Public Educational Eco Tour for Learners of All Ages

Emanuel Agjoyan

In one of my previous articles I noted the importance of Ecological Education in the organization of public education, and how it is implemented in the Educomplex. The most important component and the most significant event in ecological education is the Public Educational Eco Tour, the international annual review of ecological projects. The aim of this article is to clarify the main directions of the participation of learners of different age groups, the suggested problems and perspectives for their solutions. 

The course “The Surrounding World and I” of the programme “Fun of Knowledge”, which is intended for Grades 1-3, comprises the following educational projects: “I and the People Surrounding Me”, “Safe Traffic”, “Our Yard”, “My Town”, “Armenia”, “The Earth”, “Space”, “Science”, “The Plants I am Taking Care Of”, “The Animals I am Taking Care Of”. At primary schools the learners of Grades 1-3 are implementing class and group “The Surrounding World and I” projects based on activities.

The main directions of these activities are as follows:

1.      The plants I am taking care of and the trees which I have planted. During the whole year the learners present the trees and plants they have planted and how they take care of them.

2.      Improvement of the environment: planting trees and cleaning work (this can be done with the high school learners )

3.      Making compost: the learners can take part in any stage of the project “School Compost”. For the learners of this age group collecting green waste is preferable.

4.      Managing class greenhouses: taking care of room plants.

The final results of the project are summarized in the blogs of primary school teachers.

The learners of Grades 4-5 present class and group practical projects which summarize the results of their science course. For the learners of this age group the projects based on activities are again very important. “Science” is one of the main courses in the curriculum for the learners of Grades 4-5. This is a project based course organized in the school greenhouse and in the animal caretakers’ laboratory.           

  The main directions of these activities are as follows:

1.    Our yard is a garden. For this age group out-door work is more preferable: planting trees, taking care of plants, irrigating trees.

2.    Improving the environment. Work on improvement of environment for this age group includes the whole school yard, and in addition to that this activity can be practiced during educational trips.

3.    Compost making. The learners of this age group can take part in a few stages of making compost: collecting leaves, digging pits, monitoring.

4.    Working indoors. The learners work in the school greenhouse, take care of the plants and flowers in the classrooms, corridors and halls of their schools.    

The final results of the projects realized by groups and classes are summarized in the blogs of the teachers of Science.

Teaching Science in Grades 6-9 excels in diversity: “Science”, “Physics”, “Chemistry”, “Biology”, “Geography”. At our Educomplex Science subjects are taught in the laboratories by making experiments and realizing educational projects on taking care of plants and animals, nature protection and ecology, Geography, Geology, Biology and Astronomy. SO Eco Tour is also a good opportunity of summarizing different subject projects and presenting new ones.  

Groups of 5 learners are preferable for Grade 6. They may realize projects which have practical initiatives:    

·         Our yard is our garden. The aim of the activities is to put into practice the theoretical knowledge they have obtained during the lessons, as well as to acquire skills in taking care of the plants and trees in the school garden.

·         Compost   The learners of this age group, with the help of the teacher in charge, take part in the following stages of making compost: digging a special pit, collecting leaves and plant remains, making compost in winter.    

·         Greenhouse works  The school greenhouses and gardens can be used for acquiring practical skills all the year round as a component of educational holidays.

·         Improving the environment.   Environment begins with the school yard but it doesn't end here. It can include the adjacent teritories, bus stops, the road from home to school and so on. The learners can also take part in different undertakings and (Environment protection Day, Tree Day, Commemoration Tree Planting).

It is also preferable that the learners of Grades 6-9 should work with the learners of primary schools. The learners of Grades 6-9 summarize the results of their work in their blogs which later are presented at the Eco Tour.

The learners of High School have a wider scope of activities and participation in the Eco Tour. At High School Science is presented by teaching Ecology as well as other courses at learners' choice (Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geography).

The following practical projects are preferable for High School learners:

·         Our yard is our garden.    The aim of the activities is to put into practice the theoretical knowledge they have obtained during the lessons, as well as to acquire skills in taking care of the plants and trees in the school garden.

·         Compost. The learners of this age group, with the help of the teacher in charge, take part in all the stages of making compost: digging a special pit, collecting leaves and plant remains, making compost in winter, applying compost as organic fertilizer.   

·         The school greenhouses and gardens can be used for acquiring practical skills all the year round as a component of educational holidays.

·         Improving the environment.   Environment begins with the school yard but it doesn't end here. It can include the adjacent teritories, bus stops, the road from home to school and so on. The learners can also take part in different undertakings and (Environment protection Day, Tree Day, Commemoration Tree Planting). The High School learners are also encouraged to carry out environmental improvement undertakings in other areas of the city involving the learners from other schools. They are also encouraged to perform definite tasks during the educational-ecological trips.  

·         Helping the junior friends.  Transferring their experience and skills to the learners of Primary Schools by carrying out joint projects is also included in High School learners' activities. 

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