The GLOBE program and its activities in Estonia
Have you heard about GLOBE? Nobel laureate Dr. Leon Lederman has said that: “GLOBE is the quintessentially ideal program for involving kids in science”
The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based science and education program that unites students, teachers and scientists in study and research about the dynamics of the Earth’s environment. The cornerstone of GLOBE is the collection of research-quality environmental measurements collected by students all over the world. GLOBE Science Investigations are divided into five themes: atmosphere, hydrology, land cover/biology, phenology and soil.
The portal offers a huge variety of environmental data, lesson plans, classroom implementation ideas etc. GLOBE activities can be incorporated into daily school lesson plans, in addition it is an ideal fit for after school programmes, summer camps or environment clubs. A complete list can be found by clicking here.
GLOBE was launched in the USA on Earth Day 1995. Since then 112 countries have participated in it. European countries have also been actively engaged in the GLOBE programme. You can find out about schools in your country here: www.globe.gov/community/map
In 1996 the newly re-independent Estonia joined the GLOBE program. At present 83 schools are on the list, some more and some less active (www.globe.ee).
Majority of activities take place at schools. Teachers organise everyday activities and offer guidance. Pupils carry out practical scientific measurements and observations which develop their skills in observing nature and develop persistence in their activities. They contribute data to an international scientific GLOBE database which can be used by themselves and others for doing data-based research. The papers can be submitted to the competition of the environmental research work. Since 2000 national pupils’ conferences have been held every year.
Since 1997 annual summer camps have been an important part of Estonian GLOBE activities. They have been organised in different locations and landscapes. This is the advantage of a small country – teachers and pupils from all over Estonia gather together.
For most of the pupils an opportunity to take part in the camp is a great motivator. The three-day camp includes training sessions, field trips, educational games, competitions, role play evening and – last but not least – some free time to make new friends and have fun together.
Through the years Estonian GLOBE wouldn’t have managed without the help of scientists. Several researchers and lecturers mainly from the University of Tartu supervise nature studies in the summer camps. The first country coordinator was a PhD in environmental physics Ülle Kikas and at present a physisist Kaido Reivelt. GLOBE wouldn’t have managed without active and open-minded teachers in schools. I have been a GLOBE teacher since 2000 and I have got dependent on the synergy emerging in the community of the GLOBE people. Just cannot help but have to continue. Welcome on board!
Article written by: Aiki Jogeva, Scientix Ambassador
Tags: environmental measurements, Estonia, Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, GLOBE, international program, USA