Tag Archive for: school

Earth Prize: registration deadline extended to November 30th

Due to the overwhelming positive response and the significant number of requests for more time to sign up,  the Earth Foundation has decided to extend the registration deadline for the competition by one full month.

The new deadline to register is Tuesday, November 30th.

Students and supervisors will now have until the end of next month to:
– Register individually on the website to access all their learning content and mentorship.
–  Create (for supervisors) and join (for students) their teams.
–  Complete and submit their team motivation letter and a problem definition form, which will grant teams access to the Submissions Phase of The Earth Prize.

All participants will then have until January 31st, 2022 to submit their ideas for the competition.

Remember: if you pre-registered back in the summer, you will still need to register officially on the Earth Prize website by November 30th in order to compete for The Earth Prize.

The teachers who have registered already can send the school’s logo so it can be featured on the Participating Schools page on The Earth Foundation’s website. You can send it directly to info@theearthprize.org
If you still have questions regarding the competition,  you check out the webinar here, where you can hear directly from participating teachers about their experiences with The Earth Prize thus far.

Balkan: from a War Massacre Site to a Sustainable School

The elementary school Vladimir Nazor, in Croatia, is now “The Blue Economy Happy School “.

It took three years between the formulation of the idea and the reality. Students, parents and the school leadership wanted to overcome once and for all the traumas inflicted by the Balkan War by transforming their dilapi dated building into an example from which the world can learn.

Their project proposal received in 2018 the Sustainability Prize of the Emirate-based Foundation honoring Sheikh Zayed, the Founder of the United Arab Emirates. The $100,000 award money kickstarted a revolutionary transformation that mobilized a total of €700,000 thanks to additional support from the Zadar County and the European Union.

Now a 30 kW solar power plant supplies electricity for LED lighting and solar backpacks can be used by students on field trips. An ultrafast, super-secure and energy saving internet operates on light (LiFi), the first in Croatia and one of the first in Europe. An electric vehicle powered by the solar provides for all transport needs for the school, especially the kitchen. When the school is closed for weekends and holidays then all power is distributed to the local community.

Leonarda Skara

Students are now proud of their school, an infrastructure that was first built in 1876. They wish to create a portfolio of new businesses, securing a future for their community that already harbors the largest organic olive orchard in Croatia. They do not wait to take initiative after graduation and created a student cooperative “Maslina” selling olive oil from the school gardens. Now they are ready to convert the 30 kg of clippings per tree into 15 kg of mushrooms generating more income and job opportunities.  “We want to have a future right here at home” commented Leonarda Skara who went to Abu Dhabi to collect the Prize and who is leading the students in their enthused transformation of the war torn region.

The success story of the Vladimir Nazor Elementary and Middle School in Škabrnja will serve as an inspiration for all village schools around the world demonstrating that a new future is possible even when the dramas of the past are hard to accept nor forget. A video documenting this transformation will be translated into five UN languages and will be distributed through a video and text to the global network of Zayed Sustainability Prize schools.

”The Ministry of Science and Education is happy that the students and employees of the Vladimir Nazor Elementary School, from the small Zadar municipality of Škabrnja, demonstrated their resolve to embrace the future”, said Vesna Šerepac, Director of Education at the Ministry of Science and Education. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Prof. Gunter Pauli, known as “The Steve Jobs of Sustainability” representing The Zayed Sustainabilty Prize where he serves as a member of the committee; the Prefect of Zadar County Božidar Longin; Prof Ivan Šimuni Head of Education for Zadar county; and Darko Parić CARNET Public Administration co operation advisor.

Zayed Sustainability Prize 2022 Expands Global Reach with Submissions from Record 151 Countries

Following a six-month submissions phase amidst the prevailing restrictions imposed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global award in sustainability, has officially closed entries for its 2022 awards. With a remarkable 4,000 applications received, the Prize marked a notable 68.5% increase in submission entries compared to the previous cycle.

Attracting submissions from a record 151 countries, representing over three quarters of the world’s countries, the Prize proves to be truly global in its reach and impact. This includes a significant number of entries from innovative, knowledge-based economies, all hoping to have their world-changing solutions and technologies recognised and scaled amidst a rapidly evolving global landscape.

The submissions for the upcoming awards, to be held in January 2022, reflect the current global climate in the lead up to COP26 and in the wake of post-pandemic recovery, with Food (1,201) and Health (879) as the top categories to attract a high number of pioneering solutions, followed by Energy (759) and Water (627). With 534 submissions, the Global High Schools category is perhaps one of the most inspiring results as completing entries in the face of extensive disruption and school closures is a clear sign of the global youth’s commitment to a sustainable future.

H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Director General of the Prize, said: “As the international community continues to unite around ambitious climate action in the lead up to COP26, the high level of participation registered this year further demonstrated that creative sustainable solutions can come from every part of the world, and importantly can deliver tangible economic benefits along with social progress.”

Since its launch in 2008, the US$3 million Prize has, directly and indirectly, transformed the lives of over 352 million people across 150 countries. Its global impact continues to grow, as it further catalyses humanitarian outreach and sustainable development. Each category winner receives a prize fund of US$600,000. The Global High Schools category winners split the amount among six high schools from six world regions, each receiving up to US$100,000.

The winners of the 2022 awards will be announced at the Prize’s awards ceremony that will take place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, in January 2022

Today, with the impact of the pandemic, sustainable solutions are a pressing and urgent need. If you have an innovative sustainability solution in the categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water or Global High Schools, apply to the #ZayedSustainabilityPrize.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, an evolution of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, is the UAE’s pioneering global award in sustainability and a tribute to the legacy of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Established in 2008, this annual award recognises and rewards the achievements of those who are driving impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions across five distinct categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.

Submissions are open until 6th May 2021. Here you can see the Zayed Sustainability Prize submissions portal

School strike for climat, Greta and the others

Tout a commencé en août dernier quand une jeune suédoise de 15 ans (elle en a 16 aujourd’hui) désormais célèbre, Greta Thunberg (photo) a décidé de faire la « grève de l’école pour le climat » au motif que pour un jeune cela n’a aucun sens de préparer son avenir alors que l’inaction des adultes quant à la crise climatique prive précisément la jeunesse d’avenir.

Dans le sillage de Greta

Comme une véritable héroïne, elle était seule assise sur les marches du parlement suédois. Elle est revenue avec sa pancarte semaine après semaine. Puis elle a été rejointe, puis des élèves en Australie ont fait grève eux aussi, puis elle est allée à la coop 24 où elle a eu des parole fortes, puis des élèves en Allemagne, en Suisse, en Belgique… se sont mis en grève et on manifesté pour le climat en se revendiquant de ce mouvement de grève de l’école pour le climat, agissant de façon explicite dans le sillage de Greta. Cela n’est pas encore enclenché dans la réalité en France mais les décisions sont prises, ça va bouger. Les jeunes belges sont en particulier impressionnants. Ils ont décidé de se mobiliser tous les jeudis. Ils sont passés de 3 000 à 35 000 en 3 semaines à défiler pour le climat à Bruxelles. Certains manifestants n’ont pas plus de 10 ou 12 ans ! Greta à fait sensation à Davos, le mouvement ne cesse de se renforcer. A l’appel de Greta, le 15 mars sera une journée internationale de grève de l’école pour le climat.

Les profs entrent en action

En France un collectif des enseignants pour la planète s’est constitué. Ils se sont rencontrés dans le tout nouveau mouvement extinction rébellion. Ils disent « L’urgence écologique n’est plus à démontrer. Elle est à enseigner, et elle doit nous mobiliser à chaque instant, dans nos salles de classe, salles des profs mais aussi dans la rue et dans nos luttes! C’est le sens de la création de ce collectif Enseignant.e.s pour la planète! » Ils sont déjà en quelques semaines près de 3 000 à avoir signé.

Un appel circule dans les milieux de l’éducation

“…nous déclarons que nous ne voulons plus être les instruments d’une propagande rassurante, qui rend invisible la catastrophe écologique. Nous devons au contraire dire à nos élèves que la situation est gravissime, sur le climat qui s’emballe, la biodiversité qui disparaît, la pollution qui pénètre jusque dans nos cellules, et qu’aucun diplôme ni aucune formation ne les protégera contre cela…”. L’excellent quotidien de l’écologie Reporterre a publié un article sur le sujet.

Le développement durable en question

Nous pouvons aussi lire dans l’appel : “…Les médias, les scientifiques nous l’ont assez répété. Nous le savons mais nous nous taisons. Dans nos salles de classe, nous avons accepté trop longtemps d’enseigner le « développement durable », entretenant chez les élèves l’illusion que la situation était sous contrôle, prise au sérieux par les gouvernements du monde…”. Beaucoup d’acteurs de l’éducation à l’environnement apprécieront cette remise en question du développement durable. Ce concept, parachuté du haut dans les années 90, a encombré les réflexions, les échanges et les actions en faveur de l’environnement dans le monde éducatif depuis plus de 20 ans. Adoptons pour de bon le terme « transition » qui lui vient de la base et clairement aujourd’hui, à toutes et tous, s’impose.

Les Educations nationales n’ont pas assuré

De voir tous ces enfants et ces jeunes dans l’émoi cela devrait nous alarmer au plus haut point. Ils disent l’incapacité des adultes à mettre en œuvre ce qu’il faut pour stopper l’effondrement que nous vivons. Il n’y a pas qu’en France, il semble bien que ce soit dans tous les pays que les systèmes éducatifs étatiques n’ont pas assuré. Ils n’ont pas tenu compte des recommandations faites par les grandes conférences internationales sur l’environnement. Dés à Stockholm en 1972, il avait été dit et acté dans le principe 19 qu’il est  « essentiel de dispenser un enseignement sur les questions d’environnement aux jeunes générations aussi bien qu’aux adultes … »cela n’a pas été fait ou alors vraiment du bout des doigts. Il faut totalement repenser l’éducation.

En nous, on le sent, l’espoir renait

Nous n’avons pas besoin de jeunes obéissants qui savent apprendre par cœur et bardés de diplômes. Nous avons besoin de jeunes autonomes, confiants en eux, sachant prendre des initiatives, sachant travailler en groupe, des jeunes créatifs, proches de la nature pour l’avoir beaucoup fréquenté dès leur plus tendre enfance. Il y va maintenant de la survie de l’espèce humaine. Soit nous savons prendre les bonnes initiatives, nous-mêmes, pour notre économie domestique et celle de nos territoires locaux partout dans le monde ou alors nous continuerons d’aller à la catastrophe. Avec Greta, avec ces dizaines de milliers de jeunes qui se lèvent dans tous les pays, en nous, on le sent, l’espoir renait, aidons les !


Notre espace public, laboratoire à Montréal

Que signifie « espace public » pour les générations futures ? Dans l’école primaire de Saint-Pierre (Montréal, Québec) deux organismes locaux qui s’occupent de macro-écologie appliquée et de revitalisation urbaine ont collaboré pour réaliser une série d’ateliers transdisciplinaires visant une meilleure connaissance et appropriation de l’espace public. L’approche utilisée a mis en valeur le programme de médiation sociale de l’Institut Pacifique, tout en conjuguant les principes de résolution pacifique des conflits avec ceux d’éducation à l’environnement. Les phases d’analyse et de planification ont permis de concentrer l’action du projet sur deux principaux enjeux socio-environnementaux : l’enclavement du quartier et la pollution visuelle et sonore. En outre, en tenant compte de l’analyse démographique du quartier la plus récente, la composante immigrée de la population, les problématiques de sous-scolarisation, des saines habitudes de vie et d’accès aux services ont été prises en considération (Revitalisation Saint-Pierre, 2017 et Centre international de prévention contre la criminalité, 2016).

Le projet a mis les élèves au centre d’un processus de changement visant le respect des autres et de l’environnement, ce qui les a encouragés à sortir de la condition d’isolement vécu. Pour ce faire, les ateliers ont été divisés en deux séries : « Notre espace public » et « L’espace public et nous ». Un processus démocratique a été suivi pour la subdivision des classes en sous-équipes, à la tête desquelles quatre ambassadeurs ont été nommés, pour donner lieu à la constitution du « Comité des Ambassadeurs », symbole de l’expérience vécue. En outre, selon les principes de l’art plastique, les classes ont utilisé des matières recyclables pour créer des maquettes en 3D, expression de leur perception de l’espace public et du quartier. Pendant la dernière phase des ateliers, les classes ont présenté leurs maquettes, qui ont fait l’objet de comparaison avec les ressources publiques existantes dans le quartier Saint-Pierre (Carte des ressources pour les familles de Lachine, 2014). Bien que la participation au projet d’une classe d’accueil et d’une classe ordinaire ait donné lieu à l’observation de différentes dynamiques relationnelles et d’approche pendant la réalisation des ateliers, il est important de souligner le désir univoque de tous les participants d’avoir des espaces verts plus accrus et qui leur sont dédiés et, par conséquent, un contact plus profond avec l’environnement.

Le projet a facilité le développement d’un esprit de participation citoyenne, de solidarité et de collaboration plus fort entre les participants. Ce résultat montre que ce projet peut être la base pour la réalisation d’initiatives tant dans le contexte scolaire qu’au niveau communautaire qui nous rapprocheront davantage à l’idée de « Notre espace public ».

Valentina Baraldi

Elle s’occupe de projets scolaires de médiation socio-environnementale entre le Canada et l’Italie. Experte en Global Citizenship Education et Coopération Internationale, ses plus récentes collaborations sont le projet BourseScol’ERE (COP21, 2015) et avec le Groupe de Recherche Appliquée en Macro-écologie (Montréal, Québec). Elle est conceptrice et réalisatrice du projet « Notre espace public ».

Strategy for ESD, the commitment of Italian Institutions

by Patrizia Bonelli

The Italian Strategy for ESD was updated by the Ministry of Education in the Plan for Education to Sustainability on July the 28th 2017. The plan meets the goals of Agenda 2030 on sustainability.
Actually the road map towards the implementation of ESD in Italy has been long and difficult, marked by the following steps:
2009, 2010, 2014: Guide-Lines for Environmental Education
2015 Strategy for ESD law 221
2016 Agreement for PON (National Operative Program)
2015 Reform of school art.6 law107underlining the importance of: Knowledge and respect for environment Active & democratic citizenship
20/22 November 2016 States General – Paper of Rome
Signed by the Minister of Education & the Minister of Environment

18 July 2017 the Strategy presented to HLPF of UN by the Minister of Environment
28 July 2017 updating of Italian Strategy for ESD by the minister of Education in the Plan for Education to Sustainability
PON, National Operative Programme 2014/2020, for schools financed by Structural European funds is an important step but the most relevant is certainly the meeting of States General (Paper of Rome) which included scientific community, civil society, productive and economic world and Institutions. They agreed upon the Strategy for ESD for the implementation of agenda 2030 including strategies, projects, methods, actions. They identified priority areas in climate change, green economy, legality and environment protection.

The most important supporting principles of the paper of Rome take advantage from the existing opportunities as the alternation school –work to involve students from secondary schools in start-up and projects of research thanks to agreements between schools and public and private companies and enterprises.

The updating of the Strategy on ESD presented on the 28th of July 2017 is based on:
20 actions in 4 macro areas that intend to assure that all the buildings of the Ministry will be perfectly sustainable, from the central buildings to all the schools and Universities (5 million euro). Moreover, all the staff and teachers will be trained to promote awareness and ability in education for sustainability. For that purpose, 20 million euro are provided to introduce ESD in the schools of every order and level.
University and research are encouraged and economically supported in the offer of training, courses and graduation in ESD at any level. Scholarships for students’ mobility is financed by 65 Ph.D. grants coherent with the goals of agenda 2030.

Information and Communication will be widened not just to disseminate official positions and documents, but also good practices of single schools and research of universities for sustainability.

The institutional effort of the Ministry of Education (MIUR) has been always carried on in synergy with the Ministry of Environment (MATTM) but the Minister of Education is particularly involved in many strategic choices as Vector 4 of Agenda 2030 asks for “quality education as fundamental axis of SD being a crossing element for the change offering awareness and ability in communication”.
Knowledge is fundamental to fight poverty, to support economy, to promote an open and inclusive society.
Thanks to the Three-dimensional approach of ESD: environmental-social-economic, the challenge may turn into opportunities.
As a matter of fact, sustainability doesn’t relay just on education and didactics but also in the context and buildings.
Schools and Universities, as micro worlds, need to become completely sustainable, in the buildings themselves, to reduce energy and water consumption (production or storage), in the correct management of waste. Finally, ESD has to be included in programmes and curricula during all the scholastic years and beyond towards long life learning and no formal or informal education. Support, inclusion and empowering have to be ensured to no governmental organizations supplying no formal or informal education and methods of active education.
In the National Education System, ESD is not considered just a further discipline, it is included in the main teachings; in the Ministerial guide lines of 2015 each discipline is re-examined from the point of view of ESD.
Moreover, territorial agreements are strongly supported to involve Local Authorities and Civil Society to contribute to ESD programs with central administration and schools.
The plan behind the updating of the Strategy of ESD presented on the 28th July 2017, has been built thank to a working group of experts, ministerial directors and managers who worked to facilitate networking and collaboration among experts and educators in ESD for the promotion of actions and for the dissemination of knowledge and skills, lifestyles and models of sustainable production and consumption.
The working group made proposals for dissemination of ESD addressed to any level of education and upper education, actions for the development and support of research and university didactics sustainability oriented, the construction of informal education, the support of the good governance of administration.
The plan meets the goals of Agenda 2030 and make of sustainability the main axis which shapes all the policy of the Ministry of Education: from buildings, to teachers’ training, from the central administration to the access to the university, to didactics and research.
Moreover, the plan was informed by the supporting principles of ESD from UN documents to the Paper of Rome (States General). The Teaching coming from the Ministry of Environment that promoted The States General.

The Paper of Rome recommends to face ESD in an inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary optics, according to a systemic vision of knowledge. To use interactive, participative, innovative methodologies, requiring an emotional and behavioural involvement, besides rational thought. It proposes to ensure teachers and educators a kind of training, arousing also the ability to build interdisciplinary routes and innovative participative teaching methodologies, and also to assess their efficacy.
It also invites to involve in education and training a wide network of actors: educators, students, parents, associations, institutions, societies, universities, research teams, an alliance between school and out of school world and to enjoy the reciprocal benefits. In the end, the Paper of Rome advises and insists to start from a stronger link with the territory, through concrete experiences on the field and exploration of the places.

Opportunities for Environmental Education, a new free resource

“The current secondary school curriculum, for all its faults, does provide numerous opportunities for schools, teachers and students to explore a wide range of the world’s most pressing issues. The power of this handbook lies not just in its careful analysis of what the curriculum says, but also in its excellent exemplification of how teachers are seizing opportunities to explore these issues with their students. The case studies of practice are particularly useful in helping us see what’s possiblein today’s schools. There is something here for everyone: for experienced practitioners there will be insights from other people’s work; and for those just starting out, a wide range of teaching and learning opportunities are carefully set out for scrutiny, evaluation and adaptation”, says Prof William Scott, NAEE Chair of Trustees.

NAEE’s new secondary school curriculum report illustrates how Key Stages 3 and 4 provide numerous opportunities for schools, teachers and children to explore a wide range of the world’s most pressing issues.  This is the latest in a number of reports that NAEE will be publishing from time to time and is freely available to download here.

NAEE’s primary school report illustrates how the new foundation and primary curriculums provide numerous opportunities for schools, teachers and children to explore a wide range of the world’s environmental and sustainability issues.
The report is freely available to download here.