Conference News: June 30 - GLOBE in School


GLOBE cheers up the school days

People at the Utajärvi High School like to learn about the environment

"The past three years have given us a great deal of knowledge and expanded our perspective of seeing the environment", says Timo Pakonen, a teacher of biology and geography in the Utajärvi High School. The small town school with 270 students has taken part in the international GLOBE project, and the reception has been very enthusiastic.

Whole school knows the GLOBE

The school has been an active participant in the project - after all, the little town is situated in the wilderness in the heart of Finland, and the concern for nature plays a big role in the lives of the 3 600 inhabitants. The whole school has gotten to know the GLOBE: all students have made measurements and analyses of the atmosphere. The results are published weekly in the local newspaper, so the information is available for everyone in Utajärvi. In addition, there has been a national GLOBE seminar in Rokua, Utajärvi in 1997, where the teachers of the project discussed for example peat production and climate observation.

The Club Talvikki works with GLOBE enthusiasts

The school's environmental club, Talvikki, offers a good opportunity to work in the GLOBE project. The club members are students who want to deepen their knowledge of nature and global environmental issues. They have studied the influence of the greenhouse effect on Utajärvi in the future, and will present their research findings in the GLOBE Learning Expedition in Helsinki.

"It is nice to be a member of the Club Talvikki and in that way be a part of the GLOBE project", says Katri Kinnunen, a-16-year-old student. "It provides me fun and gripping activity. Among other things we have organized exhibitions and built a weather station for research to our schoolyard. I have gotten some very good friends, too." Participating in the GLOBE project has also influenced Katri's attitudes: She has begun to think more and more about how the things she does will affect the environment. Katri assures that project has done no harm to her other schoolwork: "It has been only beneficial, it has no defect at all!"

The teachers agree with Katri. Timo Pakonen says: "This is a very challenging project. Though it has taken a lot of my free time, being involved in the GLOBE has widened my way of thinking about the environment." The scientific results and the advanced research methods used in the project have amazed Mr. Pakonen: "Some of the new kinds of research methods were unknown in Finland before GLOBE." Mr. Pakonen has noticed other positive sides of the project as well: "The GLOBE activities can really cheer up the ordinary school days!"

Conference authors: Maria Alahuhta and Satu Kangas


ALEXANDROS - Greece's Captain Planet

Greek students try to create an awareness about Mother Earth

"I want to know what I can do to save the planet", exclaimed Nikos Perpinias, a-14-year-old-student from Greece. Nikos is one of the three students from the Secondary School of Tinos that have been studying the climate of the island. The students chose to study the climate of Tinos to raise the island from the shadow of island Myconos nearby.

"Everybody knows the Myconos, but the Tinos is much more interesting and more beautiful", describes Keanthis Vasdokas, GLOBE and physics teacher. They want people to understand the island and its weather better. "It doesn't rain often in Tinos, but there are many springs there, which is not very common", said Mr. Vasdokas. The students and their teacher feel that we all should not just observe and measure, but find those who are responsible for creating the pollution and do something about it.

Maria, Nikos and Elissavet enjoyed giving their presentation. They feel that it is important to share the knowledge they have with other people. The students want everyone to get involved with the GLOBE Program so they can see what is available and what can be done to save the environment. "It is very interesting to learn from the other students, too", said 15-year-old GLOBE students Maria Alikari and Elissavet Bali.

Competition on the Mediterranean

There are 24 schools in Greece that participate in GLOBE - or as the Greek call it, in ALEXANDROS - since late 1996. The Greek have named the GLOBE Program "ALEXANDROS" after Alexander the Great to comply with the spirit of education found in ancient Greece. The schools participating in the GLOBE Learning Expedition in Helsinki were selected following a national competition.

The Greek are holding an international competition regarding the Mediterranean environment for all participating GLOBE students in all five continents. The winning school of this competition will get a trip to Greece. Five other schools receive books and publications about Greece and the Aegean Sea.

Conference authors: Maria Alahuhta and Chelsey Caldwell


KidsGLOBE makes the Program available to all children

Money raised by singing and selling GLOBE products

"GLOBE is about kids. It is an opportunity to exchange cultures and bring people together", says Bryan Garcia enthusiastically, father of the KidsGLOBE. KidsGLOBE was established a year ago to provide needy international kids with scientific instruments required to participate in the GLOBE program. The project was inspired by a little girl named Byermed from Croatia whom Mr. Garcia met at a conference. Mr Garcia wanted to supply unfortunate kids from around the world with tools that could offer them equal opportunities in education. KidsGLOBE is a non-profitable corporation and it raises money by selling GLOBE products.

To maintain this project Mr Garcia works with six other people that he can talk to for advice. He and the others went through lots of paper work to get were they are now. In June 1997 they signed the memo of understanding of GLOBE and now the project is really coming to life, thanks to financial support from Darlene and John Zavalney and Anna and Jeffery Chin.

The sound of GLOBE

KidsGLOBE's latest idea which came from Martin Bosch was to make a CD about the GLOBE songs that are made in six different countries. The CD contains 18 songs sang by GLOBE students and their teachers. It is the result of international co-operation between educators and students. The cheerful music and the catchy lyrics tells what fun it is to be part of GLOBE. The official CD will be released at the end of July. The profits will go to buying computers, access to the Internet and scientific instruments. The makers have dedicated the Sounds of GLOBE to all, with hope.

Conference authors: Maria Alahuhta and Chelsey Caldwell