A success story: ‘’Schools Open to Climate Protection and Energy Savings in Athens – Berlin’’

Thousands of students from 72 schools of the Municipality of Athens alongside with their teachers and parents expressed their commitment to climate protection participating in the project ‘’SCHOOLS OPEN TO CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY SAVINGS Athens – Berlin’’, a project supported by the European Climate Initiative. This commitment includes an integrated activity of information, education, training, awareness, research and provision of educational methodologies and tools which constitute the basis for future actions.

Published: 16 October 2020

The project lasted from October 2017 to January 2020 and aimed to the complicity of the school community in climate protection, reduction of the energy footprint of school buildings, raising students/teachers/parents awareness and knowledge in the subject of energy savings and climate protection.

This project used the existing experience as it emerges from environmental educational programs both in Greece and Germany. It also propelled a more comprehensive approach which is the basis for future continuation and expansion of the project in schools.

Institutions with various experiences and roles, from the two countries, collaborated in the project, adding their own know-how: The Municipality of Athens as coordinator, the social cooperative enterprise “Anemos Ananeosis /Wind of Renewal”, the German “Independent Institute for Environmental Issues / Unabhängiges Institut fur Umweltfragen’’ (UFU) and the German Citizen’s initiative “Respect for Greece”.

“Climate Schools Ath.Be” project methodology – educational guide is integrated and includes collaboration between different partners in a more coherent way, training of trainers and exchange of good practices, collaboration between Greek and German experts for the production of an educational material and a methodology based on different experiences in both countries, training of the researchers and practical use of the tools (material, tool-box with appliances, assistance to the teachers etc).

Greek and German trainers, who already had significant experience from similar projects, trained 20 experts and these trainers then trained 240 teachers, of whom 197 took an active role in their school. In total 72 primary, secondary and high schools in Athens, mainly, have supported their students in this program and posted the necessary ‘’testimonies’’ on the digital platform “moodle” which is accessible to all members of the educational community who want to implement similar actions in the future.

The students were informed, sensitized and turned into active researchers, surprising all the participants for their commitment and interest. The students, teachers and school units participated in a relevant research that evaluated the implementation and catered, with good practices and suggestions, the project’s final Action Plan for interventions in the school.

The project was a useful tool for intercultural education and inclusion of all the pupils, Greeks and the ones with migrant and refugee background, offering different roles and tasks to all of them based on their interest, skills and capacities, enhance the community building approach. Some students with learning difficulties or of different cultural background (eg refugees) were attracted by the special equipment and they showed great interest to participate more and take responsibilities (i.e become “responsible” to teach the rest of the class on the use of the instruments) or/and be active member of the team (intercultural dimension).

Students that participate on the project become ambassadors at their school for climate protection and climate action and they aware other students, their parents, the neighborhood.

You find the full article, lessons learned and tools for further action from the project here.