The second academy in Ostrava took place April 11th 2017. Approx. 80 children from 4 different schools were keenly waiting for the academy to start. The event was free-of-charge for all the attending children aged from 11 to 15.
The academy took place in Dolní Vítkovice, which is now very well reconstructed venue for festivals and used to be the industrial heart of Ostrava. Children gathered in a large cinema for most of the programme, but they also had the opportunity to visit the science exposition during their breaks.
The academy began with some welcoming words of partners from Dolní Vítkovice and The University of Ostrava. Then the full attention of the children turned to the presentation Now we children save the world! given by Šimon Michalčík, Hana Pasková, Anna Smúdalová and Hedvika Stachovcová. Complex topics such as sources of CO2, global warming, photosynthesis, the climate crisis and global justice were presented in a suitable way for children – and nobody could be better for that task than a child of the same age like Hana, Anna or Hedvika. After the presentation, the participants had the chance to ask remaining questions.
For the following part the children were divided into small groups to learn about global distribution and global justice in the World Game. The children put tokens, sweets and balloons eagerly on the world map as symbols of the world’s population, wealth and CO2 emissions respectively. At the end sweets and balloons were evenly distributed among the tokens to demonstrate how a fair distribution would look like and to keep in mind that everyone should have equal rights.
In order to get active for their future, the children need good presentation and speaking skills. Therefore the particpiants prepared and presented short passages from the opening presentation they had listened to at the beginning. They gave each other feedback on how to improve their presentations in the future. Before the lunch the children also did a World Café, in which they discussed their possibilities to act on climate change and how can they further participate as an ambassador of Plant for the Planet. After that the children gathered back to the cinema for a final presentation made by the best speakers of the day, so that they could experience speaking in front of a large audience and their friends.
At the end, the children had the opportunity to do something for ther future right away: Planting trees! In addition, they got information on how to plant trees, when to plant them and how to take care of them. In return, the participants could show their knowledge about the function and importance of trees gained during the day. In total they planted 60 oaks with the assistance of the adults. The children finished the planting event with a magnificent Stop Talking, Start Planting battle cry.
The academy was made possible thanks to the commitment of Dolní Vítkovice, The University of Ostrava, The Secondary grammar school of prof. Otto Wichterle, SOVA and due to the team of local organisers. Special thanks go to the Plant-for-the-Planet Programme Coordinator Šimon Michalčík and also to Lukáš Čecháček, Vojtěch David, Anna Smúdalová, Hana Pasková and Hedvika Stachovcová and all the ambassadors from Ostrava.
A huge thanks to all the many helpers around the venue, technology, food and tree planting event. Without that support the academy would not have been possible.
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