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European School Students Work with Experts to Do Science in the City

An exciting new EU Horizon project has started this year where school students work with experts to explore the science behind cities as urban ecosystems.

Climate Change and Environment

School students across Europe are beginning an exciting new project this academic year where they will work with experts, including those in their communities, to explore the science behind cities as ecosystems. The EU Horizon funded project is called PULCHRA and it is using an approach called ‘open schooling’, where schools, in cooperation with other stakeholders, become an agent of community well-being. At the same time, families are encouraged to become real partners in school life and activities, whereas professionals from enterprises and civil and wider society are involved in bringing real-life projects to the classroom. The project aims to develop knowledgeable, innovative, and participatory communities. Schools will as a result be much more active in their community’s well-being. Constantinos Cartalis, PULCHRA Coordinator and Professor of Environmental Physics from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens said, “Twelve partners from ten EU Member States, representing European universities, small and medium-sized enterprises, NGOs, and research institutes are organising the project around the theme “Cities as urban ecosystems”. So far, over 50 schools are involved with this pioneering project. Schools by doing science together with the PULCHRA partners, can realise the potential for scientific methods and knowledge to benefit society and improve quality of life.” Anthony Purcell, from An Taisce Environmental Education Unit, one of the ten project partners, said, “The participants will be working on different ‘City Challenges’ that have been developed in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. These include exploring areas such as urban climate, clean energy, green buildings, nature based solutions and healthy urban spaces, sustainable mobility, the circular economy, and technology for sustainable development. Science teams are made up of students, teachers, experts from Universities and research centers, businesses, local authorities, parents, and other members of the community, who will work on these challenges outdoors and on an online platform.”

Keywords

Sustainable development, Environment, Urban, Ecosystem, Sustainable Development Goals, Education, Open Schooling, Community, Climate Change, Pollution, Mobility, Energy, Circular Economy, Health, Nature, Green Buildings