Vilniaus Žemynos gymnasium is a member of the organisations which promote and foster the ideas of environmental issues; an associated member of UNESCO schools, a member of The Baltic sea project, LTCP. Joining sySTEAM project allowed to reflect upon existing practices and develop new initiatives, which afterwards were presented in international Environmental development conference organised by the school itself.
The participants of the conference were the students from 10 schools, who had opportunity to share their experience working with sustainability issues in their respective countries and schools. sySTEAM project partner from Barcelona – Virolai School – have also sent presentation to conference. Even group of pupils and teachers from Japan – Osaka Semboku school – have participated in conference activities.
It is obvious, that the issues of biological diversity destruction, pollution and climate change are becoming more and more actual. Therefore, to ensure radical and long-term changes we have to take interest in these problems not only ourselves but also educate the society be environmentally friendly. Thus, students were solving environmental problems by using smart technologies to create modern and safe environment and afterwards they presented those solutions in conference and other workshops.
Whole initiative was deeply supported by the school principle Rūta Krasauskienė who is to be thanked for enabling students to travel and to spread the environmental message in Germany, Denmark and Japan. Strong leadership involvement was one of success criteria, because throughout all process there were many challenges raising and administration helped to solve them both for students and teachers.
Lastly, participation in whole project was useful not only for Gymnasium students, but for teachers as well. Having to implement such big project is great opportunity to re-think what is most important and valuable from curriculum for situation we have today. Teachers must be prepared to be challenged at many phases of such project – by other colleagues, who works with them and by students, who becomes active learning actors. But with right attitude, support of leadership and common goal – overcoming any obstacles are possible!
Project sySTEAM – systematic approach for implementation of STEAM education in schools (2017-1-LT01-KA201-035288) is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. Project is implemented by Virolai E.M.S.A., Kiviõli I High School, Vilnius Žemynos Gymnasium, Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation, Sihtasutus Omanäolise Kooli Arenduskeskus, Knowledge Economy Forum.