This article is the third one out of five, featuring stories about how teachers and their students relate to climate change.
Climate Change – a challenging issue for students
Lavinia Orășanu, physics teacher,
School “Mihai Eminescu”-Pitești, Romania
In School “Mihai Eminescu”, Piteşti – Romania, we want to develop the students’ civic spirit and their ability of making decisions regarding environmental issues both within their groups at school and the local community, to promote environmental education as a life long sustainable learning, which is essential for building the young citizens’ personality, with a view to social integration and to stimulate team work, with a close collaboration among the members of school community, and between them and the local community. Our school has been active in the “Eco-Schools” International Program since the 2002/2003 school year and has holding the Green Flag Symbol Award since April 22nd, 2005 and awarded 6 times so far. Ecological activities in our school are under the eco-code: „We are a formed team to keep Earth clean!”
Therefore, even if we do not have ecological education in the compulsory curriculum, we use the information in the science class and in our special class for social and personal development.
For the chosen topic, I recommend using the following resources from the Scientix repository.
The image is the author’s own.
The booklet “What we have learned, what we still don’t know and what we must do to combat climate change” offers a synthesis of the key findings from 5 years of EU carbon research on land and ocean, and gives the wider picture of the human perturbation in the global carbon cycle. It gives an overview of the large-scale changes society has to implement to achieve sustainable development – i.e. where the atmosphere would no longer be a mega-dustbin for our CO2 waste – and how scientists, schools and individuals may contribute. The booklet also features 6 examples of school projects from various countries.
Before the class, the students were given the brochure to study. The teacher has previously split the students into five groups. Each group had to read a different fragment of the brochure, to understand the information, to extract the key words and the main ideas of the given text. Each group had to prepare a summary of their task and present it in front of the class. The group had to make the poster representing the information that is to be introduced to the class by the leader. After each presentation all the others ask questions for further explanations. I consider this is a good and effective way to emphasize the most important aspects of the topic as interactively as possible.
Based on the theme of how science and technology can be used to help communities affected by climate change, Beat the Flood challenges students to experiment with materials and structures before modelling a flood-resistant house, then testing it by spraying it with water from a hose pipe.
Considering the dramatic situation regarding the floods in our country as well as all around the world and their increasing number nowadays, it is useful for our children to learn about how to survive and help the ones in need. This game is a very efficient and pleasant way to learn basic techniques.
The teacher prepares the materials beforehand and uses the PowerPoint presentation (ScxAwards_PPT_Beat_the_Flood_RO) in class, step by step, according to the resources in the Scientix repository. As the activity requires longer time than the usual session in our country, it is better to be used in another period of the school year, for example during the Different School Week, dedicated to extra-school activities once in a school year.
Published by the Wellcome Trust, Big Picture explores issues around biology and medicine. The Earth’s climate is changing ever faster, and human activities play a role in speeding up this change. Find out how climate change affects our health. In a related activity, using an online simulation game, students must sustain the health of the global community by implementing strategies and performing research in order to prevent disease and combat the effects of global warming.
This activity is appropriate for students to learn about the way the climate changes, how that affects our health and the need to find ways to prevent this serious situation. The teacher introduces the poster to the students and arranges them in groups. Each group has to present their opinions about what they understood until then. Each group has to make a leaflet containing the sources of health problems, effects and possible solutions.
It is important for our students to become aware of climate change that affects our everyday life and also to find appropriate ways to solve it and that’s why we are trying to use all the methods we can to fulfill that goal.