GLOBE Alumni in Estonia Lead 13th GLOBE Games & Expedition
On Monday, 2 August 2010, the GLOBE community attending the 14th GLOBE Annual Partner Meeting and Professional Development Workshop in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, received a special surprise. GLOBE Estonia Country Coordinator Dr. Kaido Reivelt and Estonian GLOBE Alumni Janno Jõgeva and Laura Altin linked to the conference through Skype to talk about their 13th Annual GLOBE Games & Expedition Event taking place at the same time! Reivelt and his assistant, Mr. Karli Kütt, also a former GLOBE student and graduate student with a degree in physics, planned the overall event. The GLOBE Estonia team, together with all participants at the event, took a few minutes to say hello to the Calgary meeting attendees and described the activities taking place in Jäneda, a small village in Northern Estonia rich with nature and diverse scenery.
Different destinations in Estonia are chosen for each expedition to allow students the opportunity to study various landscapes and ecosystems. The varied geographic features of Jäneda grant scientists and top ranking students the ability to explore different GLOBE Protocols, learn new concepts, and develop study skills. This year, 27 GLOBE Schools, 120 GLOBE Students, 30 GLOBE Teachers, and more than 10 scientists from universities in Estonia as well as abroad were in attendance. Other guests included United States Ambassador Michael Polt, representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn, Estonia local community leaders, and guests from France and Germany.
During the event, students conducted GLOBE Protocols and worked with scientists to learn new measurement and observation techniques. Teachers engaged in refresher courses to improve their knowledge of GLOBE Protocols and began new measurement campaigns, including the measurement of aerosols and black carbons. In addition, there were small learning expeditions in the field, GLOBE Games, and environmentally themed role-playing to learn about the local culture and nature. Additional workshop study areas included: Aerosols, Atmosphere, Biometrics, Biota, Energy, GPS, Hydrology, Landscape, Mapping, Measurement Methods, and Soil Protocols, as well as the CloudSat Project, which was recently highlighted at the 14th GLOBE Annual Meeting in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The primary goal of the Estonia GLOBE Games & Expedition is to connect students, teachers, and scientists from different fields in order to learn new skills, share experiences, and study local environments. As a result of this event, there are now more GLOBE certified teachers as well as new GLOBE students and former GLOBE students working together to learn from the scientific measurement methods and protocols employed during the event. The expedition also raised awareness of the local community and families of GLOBE students about environmental issues.
Highlighted Estonian School: Since 1999, Tääksi Basic School in Viljandimaa, Estonia maintains a vital part of the GLOBE community. The school's teachers and students remain truly dedicated to research and discovery, as well as contributing their findings to the worldwide GLOBE database. Tääksi began using Atmosphere Protocols in March 2001 and later incorporated Hydrology Protocols in 2003. They continued to broaden their study areas by measuring Soil Temperature from 2004-2006. In May 2007, the school registered an International Polar Year (IPY) project entitled: An Investigation of Environmental Pollutants in Fish Worldwide; they sent fish samples for testing, measured surface temperature, and submitted results. Tääksi students enjoy outdoor protocols where they gather plants in order to make observations about buds, leaves, and trees. Students also learn how Freshwater Macroinvertebrates are adapted for life in water by collecting aquatic organisms from Tääksi Lake with landing nets and observing their physical attributes and behaviors. For the school's 5th Annual Conference, students prepared research comparing Estonia's climate with climates in other countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Cameroon, Italy, Norway, and Thailand.
Mrs. Tiiu Ehrenpreis, GLOBE Teacher in Tääksi Basic School, attended numerous training workshops, including one in Lithuania in 2004, one in Fairbanks in 2007, and a conference in Warsaw in 2008. After becoming trained in Tree and Shrub Green-Up Protocols, Henno led her class in the study of a birch tree near the school by visiting the site twice a week to record observations. In September 2007, she conducted a Green-Down study with her class. In addition, the class took observations in 2007 and 2008 about ice cover over Tääksi Lake. In October 2007, at the Estonian GLOBE Teachers meeting, Mrs. Henno provided a workshop for teachers and introduced Freshwater Ice Phenology Break-Up and Freeze-Up Protocols. Tääksi School Principal Jaan Hansen and GLOBE Teacher Tiiu Ehrenpreis also provide a great amount of support to GLOBE Program activities on campus. Multiple Tääksi School GLOBE participants took part in Estonian summer camps since 2001. In September 2008, six students took part in the "Join the nature" project in the Czech Republic. Estonia is actively implementing GLOBE and promoting science education at all levels.
Prior to the 13th Estonian GLOBE Games and Expedition, the International Council of Associations for Science Education (ICASE) 2010 World Conference on Science and Technology Education took place in Tartu, Estonia, on 28 June – 2 July 2010, and the GLOBE Program was a highlighted segment during this event. ICASE was established in 1973 to extend and improve science education for children and young people throughout the world. Today, ICASE is a large network of science education associations, institutions, foundations, and companies, facilitating communication and cooperation at the regional and international level. Among other highlighted contributors, one day of the event focused entirely on GLOBE implementation. The GLOBE mission aligns with the conference theme, "Innovation in Science and Technology Education". As countries move along the path of development, education is a key factor in promoting meaningful progress.
Many thanks to the Ministry of Education in Estonia, including former GLOBE Estonia Country Coordinator and current advisor to the Minister of Education and Research Mrs.Ülle Kikas, and to Mrs. Imbi Henno, Primary Examiner in the Ministry of Education, for their constant support and encouragement of GLOBE in Estonia.
Also, visit Swiss GLOBE Teacher Markus Eugster's Seasons and Biomes website and read the students' blog on GLOBE activities.
11 August 2010
Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers