For some species, time on planet Earth is running out. Human beings are the greatest threat to the survival of endangered species with poaching, habitat destruction and the effects of climate change causing a lot of the problems.
Our planet is getting warmer. The threat of climate change is real, and our dependence on fossil fuels is the biggest contributor. Unless we make some radical changes, global temperatures will continue to rise and it will have severe consequences for animals.
As part of the Erasmus+ project „Stop climate change – together Europe achieves more“ we organised an Erasmus day and science fair at our school. Students, parents and people from the local community came to visit our school on this day. On this day we showed the visitors what we have been working on the past year and we did some climate based experiments. We hope we raised awareness for the climate among the visitors.
Every year we tackle energy waste with the largest climate action in the Netherlands: Warm Sweater Day. Together we offer a celebration of climate solutions for everyone. On Friday, February 7, 2020, we have celebrated the 14th Warm Sweater Day in our country! We turned the heating down, put on an extra warm sweater and saved 6% energy and CO2 per degree. If the whole of the Netherlands burns 1 degree lower on 1 day, we would save 6.3 million kilos of CO2! If we do that for a whole heating season, we will save no less than 1 megaton of CO2!
Our students investigated were and how the sustainability of Roermond can be improved and bundled their ideas. Our students made banners with drawings and catchy slogans. We organised a climate march in order to raise more awareness about the climate, sustainability and climate change. We walked from our school to the city Hall, which takes about 30 minutes. At the City Hall we presented our ideas to the counsellor of Roermond, Rens Evers.
Water Board Company Limburg is a subsidiary of Water Board Limburg and has 17 sewage treatment plants throughout the province of Limburg. Annually, a total of around 150 million m³ of waste water is treated here. This waste water comes from Limburg households and companies that are connected to the transport sewer. Everyone uses around 130 liters of water every day. To shower, flush the toilet, do the dishes, etc. Companies also use and pollute water. All that wastewater from Limburg households and businesses disappears into the sewer and is transported to one of the 17 sewage treatment plants of Water Board Company Limburg to be purified. The purified waste water is discharged into surface water. The water contains poo and pee, but also soap scum, hair, sand, toilet paper, medicines, food rests and lots of other stuff that doesn’t belong there. To clean this water some (4) steps have to be taken.
Bulky waste disposal: Great things such as diapers, toys, cans, everything bigger than a green pea, is removed from the wastewater with the help of grids (sieve).
Pre-sink: The heavier particles such as sand, food waste and poop waste fall to the bottom in the pre-settling tank. The lighter particles such as fats and oils that float upwards. All light particles are skimmed off with the sweeping arm on top. These particles are brought to the sludge fermentation. Everything that sinks to the bottom is called sludge.
Biological cleansing: Bacteria, active sludge, eat small organic dirt.
After-sink: The activated sludge is separated from the purified water in the settling tank. The activated sludge sinks to the bottom. The purified water is then ready to return to nature as surface water.
With the help of yeast, the organic waste in the sludge is further broken down and converted into biogas. This biogas is used to provide the sewage treatment plant with electricity and heat. Due to this process energy will not get lost.
The students have become aware that they use a lot of water per person. Together we talked about ways to reduce this water consumption.
The ecological footprint measures human demand on nature, that is the quantity of nature it takes to support people or an economy. It tracks this demand through an ecological accounting system. The accounts contrast the biologically productive area people use for their consumption to the biologically productive area available within a region or the world. In short, it is a measure of human impact on Earth’s ecosystem and reveals the dependence of the human economy on natural capital.
The base is that any consumption can be converted into an area that is needed for its production. This makes it possible to compare the environmental impact of different consumption behaviour (lifestyles) or of different population groups (countries) with each other. As this measure also works with a usable area limit, the footprint also indicates to what extent the regenerative capacity of a certain productive area, or of the earth as a whole, is affected. For example, the footprint can be useful as an indicator for the sustainability of certain consumption patterns.
The figure below shows the global map of ecological footprint. As you can see The Netherlands score very high, which in this case is not a good thing.
Climate game 2019 Our students created a game about climate change. They made a memory game were you should match sentences or pictures with the correct illustrations and vocabulary words. Definitions related to climate change and the effects of climate change help students explore this problem.
Climate games 2020 More games were made during the second project year. The students made some board games where climate based questions must be answered.
Invasive alien animals and plant species
Climate change has an impact on which species are potentially invasive in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. "It ensures that species will probably do so in fifty years, but also that the species that now pose a threat will no longer do so in fifty years. There are examples of species that now cannot survive in the Netherlands because of the cold winters, but this because of the global warming and evolutionary adaptations can be achieved in fifty years. " Invasive exotics threaten native biodiversity. Worldwide, biological invasions by exotic species are considered to be one of the most important current threats to biodiversity. They can upset the natural balance in several ways.
they compete with native species
they eat indigenous species
they infect native species
due to genetic mixing, characteristics of native (sub) species disappear
In addition to ecological damage, economic damage can also occur. Overgrown invasive aquatic plants can cause locks to become denser and impede the drainage of water, giant balm causes erosion, invasive geese cause the destruction of agricultural crops and over-fertilization of land.
The Dutch students had an excursion to a zoo where they explained about the impact of invasive alien animal and plant species.
Plastic is a material that more and more products are made of nowadays. Overall it is cheap, light and strong. But it is made of fossil fuels. Bioplastic is the name given to plastic made from natural products, such as starch extracted from potatoes or corn, or from cellulose. The students made bioplastic using 4 different recipes using starch and glycerol. They colored it with food coloring.
Birds nest where there is sufficient food supply and nesting opportunities. Our mostly tidy landscapes, petrified residences and sterile gardens do not offer enough food and natural nesting places. It is therefore important to create as many living options for birds around your house as possible. If there are green spaces, hedges, orchards and streets with high and old trees in the vicinity of your house, then it is important to maintain them in a sustainable way. The birds which uses birdhouses in the Netherlands are mostly great tits, blue tits, ring sparrows, starlings, house sparrows and some more. They all want specific bird houses. Different distance from the ground, different distance from another birdhouse and a different size of fly hole. Our students started making moodboard to put their ideas on paper and/or get more inspiration. They searched for information on what a good birdhouse has to have. Before making the definite birdhouse out of wood they first made a prototype of paper.
We all have stuff that no longer serves any purpose around the house, but we still have trouble getting rid of it. But if you’re creative enough, you can solve this problem with some repurposing ideas. In our school there was a contest for the best reusing idea. The students made presentations about their ideas and carried out them out. They came up with several solutions to reuse and recycle things.
World bee day
As part of our Erasmus project we visited local beekeepers on world bee day. We learned about the importance of bees, the way bees live, how the beekeepers grow bees and how they make honey.
Consider all of the different “things” you use in your daily life. What you eat for breakfast, the clothes you wear, the desks in the classroom, the car you drive to school—they all come from earth’s resources. They’re powered and transported by earth’s resources, too. An environmental footprint is an annual measure of how much land and water it takes to provide the things we use and consume. In this activity, the students were focusing on the water and carbon components of their environmental footprint. It does not attempt to estimate a student’s total carbon or water footprint. Rather, it highlights the impact of certain key lifestyle choices, most of which students can take an active role in changing. Students did some research about the carbon and water footprint. The used “Nieuwstool” to share their findings. Research 1 Research 2Research 3
Global warming and greenhouse effect
Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history and experts see the trend is accelerating. Scientists say that unless we curb global-warming emissions, average temperatures could increase by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants and greenhouse gases collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that have bounced off the earth’s surface. Normally, this radiation would escape into space—but these pollutants, which can last for years to centuries in the atmosphere, trap the heat and cause the planet to get hotter. That's what's known as the greenhouse effect. Students studied the effect of global warming and greenhouse effect and made presentations. Climate change by Silvan Knarren on Prezi
Introduction to climate change
At the beginning of the project de Erasmus group participated in an introduction lesson about Climate change. They were asked questions about what they already knew about Climate Change and if there are visible changes due to climate change in their own township. They made presentations.
Lecture about climate refugees and corresponding health issues
On the 12th of march 2019 Nur Hidayati, professor in public health, visited our school and gave a lecture about climate refugees and corresponding health issues. During the lecture our students learned more about the climate change and the effects on different regions on earth, difference between a migrant and a refugee, the different kinds of refugees, the health issues different types of refugees deal with and what the climate refugees need. It was a very interactive lecture.
Clean up day Roermond
On the 27th of november 2018, our school organised a clean-up day. Students of BC Broekhin cleaned up the environment in the neighbourhood of our school. In this way we want to contribute to a cleaner world. Link for more photos.
In November 2018 our school invited Taskforce QRS Maastricht. The taskforce consists of doctors in training. They provide Reanimation education in schools. Students receive basic life support (BLS) training end learn how to use the AED (external defibrillator). The first level of care for a person in cardiac arrest. Students learn how to behave and how to help others in danger, also important during natural disasters due to climate change.
Opening Ceremony Erasmus+ project: Stop climate change – Together Europe Achieves more
On the 11th of October 2018 our school organised the openings ceremony for the project Stop climate change – Together Europe Achieves More. People involved in this project or interested were welcomed to the ceremony. They were informed about the project, its title, goals and activities and partners. Presentation
In September a logo contest was announced. The Erasmus group of BC Broekhin put effort in designing the logos. In our school the best logo won a price. “Don’t be a fool, use your muscle power to go to school”. Three logos were chosen to bring to Athens.