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ClimatiZENs - Climats du passé pour citoyens de demain

English title ClimatiZENs - Past climates for future citizens
Applicant Castelltort Sébastien
Number 191614
Funding scheme Agora
Research institution Section des Sciences de la Terre et de l'environnement Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2023
Approved amount 199'678.00
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All Disciplines (5)

Other disciplines of Earth Sciences
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Social geography and ecology

Keywords (6)

Environment; Secondary school pupils; Climate change; Teachers; Interactive modules; Earth Sciences

Lay Summary (French)

ClimatiZENs : Climat du passé pour citoyens de demain (Past CLIMATe for future citIZENs)
Lay summary
ClimatiZENs (Climat du passé pour citoyens de demain - Past CLIMATe for future citIZENs) est un projet dédié aux enseignants du secondaire, et leurs élèves, du canton de Genève et environs. Suite aux récentes mobilisations des jeunes pour le climat, il paraît essentiel de fournir aux enseignants des outils permettant de transmettre les notions complexes et les faits liés aux climats passés de la Terre. Ainsi, les élèves pourront mieux appréhender les enjeux environnementaux actuels et consolider leur engagement : comprendre la planète et son fonctionnement est le cœur de l’action en faveur de la lutte contre les changements climatiques.

ClimatiZENs offre un large éventail d’outils aux enseignants pour aborder la vaste thématique du climat. Basés sur des faits scientifiques et les récents travaux de recherche réalisés à l’Université de Genève, les modules clés en main proposent du matériel pédagogique et ludique pour enseigner ce sujet, tout en s’insérant parfaitement dans le programme scolaire. Des formations dédiées aux enseignants leur permettront de prendre en main ces modules et une plateforme en ligne complétée par une assistance téléphonique « géo-hotline » seront à disposition pour répondre à leurs questions.
Un atelier interactif et intégré au Terrascope ( sera créé pour consolider les notions vues en classe et pour créer un lien avec l’université.
Ce projet proposera également des excursions sur le terrain ainsi que des outils de sciences participatives permettant aux élèves de contribuer à la recherche.
Enfin, ClimatiZENs propose d’accompagner les élèves souhaitant travailler sur la thématique du climat dans le cadre des travaux de maturité.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 20.11.2020

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Project partner

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
182017 Earth Surface Signaling Systems: Upstream versus downstream propagation of climatic signals from source-to-sink, in nature and experiments 01.04.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)
183571 CALDERA - EffeCts of lArge voLcanic eruptions on climate and societies: UnDerstand the impacts of past Events and related subsidence cRises to evAluate potential risks in the future 01.08.2019 Sinergia
155927 From Satellites to Molecules (SAM): Strategies and tools for reconstructing Late Pleistocene climate in northeastern Patagonia 01.04.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)
166308 Establishing stable IRON isotopes of laminated LAKE sediments as novel palaeoclimate proxy (IRONLAKE) 01.12.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
146822 Earth surface signaling systems: natural and controlled experiments of tectonic and climatic extremes 01.01.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
152301 Debris flow and outburst flood hazard in Tian Shan under impact of changing climate 01.06.2014 SCOPES
161652 Experimental river response to grain size change 01.05.2015 International short research visits
182032 TURBERAS: Reconstruction of Holocene hydro-climatic fluctuations based on multi-proxy peatland records 01.06.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)


There is widespread scientific consensus about present climate change and its causes. Recent media coverage has reported that public concern about this matter is also increasing not only in Switzerland but also worldwide. Therefore, this topic becomes crucial in public debates and is considered one of the greatest challenges for the future of humankind by the United Nations. Understanding planet earth and its climate is at the heart of any climate action (UN Sustainable Development Goal SDG-13). However, we identify an outstanding gap in Earth and Environmental Science (EES) education in the curriculum of secondary school students (12-18) of the broad Geneva region. Therefore, the objective of this 3 years AGORA project is to develop a set of EES educational tools for high-school students in order to provide them enough science-based background to address the topic of global climate change as informed citizens. These tools will consist of 6 classroom modules (2x45 minutes, side-material for preparation and follow-up exercises, evaluation), 2 field excursions aimed at natural observations and collection of data for a citizen science project, 1 outreach module at the university of Geneva for students and the broad public (Terrascope), a set of continuing education courses for training the teachers on the modules and field trip content, an online platform dedicated to teachers and students, and a hotline at the university (“geo-hotline”) to provide perennial support. The approach of the project consists in documenting and learning about “facts from the past”: the traces that past climate changes have left in geological archives for us to uncover and analyse. Rather than directly addressing the difficult question of predicting the impact of future climate change with very large uncertainties, we propose to look at the concrete narratives left in geological records as they provide “a vital and powerful component to the cultural adoption of climate change understanding” (Pancost, 2017), thus enabling future citizens to comprehend the debates and perhaps invent new solutions.The project is led by a team of academics of the university of Geneva involved in geological and historical records of global climate change, in partnership with the chair of science didactics for the design of evaluation. In addition, the project will be reviewed and evaluated on a yearly basis by a steering committee of climate and geography experts involved in citizen science and education of secondary school teachers in the Leman region. The association AniMuse, composed of doctors in Earth Sciences now specialized in professional science mediation, will be subcontracted to implement the project under the supervision of the academic team and steering committee. The requested funding is demanded to support the subcontracting of AniMuse for the development of the proposed tools in year 1 and their implementation in year 2 and 3. In addition, we propose to involve secondary school teachers in year 1 whose time will also be covered by the requested funding. The total cost of the project is 216’678 CHF. 15’000 CHF will be financed by the UNIGE and other sources (see detailed budget in attachment) and 199’678CHF are requested in this application to finance the project over first 3 years (2020-2023 period).