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GLOBE Latvia Increases Student Enthusiasm with Music and Games

GLOBE Latvia is a close-knit community that grows and improves each and every year. The network is currently comprised of 19 schools, with 28 teachers, some of which have been with GLOBE since 1998. In addition to incorporating GLOBE Protocols into daily lessons, Latvian schools aim to periodically organize unique and fun educational events in order to spark student interest and maintain their attentiveness.

From 6-11 July 2010, GLOBE students participated in the National Song and Dance Festival, held in the capital city of Riga. Latvian folksongs, "dainas," are a very important part of Latvian culture and history, generally reflecting themes of life, love, world order, and the important rites of passage surrounding life and death. Choirs, dance groups, bands, and orchestras gathered at this event to express these themes through song and dance performance. Four GLOBE schools organized a GLOBE exhibit at the festival: Rujiena Secondary School, Livanu Secondary School Number 1, Uzvara Secondary School, and Talsi Gimnasium.

Approximately 30,000 students from all around Latvia participated in the GLOBE education workshop in Vermane Park, in conjunction with the Song and Dance Festival. Students conducted environmental activities, experiments, and games adapted from GLOBE Protocols. Festival guests measured the pH of various drinks including mineral water and cola, searched for plants in the park using GLOBE plant color charts, worked cloud puzzles and then identified the cloud type using GLOBE Cloud Charts, painted pictures using soil and water, and followed a treasure hunt guided by GPS coordinates. Country Coordinator Inese Liepina stated, "both the students and guests showed great interest and enthusiasm!"

Latvia traditionally organizes one week long GLOBE Learning Expedition each summer. Due to limited funding, a one day event was organized at Skriveri Secondary School in lieu of the 2010 expedition. Teachers and students from nine GLOBE Schools presented their work and participated in eight different learning activities designed by GLOBE teachers. The consensus among the GLOBE Latvia community is that they would like to continue this new tradition in coming years!

When Latvia became the 80th country to join GLOBE in 1999, Ambassador James Homes stated, "Fresh water, clean air -- nothing can be more important to the future of Latvia's children, or America's children. And there can be no better way to increase environmental awareness and children's excitement in learning about science than through a program like this. By linking children of the world together on issues of such crucial importance to us all, GLOBE, and Latvia's young people, are promoting mutual understanding and making this a more peaceful world."

Since that time, Latvia has become an integral part of the program, reporting more than 50,000 data measurements to date. Thank you to all students, teachers and supporters of GLOBE in Latvia for ensuring that continued research contributions are shared with the Europe and Eurasia region and the worldwide GLOBE network.

Visit the GLOBE Latvia home page.

Learn about past student activities in Latvia:

25 April 2011