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April 22, 2021


Rivers in Spring, the event that since 2001, every year on a day around March 22, celebrates World Water Day, generally attracts 3000 and more people to the shores of the Mantua Lakes, including students, children, teachers and citizens involved in scientific laboratories on water and the environment, in artistic, theatrical, musical performances, etc., on excursions on foot, by bike, by motorboat and canoe, etc.

The school calls and the community responds" is the motto of the day, because it is the schools that promote, plan and manage the event in close collaboration with public bodies , environmental control and management agencies, environmental associations, companies and citizens. For the Mantuan school engaged in the study and defense of the environment with a view to sustainable development promoted by the 2030 Agenda, this is the best day of the year, which has now entered the Mantua school calendar. In addition to Mantua schools, schools from other cities (Milan, Brescia of the Lombardy Region) and from other Italian regions (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna) participate in the event, with a significant presence of GLOBE schools and universities and centers of Italian research.

From a local event in the early years, over time the event has taken on a national character and, with it, the visibility of the GLOBE Program has grown. Due to the lockdown imposed by the arrival of COVID, the 2020 event was canceled when everything was ready for a memorable edition. Great was the disappointment of students and teachers and of all those who had worked for months and could not have shared the products of their commitment with visitors! Overcoming the disappointment, we were consoled with the hope that in 2021, the pandemic passed or defeated , we would all go back to the Lakes together ...

Instead, in the fall of 2020 it was understood that the pandemic would not pass anytime soon. A virtual event was then the only possible choice. Virtuality, which seemed like a limitation imposed by the pandemic, soon turned into an opportunity: thanks to the potential of the web and digital platforms, the event, limited to the national sphere for 19 years, has turned into an international event, of to which the GLOBE Program was the centerpiece

The 21st edition of the event, the first virtual edition

Thus, on March 22, 2021, from 8:45 am to 6:00 pm, the First Virtual Edition of Rivers of Spring was broadcast.

Two national meetings on the Webex platform, a dense network of emails, the dissemination of the GLOBE ITALIA Newsletter, the use of Google Module and Drive to register subscriptions and to transfer videos, presentations and more, the publication of the news on the Newsletter of the Ministry of Education, the spreading of the invitation to all Italian regional and provincial school directions triggered an event that had never had so much resonance at national level, with the participation of schools in the South, Center and North of Italy.





The GLOBE Europe-Eurasia Region Coordination Office has spread the news internationally; this led to the event being joined by the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia, a group of girls from the High School at the Elementary School Banija, Karlovac, Croatia, and three groups of students with different activities doing head to the Chernivtsi Regional Ecology and Nature Center, Chernivtsi, Ukraine and the Chernivtsi City Ecology and Nature Center also in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, all realities operating within the perimeter of the GLOBE Program.

The international presence was strengthened by the greeting that Dana Votapkova and Bara Semerakova of GLOBE E-E RCO made at the opening of the event, by the intervention of Mr. Anthony Deaton, Consul for Press and Culture at the United States Consulate General in Milan and especially from the presentations of Mr. Peter Falcon and Dr. J.T. Reager of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, thanks to the privileged relationship that the GLOBE Program has with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


       Dana Votapkova                                                     Bara Semerakova

Other novelties characterized this extraordinary edition:

- we had to set up a Media Group of four people capable of managing the network and broadcasting videos and presentations;
- to have a broadband useful for ensuring the stability of communications, we asked for the collaboration of TEA Spa
, the multi-utility that manages the integrated water cycle in Mantua; this made available to the group its broadband computer network, two large rooms in its management building and expert IT staff who assisted three of the four members of the group;
- the fourth member worked from IS Fermi in Mantova (GLOBE School)
in support of the trio
- two representatives of the Italian Ministry of Education took part in the organizational meetings
- the Ministry of Education published the news of the event in its News of last March 3
- a representative of the Italian Ministry of Education
made a presentation at the event
- for the first time schools from central and southern Italy participated in the event
- for the first time we had two researchers from NASA's JPL


In the forecasting phase it was hypothesized that the event could be structured on two sessions, a two-hour Morning Session, mainly dedicated to the world of school, and an Afternoon Session also of two hours, of scientific communications for high school students, teachers and citizens. But the number of multimedia products received exceeded all expectations, more than 80 arrived; to welcome them all, the group was forced to increase the Morning Session to 4 hours and 35 minutes and to set up a PLUS Session, between the morning and afternoon sessions. The work of visualizing, categorizing and preparing the material received was enormous. To cope with all this work, the Multimedia Group and network management had to be strengthened, which worked for more than a month in conditions that were stressful to say the least.


The Morning Session was structured on four sections:

1. Biodiversity and environmental protection

2. Uses of water

3. Study, monitoring and analysis

4. Water management, climate change, school and territory.


The time available for each intervention had to be reduced, postponing the vision of the full version to the materials published on the You Tube channel of GLOBE Italia.

A brief comment on the materials received
All school levels were represented, with a strong prevalence of High Schools. Remarkable are the videos presented by the 6 Kindergartens of the Municipality of Mantova, united by the common matrix of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but differentiated by the different objectivessought among the 17 offered by the Agenda.


Agenda 2030 activities at Kindergatens in Mantova

The e-books of the Primary Schools of Bozzolo and Piubega are touching




The products of the three complexes of the Junior High Schools of Ceresara, Gazoldo degli Ippoliti and Piubega of the Comprehensive Institute of Ceresara are exceptional in size, variety of themes addressed and narrative and visual quality. In these schools almost all the classes (i.e. hundreds of students) were involved in the developed projects.

It would take too long to examine the individual products of the High Schools, ranging from Start Up proposals for the production of energy through biological fuel cells, to the development of APPs for reducing the quantity of domestic water, from chemical / bacteriological monitoring of water to testing of the Protocol for the Monitoring of Microplastics in the Po River, to the interaction with the community for the creation of Small Natural Parks to be transformed into Open Air classrooms, for the redevelopment of areas crossed by rivers and streams or for the landscape and cultural enhancement of waterways and the territories they cover, for the reduction of water consumption in agriculture or at home, etc.



A qualitative leap, a paradigm shift

In this wonderful kaleidoscope of images, sounds and visual and verbal testimonies that unfolded in the hours and hours of broadcasting, the leap in quality of the theory and practice of environmental education in European schools was plastically confirmed, a real change of paradigm.




The study and monitoring of the atmosphere are not only aimed at expanding one's knowledge and awareness of the functioning mechanisms of the spheres of the planet and their interdependence, but above all to modify with direct, concrete and visible actions, as far as is in the their possibilities, the environment in which they live, whether it is made up of classrooms, school courtyards, their homes, their waterways, parks, abandoned or uncultivated areas of their countries, etc.




And to modify their own behavior, the behavior of their companions, their parents, their community with effective information, communication and awareness actions.

Another aspect also emerged: the adoption by many schools of the objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, that this adoption was particularly strong among the teachers of the Preschools of the Municipality of Mantua was a real and happy surprise!



In the Plus Session (from 13:30 to 15:45) the following presentations were automatically viewed:





Unit operations models used in civil wastewater purification techniques by ARPA Lombardia


Interventions of the Civil Protection in environmental emergencies


Sports, recreational and environmental activities by Pro Loco “Amici di Rivalta” in the Mincio Valleys, a wetland of great naturalistic and landscape value


Sports, recreational and environmental activities by Pro Loco “Amici di Rivalta” in the Mincio Valleys, a wetland of great naturalistic and landscape value


MASK E RINA and the waters of Mantova (MASCHERINA in Italian means little mask); a representation on the relationship between with puppets of the Corniani theater company on climate change and their interaction with hydrogeological cycles.




The Scientific Session (4:00 to 6 p.m) is very relevant, with the greeting of Anthony Deaton, Consul for Press and Culture at the United States Consulate General in Milan and with high-level interventions by researchers from Italy, Europe and, in particular, from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California (USA).

Prof Marco Bartoli
University of Parma

Prof. Ass. Marco Bartoli, Department of Chemical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma carried out the presentation "Green Deal and ecosystem restoration: The secondary hydrographic network, an opportunity to restore biodiversity and ecosystem services on a large scale": according to Prof. Bartoli a positive effect on water quality could be obtained in rapid times by planting a macrophyte Vallisneria spiralis with surprising properties on the seabed of the secondary hydrographic network: it fixes the nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), breaks down pollutants, such as heavy metals, re-oxygenates the water, does not obstruct the flow of water.


Dr Mariano Bresciani

Dr. Mariano Bresciani and Dr. Monica Pinardi, of the Institute of Electromagnetic Detection of the Environment IREA, of the National Research Council of Milan, presented the report "Study of lakes through the eyes of satellite sensors: from the lakes of Mantua to all the lakes of the world ". For many years, Dr Bresciani and Dr Pinardi have used satellite images to study the state and evolution of the Mantova Lakes

Dr Monica Pinardi


Peter Falcon
JPL NASA (Pasadena, CA)

After showing the opportunities for schools to participate in GLOBE campaigns related to NASA satellite missions (aerosols, climate, precipitation, clouds, tree height, soil moisture), Peter Falcon, Earth Sciences Education and Communication Specialist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, examined the graphs obtained with the monitoring data of some schools, compared with those derived from satellites: the graphs are almost overlapping, demonstrating the rigor with which the schools have worked


Dr J.T. Reager
JPL NASA (Pasadena, CA)

With the presentation "Water Science at NASA: Measuring Earth's resources for life from outer space", Dr J.T. Reager touched on some aspects concerning water on the planet: its mass, its geographical distribution, the variations that the distribution on the planet will undergo due to climate change, and the consequences that such variations will have on populations, due to the negative synergistic effects due to the concomitant increase in the percentage of inhabitants of cities compared to those of the countryside. Dr Reager highlighted how difficult it is to search for underground water and, to the amazement of those present, he pointed out how the displacement of surface and underground water masses cause fluctuations in the gravitational field, which affects the distance between satellites and, consequently, as the variation of the distance between the satellites it is possible to obtain information on the displacements of the water masses


Dr Eugenio Gervasini
Joint Research Centre of the
European Commission ISPRA (VA)

With the presentation “Have you ever seen an alien? Citizen participation in the monitoring of invasive alien species " Dr Eugenio Gervasini of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission addressed the topic of the invasion of alien species in particular in the hydrosphere, caused by travel, transport, climate change, deplorable commercial practices related to the trafficking of exotic animals etc., but above all on the tools put in place by the European Commission for involving citizens on monitoring, including an app and the Massive Open Online Course for teachers


Dr Vieri Tarchiani
CNR-IBE in Florence

Dr Vieri Tarchiani, permanent researcher of the Institute for BioEconomy (IBE) of the CNR in Florence closed the speeches with the presentation "Water: risk and opportunity in the semi-arid environments of West Africa". Water management is one of the challenges for sustainable development in arid and semi-arid



climates. CNR-IBE has been involved for years in Research and Development, Training and Specialized Assistance programs on water management in sub-Saharan Africa. In his presentation, Dr. Tarchiani illustrates with graphics and images one of these programs implemented in Niger.



To access all the materials of the day, go to the page:

The sound cover of the event is launched automatically, which is iterative and therefore must be interrupted to consult the various sessions.


As mentioned, the Morning Session was divided into 4 Sections.

When you click on a Section, the direct Zoom recording of that section starts. If you want to review the original materials presented in the Section, stop recording and scroll through the titles on the page.
Follow the same procedure for the other sections.


Section 2 – USES OF WATER




When you click on the link below the direct Zoom recording of that Session starts. If you want to review the original materials presented in the Session, stop recording and scroll through the titles on the page.

When you click on the link below the direct Zoom recording of that Session starts. If you want to review the original materials presented in the Session, stop recording and scroll through the titles on the page.




Section 1 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
S106 - Chernivtsi Regional Ecology and Nature Center - Chernivtsi - Ukraine , We explore the reservoirs of
(by Larisa Khlus)

S107 - Chernivtsi City Ecology and Nature Center - Chernivtsi - Ukraine , Research of the phenomenon of eutrophication of water bodies (video) (Vladislav Bjordov student)

S108 - Chernivtsi Regional Ecology and Nature Center - Chernivtsi - Ukraine , Ucraina students save water (video) (by Tetiana Cheban)

Section 2 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E302 - University of Zagabria, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology (video)
(by Dr. sc. Mirela Sertic Peric, Assistant Professor)

S303 - Elementary School "Banija" - Karlovac - Croatia,Kupa river: measurements of physical and chemical parameters (video) (Marina, Magdalena, Vita and Marta + Ankica Veseljić GLOBE Teacher)


P101 - Deakin University, An accessible Microplastics Monitoring Protocol (by A/Professor Alessandra Sutti and Env. Eng. Stuart Robottom)



PETER FALCON, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA: The Relationship Between NASA and the GLOBE Program (English)
- Afternoon Session recording: 44:20 min
- Presentation in .ppt

JOHN T. REAGER, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA; Water Science at NASA, Measuring Earth’s resources for life from outer space (English)
- Afternoon Session recording: 59:00 min
- Presentation in .ppt


by Sandro Sutti and Lorella Rigonat

Sandro Cel. +39 333 805 4566 e-mail sandro.
Lorella Cel. +39 338 210 6828 e-mail rigolory

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News origin: Italy