International Day for Biological Diversity World Environment Day
International Day for Biological Diversity is on 22 May. This year’s topic is Our soultions are in nature. On 6 June we celebrate World Environment Day, the theme in 2020 is Biodiversity. Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. It is the result of evolution and it is so important for us that it is included into UN Sustainable Development goals as goal 15. Species become extinct because of building houses, roads, agriculture, pollution, climate changes, overexploitation, human overpopulation. We live in the suburbs and during the period of social distancing we could go for walks. Pupils were asked to take photos of as many animal and plant speices as they could, identify them and learn some facts abot them.
Recycling is an industrial process through which paper, plastic, etc. is transformed into a new material and is used for the production of new objects; during the process the material uses ist original form.
Upcycling is a creative use of objects to create some other products. The original object can still be clearly identified after assuming its new function.
Pupils were at home and had online school, they were invited to use old things from thier homes and turn them into something new. They sent photos of their creastive works.
World Water Day 2020, on 22 March, is about water and climate change – and how the two are linked. Water is our most precious resource – we must use it more responsibly. Adapting to the water effects of climate change will protect health and save lives. Using water more efficiently will reduce greenhouse gases. We cannot afford to wait. Extreme weather events are making water more scarce, more unpredictable, more polluted. Humans need water to survive, as do all the systems we rely on: sanitation, healthcare, education, business and industry. Everyone has a role to play. But there is one simple step you can take immediately that will make a big difference: don’t waste water.
With the new coronavirus outbreak we needed to change our plans for World Water Day events and we marked the day on 13 March with activities at school.
Osnovna škola Bartola Kašića and Institute of Public Health of Vukovar-Srijem County organised on 6 March a lecture on influence of climate changes on health for pupils and their parents, which was held by Martina Dadić. Climate changes affect health by affecting air quality, safe drinking water, sufficient food and shelter. Effects of cllimate changes are negative. Children and elderly people are the most vulnerable. Extreme heat causes death from cardiovascuolar and respiratory diseases. Pollen and other aeroallergen levels are also higher in extreme heat and they can trigger asthma. Irregularity of rainfall will affect the supply of fresh water. Periods of extreme weather, floods, etc. can affect mental health. People suffer from high levels of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Global warming caused wider spreading of some insects that transmit dangerous infectious diseases (malaria, encephalitis, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, etc.).
During lessons about climate change, endangeered and invasive species, renewable sources of energy pupils learned new vocabulary. They had to match words and phrases to the descriptions. Pupils created an online memory game consisting of 19 expressions that can be played after lessons or at home to check the knowledge or from time to time to revise vocabulary. https://matchthememory.com/stopclimatechange
Climate changes and global warming enhance the problem of water availability. Clean water is becoming scarce and water from public water supply system is also very expensive. It is a good idea to collect and use rainwater. We condutecd a survey and it turned out that more than 70% of families do not collect rainwater although it is not complicated. We want our families to change some habits. First we wanted to see how much money we could save if we used rainwater. Instead of buying a rain gauge (ombrometer), an instrument used to gather and measure the amount of liquid precipitation over an area in a predefined period of time, we decided to make one. Our team consisted of pupils from grades 6, 7 and 8. Our task was to measure the amount of rainfall during the period of 5 weeks, from 11 November till 16 December. Although there was heavy rainfall and there were storms in other parts of Croatia and neighbouring countries, we had only few rainy days, it was a quite dry period.
Climate Change and Its Influence on Migration of Birds
Mr Pavao Dragičević, mr.sc , an expert from the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Natural Values in the Vukovar-Srijem County and his associate Mario Raguž held a lecture for pupils in grade 8 about the influence of climate changes on migration of birds on 13 December 2019. The main reason birds take flight is changing seasonal temperatures and food availability. Birds that nest in the Northern Hemisphere tend to migrate northward in the spring to take advantage of insect populations, budding plants and an abundance of nesting locations. As winter approaches and the availability of insects and other food drops, the birds move south again. One of the major effects of climate change is the loss of habitats. The habitats migratory birds depend on are in danger to change and to disappear because of increasing temperatures, flooding or desertification. Birds also face a whole variety of new risks because of the ways humans change the landscape. Lots of birds die because of wind turbines.
Climate Change and Its Influence on Migration of Birds
The Civil Initiative initiative 'Plant a Tree, Don't Be a Stump', was recently launched through a Facebook group by Varaždin's Mateja Angelina Kramar, and in the short term attracted numerous interested participants and soon gathered more than 20,000 members, some Croatian cities have become involved in the action, too. The idea was that everyone can plant a tree and thus contribute to improving their own environment while also combating climate change. Initiative wanted to encourage citizens, associations, companies and institutions to plant as many trees as possible, individually or in cooperation with local self-government units, highlighting the importance of trees and greenery, especially in urban areas. The campaign "Plant a tree, don't be a stump" was held on October 25, 26 and 27, “Hrvatske šume” , company for woodland management, have prepared more than ten thousand seedlings At the conference for journalists at the Faculty of Forestry citizens were urged to respond to this collective tree planting. Osnovna škola Bartola Kašića joined the initiative and on Friday, 25 October 2019, pupils planted 12 trees donated by “Hrvatske Šume” – 10 thuja trees and 2 maple trees.
The fourth short-term exchange of groups of pupils took place in Gdynia, Poland, from 6 October untill 12 October 2019. Host school was Szkola Podstawowa nr 12, im. gen. Mariusza Zaruskiego, Gdynia. At welcoming ceremony we saw a performance of the school choir. As the title of the meeting was „Save the forests, we need oxygen“, each delegation planted one tree in the school yard. We went to Gdynia Infobox, where we learned about the history of this young and fast developing city and had a view of the city from the viewing tower. We went to Marszewo Forest Botanical Gardan and had lectures and workshops about the influence of climate changes on forests and migration of birds. Pupils performed the play „Save the Lofty Trees“ for the project meeting participants, other pupils, teachers and parents. The whole group went to Gdynia Experiment Centre, an interactive educational centre. Pupils attended climate based lessons in English about deforestation, climate changes through history and sustainable development. We went to Gdynia Aquarium and had a lecture about the Baltic Sea and recent changes influenced by climate changes. We went to a small town Hel on Hel peninsula.
Since 2002, EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK has tried to improve public health and quality of life through promoting clean mobility and sustainable urban transport. Our bodies are designed to move, yet most of us find that much of our daily routine is made up of sitting: in traffic, at a desk, or in front of a screen. Can we integrate exercise into our daily life, help the environment and save money at the same time? 2019 EU Mobility week theme is „Safe Walking and Cycling“ because walking and cycling have benefits for our health and our environment. Our students were walking and biking and getting to know their city better. We cycled by the river Bosut, to the walls of Rokovci and Sopot. Along the way, we were learning about plants.
An urban heat island (UHI) is an urban area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas because of human activities. Dark surfaces, buildings, roads absorb significantly more solar radiation during the day. The temperature difference usually is larger at night than during the day, the difference can be 5°C or much more and is most apparent when there is no wind. UHI is most noticeable during the summer. UHIs influence the health and welfare of urban residents. Another problem is that cities need more energy for air conditioning and refrigeration. Possible solutions are white roofs, green roofs (with vegetation), planting trees.
A school play performed at Erasmus+ Day 2019 by the drama group of Osnovna škola Bartola Kašića, Vinkovci.
ERASMUS+ DAY & SCIENCE FAIR
On 12 June 2019 we organised Erasmus+ Day and Science Fair to present the results of our work in the first project year. We invited parents and representatives of local community. Pupils presented the best reusing ideas (upcycling ideas), simple climate based experiments, performed songs and a school play “Ekološka priča”.
In Croatia the weather was observed since 1861. State Hydrometeorological Institute, with its central office in Zagreb, was founded in 1947. In our town we can monitore the weather using the school web site. There we can find information about temperature, wind, pressure, uv, solar radiation and precipitation.
Biodiversity is the living fabric of our planet. It is crucial for our wellbeing in the present and in the future, and its rapid decline threatens both nature and people. According to reports released in 2018, the main global drivers of biodiversity loss are climate change, invasive species, over-exploitation of natural resources, pollution and urbanization. Day for Biological Diversity 2019 is involved in the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020. The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The 2019 theme is Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health.
Nowadays children like playing computer games more than board games. Video games can be good for children if they do not play violent games and do not play more than one hour a day. Some games might improve hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills. There are some more benefits: games can enhance memory, improve attention and concentration, they can be a great source of learning, they enhance multitasking skills and improve social skills. We found some climate based online computer games and played them during computer science lessons.
Sixth grade students made experiment for Science Fair and made seed bombs that they put in school yard. Seed bomb is a ball of compost, humus and seeds of different plants. It is mixed with clay or paper, moistened with some water and then formed into balls. The seed bomb is cheap compared to buying transplants. It is natural, organic, easy to make and you can cover a large area in a very short time. It can be used in home gardens, window boxes or the veggie patch.
Croatian Red Cross runs first aid programmes with the aim of educating citizens for giving first aid. There are programmes for different groups: volunteers, future drivers, employed persons, children, youth, first aid teams and water lifeguards. First aid is the first and immediate assistance given to any person suffering from a minor or serious illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery. It includes initial intervention in a serious condition before professional medical help is available, while waiting for an ambulance, as well as the complete treatment of minor conditions, such as applying a plaster to a cut. First aid is generally performed by someone with basic medical training. Our pupils learned some basic things about helping people who need medical help.
Agriculture is highly exposed to climate change, as farming activities directly depend on climatic conditions. Climate change affects agriculture in the whole world. Crops need suitable soil, water, sunlight, and heat to grow. In some regions, warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons might allow new crops to be cultivated. In southern Europe, however, extreme heat events and reductions in precipitation and water availability are expected to hamper crop productivity. Crop yields are also expected to vary increasingly from year to year due to extreme weather events like floods, droughts, hailstorms and other factors such as pests and diseases.
The third short-term exchange of pupils took place from 12 May till 18 May 2019 in the Netherlands. Host school BC Broekhin Roermond hosted 35 pupils and teachers from partner countries. Pupils stayed at their peers' homes. The whole group visited the Town hall, where we were greeted by deputy mayor Rens Evers. We went to school and, after a short tour of the school facilities, pupils were divided into groups and attended six climate based lessons in English, conducted by guest and host teachers. Next day pupils attended two lessons: Art lesson entitled „Global Warming“ and a lecture about Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. We walked along the rivers Roer (Rur) and Maas (Meuse) and were informed about dams and dikes. On Wednesday, we went on a trip to Amsterdam. We visited Dam Square and saw the neoclassical Royal Palace, Gothic New Church and the national Monument erected in 1956 to memorialize the victims of World War II. Teachers had a guided tour of important sights and pupils were divided into groups and played „City Game“. We also visited Wastewater Treatment Plant and Deltapark Neeltje Jans. Pupils from all 6 partner countries performed a school play „Everybody's Water“.
Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service (DHMZ) is a national institute and a research centre situated in Zagreb. The DHMZ has 363 employees and performs professional tasks of monitoring hydrological and meteorological processes, collecting, processing and publishing meteorological and hydrological data; research on atmospheric and water resources and various applied meteorology and hydrology in climatology, maritime meteorology, agrometeorology. DHMZ manages a network of meteorological and hydrological stations and centers. Sixteen pupils and three teachers visited DHMZ on 7 May 2019. DHMZ has been a member of WMO (World Meteorological Organisation) since October 1992. It is also a member of other organisations (EUMETSAT, etc.).
A group of pupils and teachers visited “Spačva”, which is the leading factory of the timber industry in the region, well known for high quality products made of oak wood. The factory uses wood from forests of common oak (Quercus robur). Every tree processed in the factory is between 100 and 120 years old. “Spačva” was founded in 1956 by merging of existing plants. It employs 850 workers. In order to use sawdust and other remains “Spačva” produces wooden pellets and briquettes, which are highly efficient solid biomass fuels. “Spačva” consists of 5 factories: sawmill, parquet production, final products factory, veneer factory, bio-fuels factory. Final products are doors. About 90% of doors, veneer and parquet is exported to the countries of the European Union, mostly to France, Germany, Poland and Italy. Bio-fuels are wooden pellets and wooden briquettes and about 50% is exported.
Climate change is a long-term change in the statistical distribution of climatic factors over a period of tens to millions of years. First change comes from outside the Earth – every few thousand years Earth changes its orbit around the Sun – when this happens it can finish an Ice Age, or it can start a new one. Second change comes from inside the Earth (for example - volcano). Third change comes because of people (for example: deforestation, fossil fuel consumption). According to documents of European Parliament, Croatia will experience the consequences of climate changes: longer dry periods, less rainfall in some regions, extreme weather (storms), endangered biodiversity, forest fires, less water for agriculture... We have noticed changes on our region: summers are hotter, dry autumns and winters and extreme weather.
We visited the birth house of Milutin Milanković, a great scientist in the field of climatology. Milutin Milanković (1879-1958) was born in the village of Dalj, Croatia, which is at the banks of the Danube. He was a mathematician, astronomer, climatologist and popularizer of science. He founded planetary climatology. He studied climate on planets of the inner Solar system (Mercury, Venus, Mars) and the Moon. His greatest contribution to science is the explanation of Earth's long-term climate changes caused by changes in the position of the Earth in comparison th the Sun, now known as Milankovitch cycles. He explained the ice ages in the past, as well as the climate changes which can be expected in the future. In honour of his achievements his name was given to an impact crater on the Moon, to a 118km crater on Mars and to an asteroid (1605 Milankovitch). In NASA's edition „On the Shoulders of Giants“ Milanković was ranked among the top fifteen minds in the field of earth sciences.
Modern society produces enormous amounts of waste and it is necessary to reduce the amount of waste in order to mitigate the climate change, mitigate harmful effects on human health and on plant and animal species. Although we separate the rubbish and its disposal is organised, we produce too much waste and should try to reduce the amount of it. Pupils from primary schools in Vinkovci learned about waste, separating the garbage, recycling. A quiz was organised and they showed what they had learned. They had the opportunity to apply their knowledge about separating the garbage. We took some old batteries and other garbage to mobile recycling yard when it came to our neighbourhood. There are boxes and containers in the classrooms and in the corridors for different kinds of garbage. The goal of producing no trash is probably impossible to reach, but we must try to come close to it.
The greenhouse effect makes the life on Earth possible because the atmosphere traps the heat and warms the planet's surface to a temperature above what it would be without its atmosphere. Without it, life would not be possible, because it would be too cold. Over the millennia there have been colder and warmer periods, because there are lots of factors that influence the global climate, like volcanic eruptions, solar wind, large scale weather patterns (El Niño). The main cause (75%) of the global warming is emission of gasses caused by burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas). We can mitigate the effects and slow down the rise of the global temeprature by reduction of greenhouse gasses emission. We must start using renewable sources of energy, because according to Doomsday Clock, it’s 2 minutes to midnight!
We visited “Spačva”, wood processing industry.
We got interested in renewable sources of energy and constructed a solar powered car and windturbine.
We went to Dalj and visited the birth house of Milutin Milanković (1879-1958), a scientist who founded planetary climatology.
People all over the world spend too much fresh water and this overconsumption is a great threat to our planet. Water resources are not available to everyone and this is why the United Nations included in 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development goals “Ensuring access to water and sanitation for all”. The water footprint concept was introduced in 2002 in order to have a consumption-based indicator of water use. The water footprint measures the amount of water used to produce each of the goods and services we use. Water footprint can be calculated for individuals, households, businesses and countries. The water footprint of an individual refers to the sum of their direct and indirect freshwater use. The direct water use is the water used at home, the indirect water use relates to the total amount of freshwater used to produce the goods and services consumed. There are different water footprints: Blue Water Footprint: the amount of surface water and groundwater required to prooduce an item. Green Water Footprint: the amount of rainwater required to make an item. Grey Water Footprint: the amount of freshwater required to dillute the wastewater generated in manufacturein in order to maintain water quality.
A carbon footprint(ugljični/ugljikov otisak) is the amount of greenhouse gases—primarily carbondioxide—released into the atmosphere by a particular human activity, by actions done by individuals, families, nations. It is usually measured as tons of CO2 emitted per year. CO2 emissions are the amin cause of global warming and we must try to reduce them. We must try to reduce the footprint. We should walk and cycle whenever possible. We should travel by bus or train. We can carpool – when we go to work, take children to school,.. The most common way to reduce carbon footprint is to apply 4 Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Our students, Josip and Bruno, took a toy car, found other necessary parts and built a solar powered car.
"Down in the Dumps"
Down in the Dumps is a play about recycling. It was performed by pupils from OŠ Bartola Kašića, Vinkovci, in March 2019.
World water day 2019
World Water Day is celebrated every year on 22 March. It is organised to focuse attention on the importance of freshwater. Millions of people in the world do not have enough clean water for their needs. Human activity causes climate changes and lots of places lose water. Loss of waster causes problems to plants and animals. If wetlands disappear (marshes, ponds, deltas of rivers), natural habitiat of numerous plants and animals will disappear, too. We went on a trip to Kopački rit Nature Park.It is also called the European Amazon and it has been protected since 1967 due to its values as a rare ecosystem. It is on the list of Important Bird Areas (IBAs). By Banja lake we learned about the effect that climate changes have on plants and animals. Groups of pupils learned about Croatian rivers and went to the Drava and the Danube, which is the longest EU river. Pupils in grade 4 learned about the Adriatic Sea, rivers and lakes in Croatia and made a poster.
Our society relies heavily on fossil fuels, which pollute the environment. It is estimated that all sources of fossil fuels will disappear for about 30 years. We need to devote ourselves to the use of renewable energy sources: wind, sun and water. By using renewable sources we can reduce environmental pollution. We decided to make a windmill.
The second project meeting took place in Vinkovci from 17 March till 23 March 2019. Osnovna škola Bartola Kašića hosted 25 pupils and 11 teachers from 5 countries: Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands and Poland. The title of the meeting was “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. We had lots of acitvities: lessons in English, performance of the play “Down in the Dumps”, visits to companies, Red Cross, nature park Kopački rit, forests and learning about the history of our region.
Our society relies heavily on fossil fuels, which pollute the environment. It is estimated that all sources of fossil fuels will disappear for about 30 years. We need to devote ourselves to the use of renewable energy sources. By using renewable sources we can reduce environmental pollution. We decided to make a solar powered toy car.
Renewable energy sources are: energy of the sun, energy of the wind, energy of the water, geothermal energy, energy of the biomass. They can be used for heating of water and homes, schools and can be used for production of electrical energy. Some of advantages are: they are impossible to use up, they are renewable and better for the environment than unrenewable energy sources.
After an interesting lecture about endangered animals in December, Mr.sc. Pavao Dragičević, dipl. ing., expert from the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Natural Values in the Vukovar-Srijem County and his associate Mario Raguž on 10 January and 17 January 2019 held a lecture and a workshop for pupils in grades 5 ad 6 about animal species in the world endangered by climate changes that influence and destroy their natural habitats. The lecture is one of the activities of the Erasmus+ project Stop Climate Change – Together Europe Achieves More.
Seminar on climate changes and energy transition was organised by EKO Kvarner, a non-profit non-government organisation, and the City of Vinkovci. It was held on 17 and 18 January 2019. Seven teachers from Osnovna škola Bartola Kašića attended the forum on the importance of energy transition in the east of Croatia. Eko Kvarner, a non-profit NGO, was founded in 2003 in Krk. Its goals are mitigating the effects of climate changes by energy transition, transition from using fossil fuels to using renewable sources of energy which do not pullute the ennvironment.
On 6 December 2018 there was a lecture for all pupils of our school about safety at school. Mr Ivica Čutura, univ. spec. dipl. ing., from National Protection and Rescue Directorate (DUZS),informed pupils how to react and what to do in case of danger. Lots of dangerous situations are caused by climate change: floods, fires, extreme weateher – sudden storms, extreme heat, etc.
Mr.sc. Pavao Dragičević, dipl. ing., expert from the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Natural Values in the Vukovar-Srijem County, held on 6 December a lecture about endangered animal species in the world for the pupils of OŠ Bartola Kašića. The lecture is one of the activities of the Erasmus+ project Stop Climate Change – together Europe Achieves More.
The first short-term exchange of pupils in the project Stop Climate Change – Together Europe Achieves More took place in Greece from 21 till 27 October 2018. Teachers and pupils from Cholargos hosted 24 pupils and 12 teachers from partner countries. We went to the town hall where we were addressed by the mayor of Cholargos. Participants had lectures and workshops at the Center for renewable energy sources. At the Academy of Athens Christos Zeferos, a renowned scientist, explained climate changes to project participants. The whole group visited Vavrona wetlands. We also did lots of sightseeing: Museum of Acropolis, temples at Acropolis, Vavrona museum and Marathon museum.
Osnovna škola Bartola Kašića is the cooridnator of Erasmus+ project Stop climate change - Together Europe Achieves More. Opening ceremony was held on 16 October, headmistress presented the project and its aims to pupils, parents and representatives of local community. Gordana Maršić, project coordinator, talked about local activities, Learning, Teaching and Training Activities that will be organized in every partner country. Gordana Maršić, project coordinator, talked about local activities, Learning, Teaching and Training Activities that will be organized in every partner country. School chior performed some songs, pupils recited 5 poems in English and prepared PowerPoint presentation about partner countries and schools. We chose the best logo designs and pupils who created them were given prizes at Opening ceremony.
Climate refugees are people who are forced to leave their homes and regions because of changes to their local environment. There are 3 types of environmental migration: emergency migrants, environmental forced migrants, environmental motivated migrants. Number of climate refugees is constantly and rapidly growing. If global warming does not stop, experts say that Slavonia will become a desert very soon, in few decades. Agriculture will be impossible. Will we become climate refugees, too?
Since 2002 European Comission organises European Mobility Week from 16 till 22 September. This year the motto is “Mix and Move”: local authorities should organise public transport better and people should use alternatives to driving cars and go to work or school on foot, by bike, by bus,... There are lots of benefits: we save money, have cleaner air and better health. We joined in!
Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) is an annual plant native to North America. It was brought to Europe in the 19th century. It spreads very quickly and is a big public health problem in Croatia, especcialy in eastern parts. It is the most common cause of allergies. Pupils and teachers decided to eradicate ragweed growing close to school. Teacher Ivana Spajić showed them the plant and explained its impact on health.
Big campaign for cleaning the environment named Let’s do it! started in 2008 in Estonia. It was joined by lots of countries and now it is called World Cleanup Day. Croatia joined in 2012 and Croatian name is Zelena čistka – Let’s do it! Our school takes part in celaning the environment every year. Action was held on 15 September 2018.