News 17.12.2021

Citizen science and citizen arts educational material will be produced with Kone Foundation grant – project inspired by the Saharan dust in Finland

Kone Foundation has granted the Finnish Meteorological Institute 60,000 € for the development of educational materials around the topic of Saharan dust that landed in Finland along with snowfall in February 2021. The material will also create a basis for future citizen science campaigns.
Photo: Peter Lindström / Plugi.

The goal of the 1-year project Learning through atmospheric events: Citizen science and citizen arts educational material is to research and elaborate educational material around the event of Saharan dust deposition focusing on science and arts, with families and the youth as target audiences. The material will be useful from the research point of view as well as a foundation for citizen science and citizen arts campaigns in future dust deposition events.

“We want to explore ways of engaging society in the process of science-making, raise awareness about climate change, and highlight the human, artistic and emotional side of living in a changing world and environment. We will bring to the table a multidisciplinary approach in which science and arts can complement each other”, says scientist Ana Álvarez Piedehierro from the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The core work of the project resides in the exploratory approach carried out by a multidisciplinary team to ideate and design informative, inspiring, and age-appropriate educational materials in the fields of science and arts around the topic of Saharan dust transport and deposition. In the framework of climate change, where the likelihood of experiencing more events like this one might increase, Saharan dust transport and deposition becomes a suitable conversation trigger for talking about climate change and how it affects us.

”This project will constitute a natural continuation to the work started by researchers at the Finnish Meteorological Institute back in February 2021 on Saharan dust in Finland and an improvement to the citizen science methods developed for that purpose”, says Outi Meinander from the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The educational materials will be generated in co-creation workshops led by experience and visual designers Ines Montalvao and Ina Fiebig, scientists Ana Álvarez Piedehierro and Outi Meinander, and educational advisor Heidi Kouki together with educators from different educational stages.

Further information:

Kone Foundation press release 2.12.2021: Kone Foundation awards EUR 38 million to academic and artistic freedom

Read the latest newsletter about the Saharan dust in Finland research project.

Postdoc researcher, Dr. Ana Álvarez Piedehierro, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Leader of the KONE Foundation project, educational material, citizen science; in English and Spanish

Senior research scientist, Dr. Outi Meinander, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Coordinator of the Saharan dust in Finland citizen science project; in Finnish and English

ResearchCitizen scienceSaharan sand