From Green school - to Green Karelia!
The opening seminar of the Green school project took place in the City of Nurmes, Finland, on November 26-28, 2018.
20 teachers and experts from Finland and Russia discussed the positive changes in school environmental education, which are foreseen during 3 years of cooperation in Karelia CBC Programme.
The project activities will start in 6 pilot schools: from Medvezhjegorsk, Kostomuksha, Petrozavodsk from the Russian side and Valtimo, Oulu, Joensuu from the Finnish side.
Saku Punkari, biology and geography teacher of the Finnish-Russian school of the Eastern Finland in Joensuu City told about the experience of incorporation of the environmental issues to the daily school life. The school becomes a place where the students learn the green lifestyle.
In some school premises there is a system of automatic switch off the light when there is nobody inside. In the classrooms there are special reminds on the doors to switch of the light and devices when leaving away.
The school has a system of separating the waste. Containers are is available in the classrooms and teachers' room. The explanations are both in Finnish and Ruissian languages.
Outdoor lessons become more and more popular in the schools. Anne-Maarit Heikkinen and Sini Eronen, teachers of Valtimo school, which is located in a small settlement near the lake and forest, demonstrated an example of an educational game outside the class. The seminar participants passed the ecological quiz with the tasks given via QR codes.
Valtimo school has a modern new building with excellent conditions for education. The teachers had an opportunity to choose the furniture, equipment and design their classrooms themselves. This picture from school published by the seminar participant Igor Podgorny in social media surprised the russian followers. They could not imagine that the Finnish students are in socks in school. Maybe this experience will be utilized in Russia in future as well.
Hyvarila youth and holiday center which is the project partner of Green school has own solutions to save the natural resources.
Technical specialists of Hyvarila center arranged a tour to the "heart" of a huge building - Nurmes sport arena operated by Hyvarila center. The solar panels and system of warm recuperation help to reduce the energy loss and save money for heating and electricity. In this way Hyvarila contributes to the global task to save the planet for future generations.
During the seminar the schools and youth organizations presented their promising practices in environmental education.
The teachers and experts discovered that environmental education goals and directions both in Russian and Finnish schools are similar. The process of exchanging the educational methods is important to create stronger working model in schools, both during the lessons and afterschool programs.
The Green school project includes an innovative approach. New tool for environmental education, called the Ecocase, will be created and tested in the pilot schools. There will be a various number of instruments to research environmental problems of the premises and plan necessary improvements. Soon the pilot schools will test the Ecocase in practice.
After the seminar the pilot schools will create the project teams. The students will make new steps towards Green school, which are at the same time steps towards Green Karelia.
Article in Yla Karjala newspaper (in the Finnish language)