Stars and STEM Stories
Celebration of GLOBE Implementation in Switzerland
Switzerland first joined the GLOBE program on Earth Day, 22 April 1998, and currently, 133 Swiss schools contribute a massive amount of measurements to the GLOBE database and present their research findings to audiences consisting of fellow students, school alumni, and even local dignitaries. On Friday, 30 October 2009, GLOBE Switzerland recognized the constitutional efforts of twenty-six members of the GLOBE Swiss Team with an official association ceremony at the University of Berne. Representatives of the Swiss Academy of Sciences and delegates from various other teacher training and scientific universities attended this historic event. The willingness of these educators to support implementation and development of the program provides their GLOBE network with an official framework and opportunity for growth.
The ceremony was held in the cupola, the highest room at the university. Artistic decoration by Barbara Muzio-Pinz contributed to the GLOBE message through beauty and symbolism. Aesthetically, the room, with its visible metal construction, resembles a space ship. A glass opening at the top makes a connection to the sky, representing the weather and the universe. To incorporate elements of Earth and nature, a sphere made of liana and small branches were laid atop a ring of green ivy. Circles of colorful autumn leaves in dark red, light red, light yellow, and dark yellow amidst the brown of the wooden floor surrounded the sphere. The sphere of branches symbolized both the Earth and the leafless autumn trees. In the circles of fallen colorful leaves surrounding the sphere, each leaf in its uniqueness represents the multitude of Earth. The installation in its entirety acted as a powerful focal point of the association ceremony.
The circular arrangement of the tables, connected through the ring of ivy and decorated with brilliantly shining Chinese Lantern plants, symbolized the unification of the afternoon's participants. In the middle stands the autumnal globe, the fall world connected to the universe through the glass dome above. The beautiful decorations held several attributes reminiscent of GLOBE Switzerland‘s Phenology Project in September 2008, which explored relationships between climate and biological phenomena by studying the migration of birds, leaf coloration, and plant vegetation cycles.
Juliette Vogel, GLOBE Switzerland Country Coordinator, described the entire ceremony as "beautiful...from sky to Earth. It's under the roof of the main building of the University of Berne, with windows open to the sky. We wanted to have a symbol for Earth too, so the nature objects were placed on the floor." GLOBE Switzerland works to enhance dialogue between education and science in addition to guaranteeing the sustainable development of program content and curricula for all school levels. View this document on the GLOBE Swiss Web site for a full photo summary and a list of GLOBE Switzerland Constitution members.
GLOBE Switzerland is grateful to those who contributed greatly to the success of this event, which would not have been possible without the financial support of the Federal Office of Environment and the sponsorship of Swisscom. GLOBE appreciates the participation of Christopher Buck of the U.S. Embassy Bern and the wonderful video contribution of Matthijs Begheyn of the GLOBE Europe and Eurasia Regional Office. Mr. Begheyn expresses his hope that Switzerland's utilization of all available tools will inspire other GLOBE countries in Europe and around the world: "They have involved a lot of different parties and scientific institutes with their GLOBE program activities. It might be a good example that you can use to energize the GLOBE program in your country as well!"
Congratulations to all of GLOBE Switzerland's participants and supporters for this monumental occasion. Another milestone has been achieved to benefit GLOBE Swiss students!
3 December 2009