Biodiversity #1 – Natural Science Backpack

The materials presented here are designed primarily for primary school students between the ages of 6 and 14. They were created through collaboration with researchers from various fields, including early childhood education and forest pedagogy, as well as teachers and students themselves. The activity utilizes an inquiry-based approach and a formative evaluation process to optimize the materials, which serve as a self-learning kit.

Clean Water & Sanitation #5 – History Research on Local Water System and Uses

The aim of this activity is to raise awareness of the impact of technological progress on everyday life and of health and hygiene improvements brought about by the advent of drinking and wastewater treatment processes. The project results are shown in panels, designed by the different groups of students in cooperation with the art history and history and water utility experts and can be the object of exhibitions open to other students, families and the general community.

Clean Water & Sanitation #4 – Water Blind Tasting

Research shows that tap water is just as safe as bottled water and is often not significantly different in taste. In contrast, tap water is generally a better option, since it has a much lower environmental impact and costs considerably less. This experience is useful for working out common perceptions around the topic and discussing water drinking habits.

Perceptions at the tasting experience can be compared to the results of analytical tests on several types of drinking water, allowing participants to debunk myths and fake news regarding water quality and taste.

Clean Water & Sanitation #3 – Authentic learning task “Your home water”

The aim of this activity is to engage students in an analysis of locally distributed waters, encouraging collaboration to build and evaluate knowledge. The authentic learning task involves the student group in the evaluation of analytical certificates of their home/school waters, with analysis, assessment and critical considerations on the characteristics of specific tap waters and the related impact on human health.

Clean Water & Sanitation #2 – Debate “Tap Water vs Bottled Water”

The aim of this activity is to make students aware of the environmental impact of their water consumption habits and to contrast preconceived ideas and distrust of tap water with evaluating evidence and supporting claims. Students learn to develop argumentative skills and formulate creative solutions to this socio-scientific issue.

Forests toolkit #1 – Humans and the forests: Interviews with three generations

Forests are one of our most important natural resources, and part of the solution to the challenges we face. People and stakeholders have different interests in forests, underpinned by environmental, economic, cultural and social values. Often, these interests and values conflict with one another. How to manage forests is a complex and highly topical issue.

The aim of this activity is to place the forest theme in an authentic, local and historic context, and to highlight its relevance to students’ everyday lives. Conducting this activity contributes to highlighting different perspectives on the topic of Forest use vs. Forest protection.

Antimicrobial Resistance #3 – Bacterial resistance to antibiotics: An authentic experience

The aim of this activity is to initiate collaboration between educational and non-educational agents, raise students’ awareness of science-related careers through meaningful interaction with experts, and enhance students’ interest in science through activities developed in an authentic context related to AMR.

The activity develops in two steps: (1) Meeting the experts in school and (2) Engaging in authentic activities at the experts’ facilities. It is important to note that aside from the relevant background of the experts (i.e., microbiologist, molecular biologist, biochemist, biotechnologist, geneticist), a set of criteria should be defined for their selection in terms of gender, ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic status in order to maximise inclusivity. Moreover, coordination meetings need to be arranged between the teachers and the experts before the interaction with the students.

Antimicrobial Resistance #2 – Should we ban the use of antibiotics for flu treatment?

The aim of this activity is to introduce students to sustained inquiry by training argumentation as a scientific practice. It provides students with the opportunity to reflect on the available information and prompts them to create possible solutions for the issue of AMR. Initially, there is an introduction to a simple definition of an argument, the components of an argument, the identification of an argument, and how to formulate a strong argument. After practising formulating arguments based on a rubric, the students get prepared to organise a debate on the topic: We should ban the use of antibiotics for flu treatment. Do you agree or disagree?

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services toolkit

Alarmed by biodiversity loss, scientists, nature conservationists and more and more policymakers have recently started highlighting the services that ecosystems provide, e.g. food, clean water and air, places for recreation and habitats for animals and plants.

Created in collaboration with researchers from various fields, including early childhood education and forest pedagogy, this toolkit enables students to learn about the diversity of different ecosystem services and appreciate their value for the wellbeing of societies.