud type and cloud cover, temperature, air pressure and additional phenological data. Through their high-quality scientific work using the worldwide standards of the GLOBE Program, they have entered 10,165 measurements (as of 15 July 2008) from six different weather stations around the school and from seven phenological sites, for use in their research. Through Lasse, the specialist for phenological data, an additional species, the Amelanchier vulgaris, has been added to the GLOBE database.

The story doesn't stop here. The students are also participating in the European Coast Watch project from Multimar Wattforum. Coast Watch Europe involves an annual inspection of all European coasts, perfomed simultaneously by 20 European countries. In the cooperative project between GLOBE Germany and the Multimar Wattforum, German GLOBE students make detailed observations of their coastline, completing a standardized questionnaire about animals, plants and waste observed in order to increase knowledge of coastal areas. At a recent ceremony on 7 July 2008, a certificate of achievement in the Coast Watch project was awarded to the GLOBE Germany Country Coordinator Birgit Rademacher, on behalf of the students, by the worldwide Coast Watch Coordinator, Mr. Eckhard Bockwohld.

Thirteen highly motivated students presented their projects to an enthusiastic audience of regional coordinators, German scientists including Joachim Dengg from the IFM Geomar, and other GLOBE teachers and community members. Also in attendance was Dr. Teresa Kennedy, Deputy Director of the GLOBE Program. After observing the quality of work taking place at the Max-Planck School and experiencing the diligence and enthusiasm of the students and teachers there, it was a pleasure for her to inaugurate the school's new automatic weather station. The local press was on hand to cover the event. The GLOBE Program Office would like to recognize the Max-Planck School for its many achievements and we look forward to hearing more news about upcoming projects and activities from this school and other GLOBE schools in Germany in the future!

16 July 2008




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