Project rationale

  • It is impossible to ignore the changes in our environment, specifically in plant life, brought about by agriculture, industry/ pollution and climate change. We have also noticed that most of our students can neither recognize the most common plants surrounding them nor describe their features, either because of lack of interest in science topics or because of a purely theoretical approach to botany at school.
    While losing this bond with nature, our students are busy connecting through social networks and exploring the online world while actually lacking real-life team skills. As a group of partners ( except for the Polish school) who have worked together on previous STEM-related projects, we wish to make use of their mobile devices and IT know-how to improve their digital skills and energize the learning process.
    As each partner school is situated in a biologically unique area, we aim to make our students aware of the common and specific problems of preserving the environment within their biome. For this purpose each school will form a project team.
    After setting up a digital platform where all the project activities will be uploaded, schools will organize field trips to local areas with relevant itineraries of plant species, including indigenous, endangered, medicinal and other plants. The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, sponsored by NASA, is a network of worldwide partners, students, teachers and scientists that provide the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process. Through participation in the Phenology and Trees Around the Globe Campaigns , our students will methodically build understanding by observing nature, posing questions, developing a hypothesis, planning investigation, assembling and analysing data, documenting conclusions and presenting findings . Its coverage of whole regions, countries and continents will enhance the value and the dissemination of our project. We will contribute to the GLOBE database and use its data to understand critical environmental issues such as contemporary climate change. Based on these findings, we will create CLIL lesson plans to implement into our schools' curricula and will further disseminate these by organizing peer teaching lessons in other schools. The field trips done in loco, during LTT activities and newly gathered information about plant life will be uploaded onto online platforms such as GLOBE, Wikiloc and Wikipedia. Schools will create catalogues of key plant species as well as calendars of flowers and fruit in season. They will collaborate with local liberaries, museums, botanical gardens, arboretums and laboratories.
    Students will interview local beekepers, grape growers, park rangers, farmers or botanists, and will produce videos on the topic of „A Day in the Life of...“. They will research historical resources, documents and photographs of their area to discern changes in their biome. All these local activities will be presented to partners on the online platform and during LTT meetings. An European exchange market of local products will also be held on these occasions. Students will improve their foreign language, team work and ICT skills. Their engagement in European environmental initiatives such as Let's clean up Europe will boost their sense of civic responsibility and belonging to Europe. Students' progress will be tracked via their contributions to the common website, through questionnaires regarding their ICT, science and foreign language knowledge. All project activities will be presented in the form of online magazines which will be edited by students.
    An initial staff-training meeting will inform teachers of common and specific tasks, planning and monitoring project activities. Workshops will be held on the use of GLOBE protocols, CLIL methodology, peerteaching and magazine publishing. A SWOT analysis will be presented by the coordinating school at every meeting. Each meeting will have media coverage (radio/TV/newspaper) in the host country and each partner will guarantee at least one article in his local press on return to describe every

    This project will have widespread impact, not only in each school’s local area but also at regional, national and global levels. A final teachers meeting will oversee the dissemination of project activities, results, products and repercussions through our common website, the GLOBE database ,the eTwinning platform, online magazines and published videos, articles in didactic publications as well as an open Erasmus day in our schools. We aim to reach a wide audience, students and teachers involved both directly and indirectly, parents, employers, representatives of local institutions involved in our project activities, local and regional governments and the international scientific community Our contributions to the GLOBE database and our use of their statistics in our CLIL.