Teachers’ Baltic Sea camp
Time: 3-6 August 2015
Place: Aegna island, Tallinn, Estonia and Harakka island, Helsinki, Finland
The idea of the four day camp was to give teachers in Finland and Estonia an opportunity to experience and get knowledge about the Baltic Sea, and to inspire them to actively involve the Baltic Sea in the teaching. Also, the camp gave the teachers a chance to network with teachers both from their own country and with teachers from across the Gulf of Finland. The Baltic Sea Challenge network (BSC) provided a framework for the camp.
Aegna, Tallinn, Estonia
The four days camp started on the Aegna island located outside of Tallinn. In sunny and warm weather the particpants walked across the island and got an introduction to the different types of nature on the island. On the programme was also a walk along the coast and “coastal bingo” where the participants picked stones, algae, grass, peaces of glass and other things that were found on the beach or that the waves had brought to the shores. The participants also were introduced to the Aegna Nature house programmes and facilities. Through a role play, the participants got practical insight into interest conflicts that might arise between economic interests, environment values and local inhabitants, when planning to develop an area.
The second day in Estonia was devoted to more urban environments in Tallinn. First, the participants got a guided tour entitled “The green spine of Tallinn old city“. The tour showed parks and green areas which were sometimes situated side by side with busy tourist streets, sometimes more hidden around the corner of a calm street in the outskirts of the old town. After the guided tour in the old part of Tallinn, the participants were taken to Tallinna Zoo, where they familiarized themselves with the Environmental Education Centre, and had a guided tour in the zoo. In the evening, the whole group took the ferry across the Gulf of Finland to the Harakka island located just outside of Helsinki.
Harakka, Helsinki, Finland
The third day started off with a walk around the Harakka island, which included games and gave an idea of the island adventure programmes that are organized for children. After this, the participants got an introduction to the Baltic Sea Challenge network and the Life+ financed project CITYWATER, including facts from the CITYWATER survey about attitudes towards Baltic Sea protection: that 69 % of the Estonians are worried about the Baltic Sea environment, but that as large a part of the population agreed with the statement “There is nothing I can do to stop polluting the Baltic Sea”. The CITYWATER survey was conducted in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by Tallinn University, and awoke interest among the participants. In the presentation, a range of examples were given on activities that the 20 Baltic Sea Challenge schools/universities/education institutes are already doing. Also, the Estonian training and development centre Hared, who joined the Baltic Sea Challenge network earlier during 2015 told about their Baltic Sea commitment. With this as a starting point, the participants discussed in small groups what Baltic Sea activities their schools could do, and also, what the schools in their country could do together.
On Harakka, the participants also got an introduction to the nature school and their activities. It included a visit to the laboratory where the participants learned more about the problems of plastic in the sea, and could make their own environment friendly plastic. It also included an “outdoor lecture” about eutrophication, taking place on the cliffs by the sea, where the participants collected water organisms and algae found in the shallow water close to the shore. Afterwards, they looked at what was found in the water, through a microscope. The fourth day was spent at Korkeasaari Zoo in Helsinki.
The camp was organized by the Harakka environment centre at the City of Helsinki environment centre, the Estonian training and development centre Hared, and Tallinn City, in cooperation with the Baltic Sea Challenge, CITYWTER, and the zoos in Tallinn and Helsinki.