This blog is part of the SSHRC-funded project Embodied Energies: Observing and Transforming Climate Change Pedagogies for Children and Young People, which in turn contributes to the Climate Action Childhood Network.

The blog documents our pedagogical explorations with the concept of energy and energy technologies with groups of children and young people in Birmingham, England. Tapping into the affective and meaning-making possibilities of creative engagement methods, we are inviting children and young people to join us in learning about energy technologies in Birmingham’s past, present and future.   

The aim of our research is to investigate new pedagogical approaches for childhood and youth education that re-articulate the often complex link between climate change and energy consumption, as well as re-thinking children and young people’s relationships with energy.

About The Project


This blog documents our ‘Energy Collaboratory’ research project that is currently being undertaken with children and young people accessing the services within the St Paul’s Community Development Trust in Birmingham, England.

‘Collaboratory’ is a hybrid term bringing together collaboration and laboratory; emphasising an exploration that is shared, experimental and open to new ways of thinking and learning together.

The aim of our research is to notice ways children and young people respond to and learn about energy-related issues, both through a local and global lens.

This is conducted through facilitating and commissioning energy-related activities and workshops, and observing children and young people’s interactions with the more-than-human aspects of the energy source.

The purpose of this project is to advance our understanding of children’s relations with the environment in order to better understand children and young people’s creative responses to the role of energy in climate change related issues.

We are actively engaging with the staff and educators at the St Paul’s Community Development Trust to develop and share new types of energy-related pedagogies; ways of learning and teaching that are responsive to the climate change challenges of our times.

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


About the Team

Peter Kraftl (p.kraftl@bham.ac.uk) is best known for his research on children’s geographies, and especially for research into the emotions, affects, materialities and practices that make up their everyday lives. He also publishes on geographies of education and architecture. He is currently an Editor of the journals Area and Children’s Geographies and was a founding member of the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). He is also an Honorary Professor at the School of Education, RMIT, Melbourne.

Arooj Khan (axk734@student.bham.ac.uk) is a PhD student at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Her doctorate project uses creative research methods to understand the impact of regeneration on children and young people facing disadvantage. She is also the Founding Director of Artem et Populis, an organisation that uses community arts to explore, interrogate and resolve key local socio-political issues. She also acts as the postgraduate representative of the Race, Culture and Ethnicity Working Group at the Royal Geographical Society.