Let’s act local – Green solutions for our city

Teachers Silvana J Binova and Julijana Popovski

Sustainability is a crucial factor through which we can ensure quality and long life on our planet Earth and all its inhabitants. Therefore we must enable our students to be aware of the importance and readiness to lead societies towards sustainable development – “development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” [Brundtland Report of the World the Commission on Environment and Development (1987)].
Education is one of the strongest tools fostering sustainability at the individual level and in the daily life of each and one of us. Education oriented towards sustainability topics create empowered students that will become engaged citizens and active change-makers in shaping sustainability solutions. 

The set of activities “Let’s act local – Green solutions for our city” is motivated by SDG13. The aims of activities were to introduce the students with Nature Based Solutions (NBS), to promote importance of knowledge, awareness and respect for green spaces and to analyze, plan and share the idea for implementation of a practical case in their local community. Students were motivated to be active citizens in implementing NBS in their local community. 
By different activities like solving jigsaw, watching short videos, discussion, making Mind-maps and writing essay students were motivated to understand the need to be active citizens and to start acting local. Students were challenged by facts about climate change and urbanization. They were introduced in NBS and motivated to go outside, to find critical points in their city for acting and to find and to plan appropriate green solutions for it (planting threes, green wall or vertical garden). 
The Learning Scenario for our NBS activities can be found here.

The resource Statistics in the Classroom – Sustainable Development Goals can be found here.

The activities were realized as two workshops (on 9 and 16 April) and final event (on 22 April) for promoting the outcomes, online via MS Teams. In the workshops took part students from 8th and 9th grade in our school Straso Pindzur, Karbinci – N Macedonia.

Climate change (1st workshop – 9 April 21)

The aim of the first workshop was to to raise awareness of climate change, its causes and consequences.
The workshop started with solving jigsaws. Students working in three groups, had a task to solve one of the jigsaws. After solving it, they analyzed the graphic on images and prepared short oral presentation about it.

Jigsaws – introduction to the topic Climate change

For better understanding of the climate change students analyzed the series of visualizations shows how some of Earth’s key climate indicators (Global temperature, Carbon Dioxide, Sea level and Sea Ice) are changing over time by this ClimateTime Mashine.

Climate Time Machine for visualizations of Earth’s key climate indicators

What are the global and local challenges from urbanization? We discussed about this topic from five different perspectives: Climate change, Economic and social well-beings, Undermining ecosystems, Safe food and water and Human health. Our conclusions are presented in the Mind maps.

MindMap – Urbanization and challenges in the world today

Students were encouraged to share their opinions and beliefs about Climate change through discussion and MS Forms – Whose fault it is? Can we avoid the consequences? What will affect them the most in the future? Which factors are most to blame for them?
Most students believe that the climate is changing and the main factor for that is human activity along with other factors. Students believe that we will avoid the negative consequences of climate change if we all take care and respect the recommended measures. All students are convinced that together they can do much to reduce the causes and consequences of climate change.
The summative report can be seen here.

Through the Kahoot quiz, the students assessed their knowledge gained at this first workshop. They answered the questions: What is urbanization? When did it start? How many people live in cities today? How many people are supposed to live by 2050? How many species of animals are disappearing daily due to urbanization?
And the most challenging question was – Is there a machine that can help us?

Nature based solutions (2nd workshop on 16 April)

The aim of the second workshop was to to introduce students to Nature based solutions and to encourage them for active participation and awareness of the importance of sustainable development.
First, trough videos Spokesperson for nature-based solutions (from IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature) and 5 Things you should know about nature-based solutions (from Global Landscapes Forum – GLF) students were introduced what are Nature based solutions.
After that, in two groups they explored about Nature based solutions:
1. Planting trees with resource from Urbangreenup and
2. Green walls resources 1, 2, 3 from Oppla.

The inspiration for action was Greta Tunberg and the video Nature Now. Students were fascinated with her activism and courage to challenge world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation.

Let’s act local

Green solutions for our city

Students were directed to find critical point in our city and to plan NBS by planting trees or green wall so as to make it more greener so people and ecosystem can benefit. They used their mobile phones and Instagram. Also they wrote short essays about Nature and Nature based solutions.

The main outcome from our activities is our brochure in Padlet Our city – Green city.
In addition, students learned new facts about urbanization and challenges.
Also they learned about NBS and implemented the obtained knowledge into writing essay and creating NBS ideas (green spaces) for their city. They practiced active citizenship and spreading the ideas about fight against reasons for climate change and implementation of NBS solutions. 

Our Brochure and activities were promoted on 22 April – Planet Earth day in front of other students and teachers in our school on special organized online event. During this event, once again we shared the message about “THE MACHINE – that costs very little and develops itself – THE Tree”. The message was shared through social media from all participants and school Facebook page.

Message about the machine called Tree

Reflection on realized activities

Due to the challenges related to online teaching, the scenario was realized in two longer sessions instead of three. For the same reason, it was realized as an extracurricular activity, although the goals were appropriately chosen for realization during the regular classes. The activities of this LS were successfully realized as a result of the active participation of the students and the team work of the teachers, which is a necessary element for success.

All visuals belong to the Author – Attribution CC-BY

This entry was posted in 2021, Received and tagged , , by silvanajbinova. Bookmark the permalink.

About silvanajbinova

I am math teacher from Republic NMacedonia, with 13 years teaching experience. Graduated math on Faculty for Nature science and math- Skopje in 2003, and Master degree in Theory of informatics from Faculty of informatic, University Goce Delcev Stip. Scientix ambassador and passionate teacher to offer equal opportunity for STEM learning to all students, especially to students in rural area.

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