After the winter holidays, we finally greeted the first eco-patrol of the year with a global topic: climate change. Our children didn’t know much about this subject, but we were prepared to learn as much as possible through non-formal activities. Some of the most important topics of the session were climate change, its consequences, and how to mitigate its negative effects.
The term “climate change” usually refers to changes that have been occurring since the beginning of the twentieth century as a result of human activities. A major issue is “global warming”, the warming of Earth’s surface resulting from the increase of greenhouse gases, among which carbon dioxide generated by the combustion of fossil fuels.
Through the first game, children learnt about the greenhouse effect principle: as the atmosphere becomes thicker due to greenhouse gases, heat remains trapped around the planet and the Earth becomes warmer.
Through the story of the Last Penguins, children embodied some penguins and experienced their sad fate: their ice islands were melted and in the end everybody had to share a little space, too crowded, without resources and polluted. Through the story, children became aware of how ice melting and rising sea levels endanger not only icy environments, but other areas such as coastal regions as well.
With an experiment, we have proved that the volume of water increases as the temperature increases, thus learning about the process of thermal expansion, a less-known but important cause of sea-level rise.
After becoming familiar with global warming and its consequences, children had to imagine and draw their island in 2100. Their ideas were not very optimistic: from the disappearance underwater of the coasts of the island, to cannibalism, to the extinction of humans…
At the end of the workshop, we played a game called “union”, with which we wanted to emphasize that climate change is a general problem that can only be mitigated if we join our forces. We ended the day by observing three minutes of silence for our Earth, and after ten attempts we succeeded!
To the next workshop!