Education Learning and burning in Australia’s schools

Learning and burning in Australia’s schools

New research from Western Sydney University and Macquarie University has found that Australian schools are far from sun smart when it comes to the design of their playgrounds.

The study found that common surfaces found in schoolyards, such as unshaded asphalt and artificial grass became heat traps in summer, recording surface temperatures of up to 70 degrees Celsius.

According to the university’s Dr Sebastian Pfautsch this is the first time a public school’s outdoor microclimate has been measured in detail.

He said it revealed just how poorly designed and prepared our schools were to cope with the expected temperature rises due to climate change.

“Our summers are becoming increasingly hot. To ensure students can benefit from time spent outdoors, there is a need to better understand the microclimates of our schools and to develop strategies to cool these environments down,” said Dr Pfautsch.

The study found the lowest air and surface temperatures were recorded under tree canopies.

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