Mexico - ZeroCarbonCity

ZeroCarbonCity Mexico City, February 2006

The British Council in Mexico ( ran a series of activities around the ZeroCarbonCity Exhibition from February 6th to 10th in Mexico City.

The intensive programme included exhibition facilitator training, workshops for children, and workshops for teachers on the topic of Climate Change, Science Across the World, and Content and Language Integrated Learning.
I was lucky to have a free day on the Sunday and visited the amazing Pyramids at Teotihuacan
Opening at BC Mexico…
Day 1, 6th Feb, included a Workshop for museum staff and other institutions on ‘Science Across the World’ ( and 'Young Ambassadors for the Climate'.

Making a ‘biodiversity map’ of Mexico

Participants explored the ScienceAcross programme and what it has to offer for young people in terms of practical work researching cultural aspects of climate change. The YACs project makes young people into ambassadors for the climate and has them mediate between the public and the science of climate, explaining in their own words what the issues mean for them as they carry out investigative activities based on their own lifestyles. You can see a number of reports on ‘Young Ambassadors’ at the FACTworld website ( as well as at the website of IUPAC (The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry), the founding organisation of this initiative -

A yahoogroup was set up to facilitate the work and communication of the participants at the workshop The name and mascot of the group was chosen to be ‘Teporingo’ a Mexican rabbit threatened with extinction.

El Teporingo…

Day 2, 7th Feb, focused on ‘action planning’ for YAC events in Mexico and presenting the climate change kits available from MUTR – Middlesex University Teaching Resources (

Discussing follow-up…
MUTR kits include a variety of kits looking at alternative energy and sustainable living such as UV-sensitive paints, wind turbines, solar clocks, fast-growing seeds and the Solar Gismo which was offered here to be the centre of activity with visitors to the ZCC exhibition in Mexico City.

Day 3, Wed 8th Feb, saw us setting up shop at the breathtaking 'Museo Papalote' second in size in the whole of South America (

Papolote clock exhibit
Renate tries out the bed of nails

Volunteers at the museum were trained in working with the Solar Gismo and their creativity was impressive and a good sign for their work with visitors to the museum who would be building the gismos in the days to come.

Papolote Museum voluneers get their hands on MUTR Kits…

A solar-powered gramophone, complete with music box, infra-red laser music reader and ZCC disk!

Solar-powered merry-go-round…

Butterfly building…
Inauguration of the ZCC Ehibition at the Museo Papalote
British Council Mexico Director, Clive Bruton, explains the thinking behind the ZCC Exhibition…

The unforgettable day ended with a live radio round table discussion on Climate Change for Radio Red…
Day 4, Feb 9th, included a workshop for Bilingual Schools in and around Mexico City on the topics of Science Across the World, Young Ambassadors for the Climate and Content and Language Integrated Learning.

Here, 50 participants were offered the chance to sign up to the Science Across the World programme and explore aspects of English medium science education.
Colleagues carrying out a Science ‘infosearch’…
The fun continued on Day 5, 10th Feb, at the second ZCC Exhibition venue the 'Museo Universum' in the enormous University compound in Mexico City (

Again, Mexican imagination shone as the solar gismos developed…
Solar-powered boat…
Solar-powered solar system…


Los Voladores de Papantla…
and the real thing…

My contribution ended with an informal meeting with museum staff at the Museo Universum on maximising the impact of Science Celebration Events such as those offered in YAC days. Throughout the week, I have to say I’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the teachers, colleagues, students and children participating in the ZCC activities.

I’d like to say a special thanks to all the staff at Papalote and Universum (especially Dr Luis for sewing my finger back together after a careless accident I had) as well as the colleagues at British Council Mexico for making my stay such a comfortable and memorable one.