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Slovakia’s First Year Engaged in The GLOBE Program – “Challenging Yet Inspiring”

A group of students in Slovakia experiencing GLOBE activities

In early 2020, the Minister of Environment of the Slovak Republic (Slovakia), László Sólymos, and, on behalf of NASA, the Honorable Bridget Brink, U.S. Ambassador (U.S. Embassy Bratislava), signed an agreement to implement The GLOBE Program in the Slovak Republic. The Daphne Institute of Applied Ecology now coordinates the effort in Slovakia.

Slovakia joined The GLOBE Program as the 123rd country during the strange pandemic times. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 virus did not spoil our joy of starting The GLOBE Program,” Barbora Michnova, who works with Daphne and is serving as the Slovakia Country Coordinator, said.

As we are a non-governmental organization, the first thing was to find funding to run the program. We were very lucky to communicate with the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava, who approved the first grant and continued their support in 2021.”

“We celebrated our great collaboration at a special webinar with NASA scientist Peter Falcon, where we all met together with U.S. Ambassador Bridget Brink and U.S. Embassy staff, teachers, and students from our GLOBE schools – and a special guest: our new Minister of Environment Ján Budaj. It was a very inspiring webinar for all of us, and the chance to communicate directly with a NASA scientist was very much appreciated by teachers and students,” Michnova said.

Welcoming Slovakia into the program, Ján Budaj said, “I am very proud that the 25-year-long journey towards signing the GLOBE memorandum has finally been successful! It was one of the greatest milestones I achieved since working at the Ministry of Environment.“

“It has been a long journey,” Jan Seffer, Director of the Daphne Institute of Applied Ecology, said. “We thank all the individuals and organizations who have patiently sought to get involved in The GLOBE Program, especially to Juraj Svajda, Matej Bel University, and Richard Medal, Network of Environmental Organizations Spirala.”

A group of students in Slovakia experiencing GLOBE activities

“We started the program with an introductory online seminar in September 2020, with 17 schools and educational centres from all around Slovakia. From the beginning, we aimed to be helpful for teachers and guide them in the program, which was completely new to them,” Michnova said. “For this reason, we established regular monthly webinars, where we give teachers presentations on GLOBE topics, as well as discuss their current measurements. We also organized our first GLOBE conference, which was a very pleasant online rehearsal to finish the school year in June. Students and teachers presented their GLOBE activities in presentations and videos and had a chance to discuss their work with experts from our Scientific Board.”

A group of students in Slovakia experiencing GLOBE activities

“As we spent most of the year under lockdown, establishing our own webpage ( was especially useful to provide teachers with essential online materials, activities, and other resources. The webpage, together with our Facebook, spread The GLOBE Program ideas not only to the teachers´ community but to the general public and authorities.”

“We are very happy that in Spring 2021 we involved in The GLOBE Program four  new schools with socially disadvantaged children,” Michnova said. “This was possible thanks to the funding of our COVID-19 project: ‘Nothing Can Stop Us in Exploring the Nature,’ from a private banking sector. In the project, we focused on Roma children from segregated communities. We trained their teachers in outdoor learning and IBSE methods; and provided schools with GLOBE manuals in the Slovak language and all necessary GLOBE equipment, as well as with laptops for distance learning and GLOBE data entry.

Two students measuring a tree

“We are very thankful to receive positive feedback from schools. One of the teachers, Monika Podolinská from primary school in Muránska Dlhá Lúka, wrote to us, saying: ‘Every single GLOBE activity broadened our knowledge, lead us to new responsibility, inspired us to other environmental actions, and above all, taught us the value of team work.;“
“This project, with Roma children, showed us that The GLOBE Program is a welcoming place for any curious child or teacher, and it is unimportant what their social background or scientific knowledge is. At GLOBE Slovakia, we would like to continue involving Roma students and their communities in the program. Our priority is to connect GLOBE with community science and to enhance solving local environmental issues by young GLOBE citizen scientists,” Michnova said.

“The story of GLOBE Slovakia is very inspiring for all the GLOBE community,” Dana Votápková, from the GLOBE Europe and Eurasia Regional Coordination Office, said. “After a long effort, they have become a GLOBE country, and despite the difficult situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, they managed to start the program perfectly. Big congratulation!” 



Star Story submitted by Dana Votápková, Europe and Eurasia Regional Coordination Office and Barbora Michnova, the Slovakia Country Coordinator.