Ecological Juniors Academy
A Week of Ecological Study
Ecological Juniors Academy
The goal of the program is to introduce students the cycle of life; nature. Unfortunately, our school curriculum is theory-based which is really lack of daylife practices. We believe that only people knowing his environment and cycles of this environment can maintain a sustainable life. People need to gain a holistic point of view upon life, especially in these critical ages.
We aim to teach our students;
- To learn how to learn,
- To see, taste, touch and experience; not to memorize,
- To gain ecological background,
- To contribute teamwork and realize the importance of cooporation.
How we are doing it
We carry out our program in a special location, Naturland Ecopark. According to our project, students participate our program for one week and we spend time togather 24 hours a day. With the help of the this theme-park, students are surrounded with ecology in everywhere.
Thoughout the week, students are seperated in different groups and related to the concept of the day, they perform hands on activities. Those can be experiments on water cycle, composting, insect observation, making cheese and fermentation or design sustainable technology products such as solar cookers.
We supported the program with outdoor sports that we can perform in Naturland and groups games in the evenings.
Students participate generally from the other cities or countries, within groups or individually. To see children’s capability of adaptation to place, each other and us is worth to see!
What we are learning
We have 7 days and 7 headings. These are; our space, our Sun, our Earth, our life companies, our body, our technologies and life in nature. Different activities are designed under these concepts. Although it seems to be fragmented, concepts are associated to give the holistic perspective. We try to make our students to realize that human takes his place “in nature”. Everything inside and around us are connected in a web of life.
For instance, we start from the place of Sun in space, how sun radiates energy to our planet and make “life” possible by photosynthesis, then how crops grow in soil (we have crops sown in differents times), how people grind products in mill, continues with making bread with yeast (with the help of another living), cook in a solar oven which is nature-friendly and share with friends!
These processes takes approximately 6 half days.This time restriction is the main obstacle to achieve our objectives. However, this 7 days really make a difference especially for children live in metropoles.
Since Naturland (project spot) is located in Mediteranean region, we use that ecosystem examples frequently.