The students’ projects are part of a program for the development of free educational resources for project-based learning on the topic of climate change
A model for a school which uses only green energy sources in order to reduce expenses, a project for the exchange and remodeling of old clothes, reusing materials such as cork and paper, permaculture in the schoolyard and green classrooms. These were just some of the projects presented on June 11 at the event called Keeping Up with Climate Change.
The forum took place at the American College of Sofia and gathered more than 80 students from seven schools across Bulgaria – Kyustendil, Byala Slatina, Shumen, Mirkovo, Enina, and Sofia. They had been working on finding sustainable solutions for a few months and presented their final projects aimed at fighting climate change on a community level.
The students had the opportunity to deepen their understanding of various ecological challenges and create their own solutions as part of a project by Teach For Bulgaria funded by the European Climate Foundation.
The students’ participation and final products were part of the pilot testing of the learning materials created during the first phase of the project. This pilot testing is going to continue throughout the summer in Teach For Bulgaria’s Summer Academy. This year the academy is offering an extracurricular activity focused on climate change.
The goal of these learning materials is to deepen students’ understanding of climate change and provoke them to find solutions to the ecological problems in their communities. The resources also enable teachers to apply innovative teaching methods relevant to the current pressing issues. The learning materials are appropriate for students from 5th to 12th grade and can be integrated into any subject.
Once the testing phase is complete the learning materials will be finalized and made available for free on the most popular website for teaching resources in Bulgaria – prepodavame.bg. Anyone who wants to preorder the materials can do so here.
THE STUDENTS’ PROJECTS
The students had prepared a variety of products and materials for the event in order to illustrate the projects they had been working on. They presented models, presentations, leaflets, products made by reused materials, pictures, postcards, etc. Their projects were evaluated by a three-member jury of experts in the fields of ecology and entrepreneurship: Ivaylo Bonev, co-founder of Technocrats, Kostadin Andonov, Head of Innovation and Youth Participation at WWF Bulgaria, and Petar Zhivkov, founder of AirLief. The criteria in the assessment rubric included originality, applicability, and impact. The winners were the teams from the High School of Science and Mathematics “Prof. Emanuil Ivanov” in Kyustendil and the Vocational School of Chemistry and Food Industry “Prof. Dr. Georgi Pavlov” in Sofia.
For a Greener Future
The students from the High School of Science and Mathematics “Prof. Emanuil Ivanov” in Kyustendil impressed the jury with their project For a Greener Future. It had several elements – a model of a green city with alternative sources of energy, a presentation with assessments, regional specifics, etc., and a workshop focused on practices which could help people reuse materials. The guests who participated in the workshop learned how to reuse old paper, how to make coasters out of old cork wine stoppers, how to turn old clothes into totes, how to make soap at home, etc.
Clothes for the Future
The other prize went to the students from the Vocational School of Chemistry and Food Industry “Prof. Dr. Georgi Pavlov” in Sofia. Their project Clothes for the Future aims to teach students how to deal with the pollution caused by the fashion industry. They aim to encourage their peers to reuse textile and to create a space at school where students can swap and remodel old clothes. This should inspire students to recycle, reuse and be creative!
The Audience Award
The third prize was given after the guests voted for their favorite project. The audience award was given to the students from Primary School “Hristo Botev” in the village of Enina. They had prepared a model which addressed the fact that school buildings are usually extremely inefficient when it comes to energy which creates waste and big expenses. They presented an idea on how to use renewable energy sources in order to tackle this issue. Their project was very impressive and they had also prepared a presentation with additional assessments, research, and ideas.
The three projects received thematic awards by the partners of the event – the Bulgarian Foundation for Biodiversity provided them with their signature board game Terra Futura whose goal is to deepen students’ understanding about climate change and the future of our planet. The winners also received gifts from Plesio. All participants received participation awards, certificates, and tasty healthy treats from Harmonica, Plesio, and Za Zemyata.
After the award ceremony the students had the opportunity to participate in workshops organized by the Bulgarian Foundation for Biodiversity, WWF Bulgaria, and Technocrats. They learned more about ecology, climate, and youth engagement.
MORE IDEAS FROM THE STUDENTS
Are you curious to find out more about the rest of the students’ projects? Here’s what they had prepared:
Secondary School “Sava Dobroplodni”, Shumen
Creating a permaculture garden in the schoolyard. The students have already done the research and are going to present the idea in front of the principal and get more people involved in the execution of the project.
Primary School “Kliment Ohridski”, Byala Slatina
The school has an eco club called Green Horizons. The students from the club are working on a handbook on how to protect the environment with small daily actions. They have planted an herbal garden in the school yard where they grow herbs for tea and hold regular “tea meetings” with the principal. The agenda of the tea meetings covers the initiatives that the students would like to start.
Primary School “Georgi Benkovski”, Mirkovo
Creating a green classroom in the schoolyard. Making a model and finding funding for the execution.
75th Primary School “Todor Kableshkov”, Sofia
A water conservation project – information campaign for the school and the neighborhood.
Using reusable shopping bags. Creating postcards for a charity bazaar, all proceeds will go towards the purchase of separate waste collection containers for the school.
Keeping Up with Climate Change was organized with the support of the Bulgarian Foundation for Biodiversity, Plesio, Harmonica, and Za Zemyata. Our host was the American College of Sofia. We are grateful for their support and fruitful cooperation!
The project Keeping Up with Climate Change is funded by the European Climate Foundation. This publication reflects solely the view of the author and the European Climate Foundation cannot be held responsible.