Author: M. Radman
How to bring children closer to seabirds and the threats they face? How to adapt these activities to children from kindergarten to older elementary school pupils?
These are the tasks that Sunce educators faced when preparing the educational program.
Webinar Seabirds and children – from unknown to guardians was organized on May 16, 2023 for 40 participants to introduce educational workers, employees of public institutions for the management of protected areas and representatives of relevant ministries with the designed educational program Seabirds as well as its activities.
Webinar consisted of two parts. In the introductory part, the Head of Department for Education and Information, Margita Radman, mag. biol. et oecol. presented the Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce, as well as the current ways of organizing educational activities in Sunce. The target groups for the implementation of the activity are kids such as preschool children or elementary school students up to high school students or students. The topics that Sunce deals with are the topics of responsible waste management, composting, sustainable student cooperatives, participatory methods, and through the LIFE Artina project and the topic of sea birds. In addition to educational activities, public events that Sunce has been conducting for years are also presented, and are most often organized on the occasion of the celebration of important environmental days (April 22, Planet Earth Day or September 22, Day without cars – Split Bicycle Race).
Public events held as part of this project are the Night of the Albatross in Lastovo, Listen to the Voice of Nature – organized by MINGOR and the exhibition of Seabirds in Lastovo and in Blato in elementary school, in the Fishing Museum in Komiža, as well as in the Natural History Museum in Split.
In the second part of the webinar, Associate Communicator Maja Golem, mag. educ. philol. Croatian and Mag. paed. presented the educational program Seabirds.
Due to the different ages that had to be included in the implementation of the educational program, Sunce designed three educational programs: 1) for kindergartens ) for lower grades of elementary school 3) for upper grades of elementary school. All programs and activities, used methods and duration were adapted to the target group. The programs were implemented for a total of 8 educational institutions:
- Island of Korčula: kindergarden Blato and Elementary school Blato
- Island of Vis: kindergarden Vis, Elementary school Vis, kindergarden Komiža and Elementary school Komiža
- Island of Lastovo: kindergarden Biser Lastova and Elementary School Braća Glumac
The program used a picturesque story with characters, games Bird fishing, Habitat reduction, What did my friend eat?, Bycatch game, 3D models of Yelkouan Shearwater, Scopoli’s shearwater and Audouin’s Gullwere made, participants learned about different bird sounds and took part in a quiz. A slightly older age kids participated in a clean-up and monitoring campaign at the local beach, bird watching or a trip to a nearby island.
One of the project activities was the research of the perceptions and attitudes of the target groups, that is, the monitoring of the socioeconomic impact of the implementation of the project. It turned out that at the end of the program, the children were familiar with different seabirds, their characteristics, as well as the threats.
In autumn, as one of the last educational activities within the project, a hands-on training for the implementation of educational programs for public institutions is planned.
After this webinar, we have only one more waiting for us on the topic of marine protected areas on June 6, 2023.