On June 5, students and teachers of Simnas Gymnasium went to a wonderful corner of nature - Bukta Forest Nature Trail in the Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve to mention World Environment Day, which aims to encourage people to protect the environment. We came here not only to take a walk, admire the untouched nature trail, but also to do project activities: to get acquainted with protected areas, various forest flora and fauna, to create posters with slogans to draw public attention to nature protection, to remind everyone how important unique Lithuanian forests for people. They not only delight us with a variety of goodies, but also provide shelter on hot summer days, cooling the air thus reducing climate change. We have realized that the forest is the greatest and most precious gift to man that we must conserve and protect.
Monitoring the weather in Simnas 2018-2020
The students of 9 grade have started monitoring the weather in November, 2018. The school equipment allows to record data daily: temperature, rainfall, pressure, humidity, wind direction and speed. The main climate indicators are being monitored and recorded, so we can already compare and see some changes. Climate change has been very seen in Simnas for the past two years. The average temperature in 2018 was 8.5°C, and in 2019 it was already 10.7°C. Winters in particular are warming up, with average temperatures in December and February being 2.9°C and 2.1°C in 2019. In 2020, positive temperatures were recorded in January at 2.3°C. The standard temperature is 7°C, so the average annual temperature in Simnas is already 2-3°C higher. The standard rainfall rate in Simnas is 650 mm/year. In 2018, it was 450mm and in 2019 it was only 274 mm per year. 2019 was exceptionally dry. I would like to distinguish April with 0mm rainfall and July and August with 2.2mm and 2.6mm. The consequences of such low rainfall we feel and see. The lakes and rivers are drained, groundwater does not fill up wells.
Educational trip to the center of Alytus Regional Waste Management
On February 26, 2020 students of grades 5-8 of Simnas gymnasium went to the environmental education and re-using center Tiko Tiks. As soon as we entered the Alytus Regional Waste Management Center (ARATC), we were met by environmental education specialist Vaida Undzėnienė. Wearing bright and colorful vests, we were introduced with the peculiarities of waste management. We saw how waste is managed, we learned that the company, the only one in Lithuania, has implemented a separate sorting collection of food / kitchen waste was started not only from the residents of individual houses in the cities of Alytus region, but also from budgetary municipal institutions and other companies. In 2018 the company, the first of all Lithuanian regional waste management centers started to develop waste re-use and preparation for re-use activities. Pavilions have been built and other waste collection sites, where objects that have become waste are received and stored. Vaida Undzėnienė showed us at the things left by people, which are resurrected here for a second life. After answering the questions about waste management correctly, the students received gifts made of recycled paper. The environmental education specialist encouraged students to take part in the environmental paintings contest "Hear the Voice of the Earth".
Team game - Consequences of climate change This game can be played during biology, geography, English lessons related to climate change to consolidate the knowledge. The game especially suitable for younger students who need to move during the lesson. Rules. Students are shared in 2 teams of 6-8 members. Each student gets 2 cards of letters. The teacher gives questions for teams about the issue of climate change. When the team know the answer they have to make the answer from the letters and to stand in a row. The team with the most answers wins.
Memory board game - Endangered animals of Europe To remember endangered species of animals in Europe. It was very useful game during biology and English lessons. Students remembered the species very well. Students can play this game in pairs and in groups. Rules of the game. Each animal has two cards. There is a photo of an animal on one card and the name of the animal on the other card. The cards with the photos of animals are covers on the table. The student takes one card from the pile of cards with the words and chooses one card with a photo. If cards do not match, he has to put it on the table and to wait his turn. Then other student chooses. If he finds the picture of the animal, he takes cards for himself. The student with the most cards wins.
Reduce, reuse, recycle! Christmas decorations
In December 2019, all students of our gymnasium made Christmas decorations from old, unnecessary wheels of bicycles. They also participated in the contest of Christmas decorations organised by Alytus Region Waste Management Company. Decorations made by 3a class won a ward of public. Such actions change student’s attitude to endless consumption and develop their creativity; they become more active in society.
World Clean-up Day
European mobility week
16-21 September 2019 students of Simnas Gymnasium were very active during European Mobility Week 2019. At school and in the centre of Simnas they shared leaflets with practical solutions how to improve public health and quality of life through promoting clean mobility and sustainable public transport. They organized dances during breaks, walking and cycling trips to Meteliai Regional park. We believe that active transport modes such as walking and cycling are emission-free and help to keep bodies healthy and tackle global problems, such as air pollution.
Erasmus+ Day and science fair
On June 20, 2019 we organized the Erasmus + Day and science fair to present the results of our work in the first project year. Teachers conducted lessons about climate change. For science fair students built models of windmills, wind farm models. Students found the best reusing ideas on the Internet and the exhibition of the best ideas was held. Everybody had opportunity to vote for the best idea. The creators of the best logos and the best reusing ideas were rewarded. Students and teachers shared their impressions from short-term exchange meetings in Greece, Croatia and the Netherlands.
Climate changes and endangered, invasive animals
On June 14th, 2019 students of the grade 8th visited Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve to find out about endangered and invasive animals and birds. The guide, ecologist Regimantas Vabuolas told about situation due to climate change in Žuvintas Biosphere Reseve. Animal species in the world endangered by climate changes that influence and destroy their natural habitats. Some of theendangered species are wisents, Eurasian lynxes, capercaillies, hoopoes. On the other hand, the number of invasive birds is increasing in Žuvintas. He mentioned some of them such as great white egrets, great cormorants. The lecture is one of the activities of the Erasmus+ project Stop Climate Change – Together Europe Achieves More.
Urban heat island
An urban heat island, or UHI, is a metropolitan area that's significantly warmer than the rural areas surrounding it. Heat is created by energy from all the people,transport, houses, rubbish in big cities. Urban heat islands are created in places that have lots of activity and lots of people. On June 12th, 2019 students of the grade 8th measured the temperature in different places near the school. It was a very hot day, 33,8˚ degrees. The temperature of asphalt was 47,9 ˚ We tried to find the places where the temperature is lower. The temperature under the tree in the park was 28, 6 ˚ degrees lower than in the sunny place. The temperature under the shelter was 31˚ degree. We made a conclusion that planting more trees could help to reduce heat. We also surfed for the information on the Internet in what ways we could reduce heat. „Using green roofs, which are roofs of buildings covered in plants, helps cool things down. Plants absorb carbon dioxide, a leading pollutant. They also reduce the heat of the surrounding areas. Using lighter-colored materials on buildings helps, too. Light colors reflect more sunlight and trap less heat.“(https://www.nationalgeographic.org)
Invasive land and water plants
These are plants that are targeted or randomly introduced into the area where they never grew up before. Some alien plants were brought as flowers for gardens or parks as an ornament, centuries ago and spread itself. There are about 548 species of alien plants currently known in Lithuania about 46 species are invasive and another 60 are potentially invasive. These plants grow, spread and invade an area fast because of that they can cause environmental problems in the future. Students of 7 grade made research on invasive land and water plants in Simnas and Meteliai regional park. Manitoba maples, black locusts, Sosnowsky's hogweed and American waterweeds were found in the area.
World Migratory Bird Day
World Migratory Bird Day is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. It has a global outreach and is an effective tool to help raise global awareness of the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for international cooperation to conserve them. The convention for protection of migratory birds was signed on April 11, 1906. The World Migratory Bird Day has been started to celebrate since then. Students of the 7th grade of Simnas gymnasium with a biology teacher Rima Pavolienė took action in world Migratory Bird Day and made nesting-boxes on April 5th, 2019. An ecologist and a guide of Meteliai regional park Artūras Pečkys told about threats for migratory birds. It’s hard for birds to adapt to extreme weather patterns due to climate change. He thanked students for the nesting- boxes because they help to conserve birds. .
World Meteorological Day
World Meteorological Day is annually held on or around March 23 to remember the World Meteorological Organization's establishment on that date in 1950. The World Meteorological Organization plays a crucial role in contributing to people's safety and welfare. Its work is important in providing food security, water resources and transport. On March 23 students of 6,8 IIag grades together with a geography teacher Gediminas Kanapickas went to Vilnius Meteorological station to Vilnius. Students learned more about phenomena of climate change, their causes and consequences. They had opportunity to watch exposition of meteorological tools. The head of the station Vida Ralienė introduced students how weather forecast is made and demonstrated the equipment which is used to predict the w
Global warming, greenhouse effect
Global warming is a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and its oceans, which permanently changing the Earth’s climate. The increased volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, and other human activities, are believed to be the primary sources of the global warming that has occurred over the past 50 years. The results of global warming are rising sea levels due to the melting of the polar ice caps, as well as an increase in occurrence and severity of storms and other severe weather events.
Environmental migrants ( climate refugees) are people who are forced to leave their home region due to sudden or long-term changes to their local environment. According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million persons around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. How can we help “No climate change, no climate refugees”:
Between now and then, we need to address the effects of climate change that are happening now.
Introducing more sustainable farming methods.
Reducing inequalities of income and power.
Improving access to justice.
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Organizations helping climate refugees: Climate Refugees , The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), The International Organization for Migration (IOM).
On April 10th, 2019 pupils of grades I-II ag implementing the international project Erasmus +" Stop Climate Change-Together Europe Achieves More" visited Alytus Regional Waste Management Center and Takniškės Landfill. Erika Mockevičienė, an ecologist at Alytus Regional Waste Management Center, introduced pupils to municipal waste management methods, waste management volumes in Alytus region, and told about the impact of landfills on the greenhouse effect. Pupils learned that more and more waste is being collected from the residents every year. The ecologist is pleased that people's awareness has increased, waste sorting skills have improved, so that people can now also use bio / food waste containers. While visiting the landfill in Takniškės village of Alytus district, students saw how waste is being treated as compost from organic waste. After getting acquainted with the waste management objects, the pupils realized that people are actually throwing away waste and it is irreversible damage to the environment, and that in the future, the deliberate consumption, sorting of waste, the use of reusable bags will be a good job for preserving nature.
Red Cross organization
On January 17th, 2019 we had an interesting lecture about Red Cross organization. The head of the organization in Simnas Elena Dainauskienė introduced students with the activities of organization. The Red Cross organization in Simnas help for vulnerable people especially old people. Elena shared her experience about her significant daily work and invited students to join the organization by volunteering.
Christmas Charity Fair
On December 20 students of Simnas gymnasium organised charity fair to Simnas community. Pupils and teachers brought their things: books, toys, clothes and even some sweets. Students were selling products and talking to local community about the project. All the money was donated to Red Cross organization. The purpose of the event was to learn students to reduce consumption. Students realised that they can help for the needy by raising money and donating it, too.
The project coordinator Rasa Ručiene presented the project, its objectives and activities on October 18. The geography teacher Gediminas Kanapickas presented the situation of climate change in Lithuania. Students of the 7 grade shared their impressions about Clean up Day.
In September the logo contest was announced. Art teachers tought students how to draw logo designs using different kind of techniques. On the opening ceremony of the project the show of logo designs was organised. Three best logo designs were chosen. They were made by Miglė Zailskaitė Iag, Kamilė Mocevičiūtė 5a, Deividas Zmejauskas Iag. They were presented in the first short exchange of students in Greece.