In the school year 2021-2022 the students made CiELO ‘Elevator Pitch’ videos in which they explained what sustainability and circular economy mean to them and what they and their families do to help contribute to reducing and recycling waste, saving energy and protecting the environment. A jury of experts plus student voting selected 8 best works from each school. This was followed by a period of e-learning on the CiELO platform about pollution and remediation of soil and water. Students then shared and deepened the information they gathered in the ‘flipped classroom’ activity. They participated in round table discussions and prepared presentations and TedTalks to present questions and solutions to problems addressed by the project.
Finally, on 16 May, V. gimnazija welcomed in person the students and teachers from partner schools, Domeikava Gymnasium from Kaunas, Lithuania, Istituto Tecnico Industriale Statale ‘Guido Donegani’ from Crotone, Italy, and Liceul Teoretic ‘Sfantu Nicolae’ Gheorgeni from Romania as well as partners from FEEM, CivicaMente and the Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering Faculty.
During our 5-day activities students debated on 3 important topics: ‘Meeting sustainability implies losing nations’ cultural identity’, ‘Is water pollution the biggest threat to humankind?’, and ‘Is waste a problem or a resource?’. After doing research and having the debates, 34 students, working in international teams, processed their findings and created videos, interviews and reports to document their work.
Part of the research and documentation process was visiting different institutions and sites of importance for the protection of water and soil in Zagreb, such as the laboratories of the Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering Faculty, the workshops of the Faculty of Agriculture at their Fascination with Plants’ Day, and also the Technical Museum. The students and their mentors visited Zagreb’s Wastewater Treatment Plant and actively took part in the water analysis workshop at V. gimnazija: Chemical determination of household water pollutants.
On the last day, our group of fifty went to the medieval Zrinski Mine and Nature Park Medvednica. We said goodbye to each other and how much we enjoyed working together at the open air concert of V. gimnazija students’ choir, until our next Learning-Teaching-Training-Activity in Lithuania in 2023.
Prepared by Sanja Vrhovec Vučemilović