CS4ESD

Project Partners

The CS4ESD consortium consists of 8 partners from high schools, universities, SMEs, NGOs and Local Authorities in Greece, the Basque Country (Spain) and Wales (UK). The tabs below displays all of the partners involved in the project and clicking on them with display some information about each partner, as well as links to their websites. The map at the bottom of the page displays the locations of each of the partners.

The University of Patras was founded in the city of Patras in 1964 and it began functioning in the Academic year 1966-67 as a public institution. The University of Patras is the third University of Greece from the point of view of the number of students, of its academic and administrative staff, as well as of the number of Faculties and Schools. It remains one of the best known Universities in Greece with great reputation among the International and European Scientific community that justifies the vision and mission of its establishment. It is one of the largest organizations for research & higher education in Greece. It. consists of 9 Schools & 38 Departments, covering the whole range of scientific disciplines.. The University of Patras is significantly active in research and has a reputation for quality and innovative research. The University’s research activity is supported by its policies for the promotion of excellence and the creation of the appropriate research environment.

The research team participating the project of the Faculty of Biology, Division of Plant Biology is active in the fields of plant diversity and biogeography, conservation biology, vegetation ecology, landscape ecology and spatial analysis. Biodiversity research is focused on the inventory of the flora and the conservation of species and habitat types, by describing and comprehending their spatial patterns and temporal turnover and the mechanisms driving these patterns. To this end we use both fieldwork, statistical analysis, and remote sensing tools. The application of our research is focused on the sustainable management of protected areas and the monitoring of biodiversity.

Our role and responsibilities on CS4ESD

In the framework of the CS4ESD project our team will work collaboratively with the other partners of the project across regions. We will participate in transnational project management meetings and in all aspects of project development. We will work collaboratively with schools and other partners to generate teacher training materials and with school staff and young learners to support the generation of curriculum specific educational materials to accompany the CS4ESD software.

Our research team role is to develop academic research reporting in a a scientific paper concerning Citizen science and Natura 2000 areas. We will research the contribution citizen science can make towards helping educate about and achieve the SDGs and document the pros and cons of using the UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) as a vehicle for SDG education related citizen science based research and development. Finally we will use the conclusions from the above to provide guidance to the rest of the consortium with the aim of maximising the usefulness of project outputs.

Links:
1. University of Patras
2. Department of Biology

Ysgol Bro Hyddgen is situated in the town of Machynlleth within Powys local authority. The school admits pupils to the primary department from four years old and admits pupils from other partner primary schools both within and beyond the local authority to the secondary department. There are 488 pupils on roll, 199 of whom are in the primary department and 289 in the secondary department. Ysgol Bro Hyddgen is a combination of two former schools, namely Ysgol Gynradd Machynlleth and Ysgol Bro Ddyfi. It was opened in September 2014. Sixty-two per cent (62%) of pupils come from non-Welsh speaking homes. Forty-four per cent (44%) of pupils speak Welsh fluently. Pupils are streamed linguistically, and one class in each year receives education through the medium of English. The leadership team includes the head teacher, deputy head teacher and assistant head teacher. Currently we are preparing to move the school onto one campus with the primary and secondary sector joining in September 2020.

Our challenge is to provide excellent teaching in our all through school (4-18 years old). We would like to visit other all age schools in Europe. We have already been to Finland, the X-P school in Doncaster, the Crammlington learning village near Newcastle and the John Cabot academy in Bristol. With the emergence of the Donaldson report and the Successful Futures agenda we are looking to create a new teaching strategy for the school. The main work that will be done is curriculum development and uniting two different campuses and staff. We have recently been accepted as a UNESCO school and we intend to bring the principles of UNESCO into our teaching. Currently we have teaching schemes where teachers work in groups of three where the plan, prepare, observe and evaluate each other’s lessons. Around half of our staff have been on the OLEVI Outstanding Teacher Programme, it is particularly effective because it is designed not only to support, challenge and grow teachers, support staff and leaders in their own professional development, but, by using the DR ICE collaborative learning model, to provide a framework to ensure improvement becomes ongoing and is organically sustainable.

In 1991, the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO) inaugurated the UNITWIN and UNESCO Chairs Programme at the 26th meeting of the UNESCO General Conference, to promote networks of universities and other ways in which the institutions of higher education may interrelate, with the main objective of guiding inter-university cooperation towards the needs of developing countries.

On 30 January 2002, the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) created its own Chair as the embryo of a future UNESCO Chair. In 2004 an agreement was signed among the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and UNESCO-United Nations for creating the UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Development and Environmental Education within the framework of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve.

The Chair has set itself the challenge to step up research and specialized studies on Sustainability and Environmental Education from an interdisciplinary perspective, encompassing natural and social sciences. Our working methodology involves collaboration between the world of academia, social and political stakeholders, and society in general, as all activities are aimed at contributing to the solution of real problems.

The research projects are aimed at understanding and solving problems related to sustainable development in the Basque Country and particularly in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, the territory of which it is hoped will serve as an area for testing and demonstrating experiments. Scientific cooperation and the transfer of results and experiments related to sustainable development is also advocated through the Chairs Network and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, both run by UNESCO, as well as other academic and scientific networks.

The main aim of the Chair is to create a new unit to encourage applied research, teaching, and specialist surveys on topics relating to Sustainable Development and Environmental Education, from an inter-disciplinary viewpoint examining natural sciences, and also social sciences and techniques. Research and other activities promoted by the Chair are focused on understanding and resolution of problems related to sustainable development in the Basque Country, specially in Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, a region pretended to be reference site for experience essays and demonstrations. Transmission of knowledge and research results on these topics to general society, to competent administration and to implicated stakeholders is aspect in which the Chair would like to influence.

The Chair also intends to promote scientific cooperation and tranference of results and experiences on sustainable development through Chair and Biosphere Reserve networks, both belonging to UNESCO, and through other network to which University and its researchers belong. The Chair collaborates with different public institutions such as the Basque Government, the County councils, townhalls, companies etc.

Our Role and Responsibilities on CS4ESD

Led by the Director of the UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Development and Environmental Education, the University of the Basque Country (EHU) will lead in providing the scientific foundation for CS4ESD. Focussing on the Urdaibai BR, EHU will work with the INGURUGELA environmental education centre and the school Sagrado Corazón Ikastetxea (located in the BR). INGURUGELA works with many schools and will contribute towards ensuring outputs have broad applicability and are sustainable. Moreover, liaised with the pools of expertise in the 3 countries EHU will participate, review and assess the current status of citizen science (CS) in respect of education in sustainable development in the context of the CS contribution towards the UN’s SDG’s. In this way, EHU will help to generate knowledge on how citizen science can be applied in the service of education in sustainable development using the UN’s SDG’s as the focus.
At the same time, EHU will make recommendations to the CS4ESD consortium on how our specific technical and educational contribution may be maximised.

The EHU will be involved also in:
• Scientific papers assessing the status of citizen science in the context of education and the SDGs. The CS4ESD contribution.
• CS4ESD related teacher training and educational materials in Basque and Spanish tailored to the national curriculum.
• A case study showing the use of CS4ESD by Sagrado Corazón Ikastetxea in the Urdaibai BR. This will include a report on a school exchange visit with children from Wales and Greece visiting the Urdaibai.

For more information go to the EHU website.

Arsakeio Lyceum of Patras is one of many schools which belong to the Society for the Promotion of Education and Learning (called Filekpedeftiki Etaireia), founded in 1836 and is a public non-profitable welfare foundation. The premises of Arsakeio Lyceum of Patras combine the very best of environmental and building specifications. The lessons take place in modern classrooms equipped with interactive whiteboards. 

There are three laboratories of Physics, Chemistry and Biology fully equipped with the most contemporary arrangements, instruments, teaching visual aids, computers connected to the Internet, slides, projectors, printers etc. Students and teachers can also use a library, a Computer laboratory and also “The Sciences Centre”. The Sciences Centre, after its official inauguration in December 2009, addresses students, teachers, as well as anyone wishing to be informed about a variety of scientific and educational issues. Students of Secondary Education have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with Sciences through educational activities of CES, which are complementary to the educational process. Last but not least, it offers teachers the opportunity to be acquainted with methods of immediate approach of the scientific notions taught in class.

The exceptional successes of its students sitting for the General Exams prove the high standard of the education offered by the Arsakeia Schools. But it is not only the teaching process. The students are impelled to participate in National individual competitions concerning lessons such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, in student conferences such as MUN (Model United Nations) or even in group competitions such as “F1 in schools” and “Young Entrepreneurship”.

Finally, many students participate in Summer Schools which are organised by Arsakeio Lyceum of Patras in cooperation with several departments of the University of Patras as well as the Joint Research Centre.

Arsakeio Lyceum of Patra organises very important events such as:

  • International conferences (ATSMUN)
  • Seminars in digital skills
  • Summer schools in collaboration with departments of the University of Patras
  • Entrepreneurship forums

Utilising our school experience gained from past environmental programs, the role of our students in the CS4ESD program is summarised in the following:

  • Actively develop their digital competence and skills by contributing to, thoroughly testing and validating all aspects of the CS4ESD software.
  • Inform development of the platform and maximise educational opportunities.
  • Seek ways in which the web platform can be modified to be age specific and relevant to 21st Century education.
  • Contribute to the country specific case studies illustrating the use of the CS4ESD platform within the context of the WNBR. There will be case studies from all participating schools including extensive reports on the student exchange visits to the Biosphere Reserves in each region.
  • Participate in student exchange opportunities.
  • Work with partners across sectors locally to drive the project forward.
  • Participate in dissemination opportunities in order to widen participation locally, nationally and internationally.

 Our school is placed in the protected biosphere of Urdaibai. The surrounding countryside is occupied by meadowland, oak groves, leafy woods and specially by plantations of fast-growing conifers (Pinus radiata). Surf and other water sports are prominent in the area, especially in Mundaka and Bakio. Mundaka is well renowned worldwide for its quality of its left wave. The quality of the water in the area has increased radically thanks to a new purifying plant; a modern infrastructure which uses the latest technology, such as ultraviolet light to add an extra level of purification.

The mountainous area is interconnected through trekking paths, suitable for walking, biking and footing. The longest one connects the two main towns of Urdaibai: Gernika and Bermeo. At about 20 km from our town Bermeo is the capital city Bilbao, a renown place for its transformation. Bilbao is today a post-industrial city where it is quite common to see a crowd of tourists by the river bank near the Guggenheim Museum.

Our school is committed with Agenda 21, being involved in a variety of activities to preserve the environment. On the one hand, the canteen menu is mainly composed of biological products produced by local farmers (40%). On the other hand, the paper and plastic containers used in our daily work are recycled or reused. Also, our Txoko Berdea (green corner) develops a range of activities to promote ecology related projects.

We have been working hard on robotics and programming. Starting with children aged 6 and of course also including our secondary students. We have taken part on a world wide tournament FLL (First Lego League) with good results. We are also always active in new STEM projects and we try to spread that culture among our students. All our teachers have been trained in acquisition of new methodologies such as visible thinking and cooperative learning to adapt our teaching process to the new era of technological advances. Our school has been working for 12 years now. All these years we have worked on several topics, trying to get different goals each and every year. All the students and staff and even some volunteer parents are involved in this project. We were given the Agenda 21 award six years ago and it was two years ago when we renewed it.

A white flag has been waving since then in our school as a sign of a school committed with the environment and sustainability. We have also taken part in this year’s European Confint, held in Portugal in May 2018. Considering all these things, we will take care of creating new and attractive didactic units for the CS4ESD project and we will take care of testing and providing feedback through the new application to be used by both students and teachers.

Geo Smart Decisions is a dynamic GIS and remote sensing consultancy company based in the Dyfi Biosphere, Wales. We provide expert spatial data mapping, management, and analysis services to clients across the globe. Our experienced analysts use scientifically proven methods and techniques to analyse vector and raster data; ranging from optical and radar satellite imagery, to UAV and aerial datasets.

We are passionate about making our world a better place and therefore our aim is to provide high quality geospatial data and mapping that will inform well-founded decision making that contributes to global sustainable development goals and activities to better our world.

Geo Smart Decisions is heavily involved in the technological aspects of the CS4ESD project. They work with all the partners to design and develop the CS4ESD platform, as well as the creating the accompanying platform training materials and technical documentation. 

Cardiff City Council has run over 20 projects through Erasmus+ and its predecessor programme (Comenius) for over eight years. These programmes have helped Welsh schools to meet their national and international priorities. They have also impacted directly on teaching and learning; developing skills amongst pupils, school staff and communities. Consequently, standards in Welsh schools and global understanding amongst project participants have increased.

Projects have covered a broad range of topics, from gender equality to literacy in home languages. Many projects focus on CPD, on issues such as additional learning needs education, parental education and inclusion. And the story continues for City of Cardiff Council as it has just received Erasmus+ funding to run a further four projects looking at a new range of demanding and diverse topics, from robotics to well-being in schools.

Cardiff City Council’s International School Linking department is the coordinating organisation for the CS4ESD project and maintains frequent communication
between all partner organisations, locally and in partner countries, to ensure consistency and efficient time management throughout the life of the project.

For more information on the International School Linking department of Cardiff City Council, visit this webpage.

CAT is an educational charity dedicated to researching and communicating positive solutions for environmental change. Their mission is to inspire, inform and enable people to achieve practical solutions for sustainability. They speak to government and campaigners about policies that would help create a zero carbon Britain. CAT works to: train students in all aspects of sustainability, help schoolchildren to understand the importance of action on climate, and give advice to householders on what they can do in their own homes.

CAT has its own graduate school which aims to inspire change-makers to take action for a sustainable future. Their postgraduate courses revolve around sustainability in many different applications such as food, natural resources, ecology, energy and building design. The courses provide a big-picture, integrated approach to sustainability.

In the CS4ESD project CAT will help advise the development of the web platform to be suitable for use within education – that the front-end of the platform offers user friendly and age specific tools for young people. They are also involved in developing the educational training resources for the project.

To find out more about the organisation, visit their official website.

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