|Knowledge transfer :||Knowledge about the causes and consequences of climate change, questions of climate justice. Focus on sustainable mobility and tourism.|
|Target group :||Students in grades 5-13 of all school types.|
|Number of schools :||Over 440 Germanwatch Climate Expeditions at over 140 schools since 2015.|
|Project partners :||Germanwatch e.V., Geoscopia GbR|
The Germanwatch climate expedition captures a view of the earth – all the way from outer space into the green classroom. In 90-minute presentations, the students work on the topics of climate change and resource depletion by comparing the live satellite pictures with archived images. The consequences of climate change are visible from examples such as glacial retreat and rising sea levels.
The goal of the Germanwatch climate expeditions is for students to understand global interconnectedness, reflect on the consequences of their own actions, and work on courses of action in young people’s private and political spheres – all in a scientifically based way that is appealing to youth.
The Germanwatch climate expedition is aimed at students from the 5th grade onward from all types of schools. Due to the innovative methodology, it is especially the quiet or excluded students who discover new ways to engage in class discussions. Through live satellite pictures from all regions of the world, the students with immigrant backgrounds can bring up their own experiences in the lesson (extreme weather, climate change, resource depletion, mobility). Using discussions on the consequences of climate change and personal examples, migration due to climate change is conceptualized thematically and examined in depth. Students learn to understand satellite pictures and begin to think about the big problems of climate change in a new way. They realize that it is the people from countries in the Global South that are mostly affected.
Since 2015, there has also been a Germanwatch climate expedition with a focus on sustainable mobility and tourism thanks to Germanwatch’s partnership with atmosfair and forum anders reisen. The introduction involves getting to know selected aspects of climate changes using the satellite pictures, especially the causes and impacts. Building on this, the students experience the evidence of unsustainable mobility by means of satellite pictures of well-known destinations, contrails from airplanes, or even air plumes from ships. They develop their own approaches towards climate-friendly and socially acceptable mobility that also protects resources. The didactic approach uses the students’ travel destinations (or popular travel destinations). The students also discuss different options for action in the areas of climate-friendly local and long-distance transport.
The Germanwatch climate expeditions make confronting local and regional contexts (e.g., climate justice, resource (mis)use, nutrition, and human rights) possible in the places that the climate expedition explores. To this end, local challenges are highlighted as examples, e.g., floods or monsoons in Southeast Asia, the rising sea level topic in coastal cities like New York or Bangkok (as well as small islands such as Tuvalu, the Maldives, etc.) that face this existential threat, hurricanes in the Caribbean, the absence of precipitation, and ever more heatwaves in the Mediterranean region.
The students develop action plans to change their own behavior as well as the societal/political debate and actions in a way that can lead to future-oriented mobility. To this end, they examine and work on alternative mobility concepts as a valuable part of travel: mobility mix, public transport, bike and foot traffic, long-distance high-speed trains as well as alternative travel with a strong connection to the region visited (which may involve longer visits, using local public transport, getting to know the local culture, etc).
For this, Germanwatch uses the concept of handprints, which achieves particularly lasting change towards more sustainability in the structures within organizations, schools, and municipalities.
Here, the topic of class trips is also addressed. The issues of school partnerships, student exchanges, work and travel, etc., are also important to the students and youth and are covered depending on their interests.
The goal of Germanwatch’s nationwide educational work is to inform and incite, but also to motivate. Ideas about how students or the whole school can become active in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or consumption of resources are discussed. The transition to sustainable energies is an important impetus in the students’ career choices. The students learn that individual and political action is important because it helps to change society’s behavior and conditions. This is communicated using the image of a handprint.
In 2020, the Germanwatch Climate Expedition has been here already (amongst others):
In 2019 the Germanwatch Climate Expdition visited the following schools:
In 2018 atmosfair and her partners supported the following schools:
In 2017 the climate expdition visited the following schools:
In 2016 atmosfair together with other partners made climate expeditions possible for the following schools:
In 2015 atmosfair supported the following schools:
Germanwatch e.V. is a non-profit, social, non-partisan North-South initiative and has been engaged in German, European, and international North-South, business, and environmental policy since 1991. Germanwatch is responsible for coordinating the contents of the expeditions. With the motto “Observe, Analyze, Intervene”, Germanwatch is committed to global justice and improving living conditions.
The partner responsible for implementing the expedition is Geoscopia GbR. Geographer and university lecturer Martin Fliegner and the biologist Holger Voigt founded Geoscopia in 2001, and since then, it has been involved in environmental education and education on sustainable development. Since 2004, the environmental educators at Geoscopia have carried out Germanwatch climate expeditions nationwide on behalf of and in close cooperation with Germanwatch.