How is digitalisation changing society? The research project "Social Media and Climate Change: Usage, Literacies, and Interventions from the Perspective of Science Education (SoMeCliCS)" at the Institute for Didactics of Science at Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) investigates the effects of social media in the context of climate change. The Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture and the Volkswagen Foundation are funding the project for three years in the programme "The digital society - researching developments, developing perspectives, using digital methods and data" with 649,700 euros. "Climate change is a relevant topic for all science didactics and is often discussed in social media," says project leader Dr. Alexander Büssing. So far, however, there are only a few empirically proven concepts on how to prepare students for competent action in social media. "The Corona pandemic showed how important these skills are for solving social challenges," says Büssing.
To this end, the project investigates the use of social media, the required competencies, and possibilities to promote these competencies. In addition to the classic methods of literary analysis and questioning, the use of an app is planned as a research method that makes the use of one's own smartphone comprehensible. Furthermore, an eye-tracking system will be used to examine reactions to selected content from social media. Researchers from biology didactics (Dr. Alexander Büssing and Prof. Dr. Kerstin Kremer), chemistry didactics (Prof. Dr. Andreas Nehring), and physics didactics (Prof. Dr. Gunnar Friege) are involved. They will be supported in using innovative research methods by the L3S research centre (Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Nejdl). Although the focus of the studies is on pupils, other age groups, such as (teacher-training) students, are also considered as possible multipliers. Finally, selected findings will be generalised to the whole population. To communicate and discuss the results, a conference will be held and an anthology published.