The GLOBE Alumni International Network
Dana Votápková, Country Coordinator for GLOBE Czech Republic, made the statement at the 2005 GLOBE Annual Conference in Prague that the GLOBE Program not only captures the minds of students, but, also their hearts. When implemented fully, students are empowered to follow their call to make a difference in their communities. GLOBE, then, becomes the connector to a student's center of caring for their environment.
Feeling "switched off" from GLOBE, two students, Martin Pentson from Estonia and Tomaš Tunkl from the Czech Republic, have designed a way to extend the GLOBE family to those whom they call GLOBE veterans or "alumni". GLOBE alumni are mostly university students, students who have changed schools to non-GLOBE schools and students whose lead GLOBE teacher has moved and the program is currently non-functioning. Tomaš and Martin, with the aid of a group of students in Czech Republic and Estonia who were involved with the GLOBE Program, are joining together to form a non-governmental organization (NGO) for GLOBE Alumni.
This is truly a moment to celebrate; our students are taking their places at our side, embracing our vision, and sharing our mission. The enthusiasm and energy of these two young men is evidenced in the projects they have already initiated:
- The Outreach of GLOBE... The U.S. Embassy in Tallinn, Estonia, is financing this 18-month project in which Estonian GLOBE Alumni are organizing events filled with exciting and fun science and nature activities from GLOBE for children of non-GLOBE schools in Estonia.
- EEYYCCC: Environmental Education from Youth to Youth: Concepts, Connections and Cooperation... This project was hosted by Estonian GLOBE Alumni and supported by Czech GLOBE Veterans. Participants, environmentally aware students from Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Poland and Slovenia, met for six days to discuss and develop different methods, approaches, cross-curricular integration and ways to raise public awareness through environmental education for children. An interesting part of this youth-exchange was a two-day GLOBE tour to non-GLOBE schools interested in joining the GLOBE Program. GLOBE delegations met local students and teachers to gather baseline information. The Estonian students conducted a needs assessment for future trainings while the other students focused on possible cooperation and in finding new contacts among the schools. "This helped us successfully to lay the groundwork for international cooperation which in the long-term perspective will form the infrastructure for the international network of GLOBE Alumni," commented Tomaš Tunkl.
Hundreds of thousands of students, worldwide, have been touched by the GLOBE Program and have then moved on to other schools or toward their careers. GLOBE provided many of these students with a view of science that they might never have had otherwise. Perhaps some of these students have even changed their outlook on their future due to GLOBE. How many of these students would, even today, stand proud with Martin and Tomaš as GLOBE Alumni? We encourage GLOBE coordinators, teachers and administrators to facilitate connections among students in and from your partnerships in order to inspire similar alumni activities in your region as these young men have done.