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Facebook UK and Primary Engineer focus on data to tackle climate change

25 September 2020

Primary Engineer has announced Facebook UK as a National Funding Partner for the STATWARS Competition.

Facebook UK have become a national partner for the STATWARS: Climate Change Challenge to support in empowering and educating young people to actively tackle climate change. STATWARS is an educational programme that hinges on using data to deliver meaningful and engaging mathematics, numeracy, science, and data handling/visualising skills to pupils in primary and secondary schools across the UK.

Last week Facebook pledged to reach “net zero” carbon emissions for its global operations and be 100 percent supported by renewable energy by the end of 2020. Facebook also set an ambitious goal to reach net zero emissions for its value chain in 2030 by reducing carbon emissions through efficient designs, supplier engagement and carbon removal technology.

Thirdly, Facebook revealed its new Climate Science Information Centre, which aims to provide reliable, science-based information to its users. It will feature facts, figures and data from partners from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including the Met Office in the UK or the UN Environment Programme and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Facebook’s commitment to addressing climate change and educating its users about this global crisis aligns with Primary Engineer’s vision for STATWARS. Primary Engineer believe young people need to be aware of the power of data in decision making, the role it will play in their future careers and fill the need of professionals being able to ‘speak data’. It has therefore designed and launched the STATWARS: Climate Change Challenge to develop data skills in both primary and secondary aged children at home or in school. The aim is to embed data into the heart of the educational journey, by linking creativity and enjoyment in developing a deep, sustainable understanding of the value and the use of data in all our lives, while educating young people on tackling climate change.

This new partnership will enable pupils to engage with and be inspired by Facebook’s data science, data engineering and machine learning professionals and pick up tips for their competition entry, through live online interviews, skills sessions and other engagement opportunities, bridging the gap between education and industry.

Eoghan Griffin, EMEA sustainability manager for Facebook, said: “Facebook understands the urgency of climate change and is determined to be part of the solution. As a platform that connects more than three billion people, we are connecting people to reliable and accurate climate science information through our Climate Science Information Hub. Our goals are to educate more people on this topic and give them information and resources to address this crisis. That’s why we are so excited to partner with Primary Engineer and connect our London-based data scientists and machine learning experts with school children in the UK who want to use mathematics and computer science to tackle climate change.”

Dr Susan Scurlock MBE, CEO and Founder of Primary Engineer explains, “STATWARS is a programme designed to help young people make decisions based on data and using the data to make changes in their daily lives to have a positive impact on Climate Change. We all need to do something; this programme helps to identify just what that should be.”

Susan continues, “We are delighted to partner with Facebook, recognising their commitment to climate change and look forward to engaging more young people with data to drive informed decisions.”

Chris Rochester, UK Director of Primary Engineer adds, “The opportunity for schools and the relationship with Facebook is hugely exciting. It offers pupils and teachers across the UK access to data professionals from Facebook to not only work on a data project focused on climate change, which we know pupils are passionate about, but which allows them to realise the power of data in society and the roles and opportunities that are available to them as potential future careers. The partnership with Facebook means young people can have a meaningful context to their learning through linking it to one of the world’s biggest brands.”

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