Nature-Based Solutions Pilot
15 teachers joined the Nature-Based Solutions project (January - September 2020) to help develop learning scenarios that integrate nature-based solutions (NBS) resources in the classroom (full description of tasks and benefits).
The 15 draft Learning Scenarios will be found below at the end of the pilot.
What are nature-based solutions (NBS)?
NBS are solutions inspired and supported by nature and ecosystems. As opposed to purely technological solutions, NBS are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits, and help build resilience to climate change. NBS bring more nature and biodiversity to cities, landscapes and seascapes, through locally adapted, systemic interventions. Examples of NBS are green roofs and green walls to cool down cities in the summer, parks to combat pollution and provide leisure and exercise to citizens, green corridors connecting natural areas, urban food gardens, etc. See examples at:
Let’s make our school a Growing place!
Suggested Age/Subjects: 7-8 yrs old – Science, Art, ICT, English
Summary: This learning scenario stems from the need to improve the quality of ‘Green Solutions’ in schools. The aim is to involve students from an early age to be familiar with the topic of green area diffusion and would contribute towards building a sustainable, healthy, and resilient city, better adapted to climate change. In this context, students will debate and plan the construction of a green wall inside and outside the school using recycled materials. See the final learning scenario.
GRETA – Green Relevant Environment to All (Understanding NBS)
Suggested Age/Subjects: 13-14 yrs old – STEM, STEAM, CLIL
Summary: The climate change activist Greta Thunberg is an “influencer” of the teenage generation. What aspects of her presentation “Nature Now” make her a role model of learning more about nature-based solutions (NBS)? By using their critical thinking students are going to discover more about the destruction of our environment and use self-studying methods to find a way to help nature recover from the destruction. See the final learning scenario.
Deconstructing Climate Denial Speech and understanding the role of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS)
Suggested Age/Subjects: 15-17 yrs old – Biology, Ecology, Philosophy, Social Sciences
Summary: Recently scientists and experts released reports which should provide content to policymakers on the climate crisis. In this Learning Scenario, we work from these documents to review the scientific method by analysing several graphs, figures and short texts on climate change and nature-based solutions. See the final learning scenario.
The Traveling Fox
Suggested Age/Subjects: 6-8 yrs old – Discovery of the World, Maths, Art, Language
Summary: In this learning scenario, students get familiarized with the concept of social and environmental justice through the story, photos and videos of Foxy Travel – a fox who likes traveling across Europe. With the help of the Foxy’s “environmental” photos, they will think about the socio-environmental fair neighbourhood in which they would like to live using recycled materials. See the final learning scenario.
Transform your school/town: design a constructed wetland
Suggested Age/Subjects: 14-15 yrs old – Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, Engineering, Earthsciences, Design and Technology
Summary: It is often possible to observe the waste of water while watering gardens, in spite of lack of water during warm summers. Through this lesson, students will learn about NBS for wastewater treatment, which can not only purify water from pollutants but provide numerous co-benefits. Through a project-based learning (PBL) approach, students will build a prototype of a constructed wetland. See the final learning scenario.
Exploring ecosystem services and nature-based solutions to urban problems
Suggested Age/Subjects: 12-18 yrs old – Biology, natural science
Summary: The purpose of this learning scenario is to explore an urban ecosystem of a city, analysing its ecosystem services and determining whether it acts as a nature-based solution (NBS) to challenges such as diminishing biodiversity, urban heat islands and urban decay. This learning scenario uses Uppsala as an example, but can be implemented using other places. See the final learning scenario.
Nature Changing Our Surroundings
Suggested Age/Subjects: 6-9 yrs old – Primary, Biology, Natural Sciences
Summary: By analysing photos of different cities students try to work out the logic behind using nature in solving problems that cities might face. Then students try to define whether their school faces any of the analysed problems in which nature could prove to be of use. With the help of the teacher, students design a plan to address problems around school using nature-based solutions and implement changes. See the final learning scenario.
A Green School is a Healthy School
Suggested Age/Subjects: 15-19 yrs old – Chemistry, Natural Sciences, Science, Biology, Guidance lessons
Summary: The main goal of this learning scenario is to help students realize that the school environment, where they spend a lot of time, is very important for their health, well-being, their concentration and efficiency of studying. This is done through measuring air quality in the school, and debating how they could make school spaces greener. Students may work on a green wall concept for their school, and eventually build it. See the final learning scenario.
Water Management at Urban Areas
Suggested Age/Subjects: 12-13 yrs old – Biology, Geology, Earth Sciences
Summary: This learning scenario encourages students to learn and care about the importance of water management to tackle urban challenges such as floods and disruption of the water cycle in the urban environment via nature-based solutions (NBS). Through the activities, students will work as scientists following the approach of Inquiry-based learning by following the design process as engineers (or landscape architects). See the final learning scenario.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) for Climate mitigation and adaptation
Suggested Age/Subjects: 8-9 yrs old – English, Primary
Summary: Climate mitigation and adaptation are attempts to slow down the process of global climate change. This learning scenario looks into green vegetation for health and well-being and, on the other, on participatory planning and actions, like creating a vegetable school garden that will reduce the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and provide food and plants that improve the health and well-being of the students. See the final learning scenario.
Green Jobs Create Economic Opportunities
Suggested Age/Subjects: 17-19 yrs old – Earth and environmental sciences
Summary: In this scenario students reflect on how their future jobs can be based on Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) to transform their cities. The students must choose their role and decide the way to develop a green job and consider how it would be possible. This scenario will allow the students to understand that green jobs can also be profitable. See the final learning scenario.
School Garden, Street Garden
Suggested Age/Subjects: 14-17 yrs old – Agronomy, Statistics, Biology, Physics, ICT, Languages
Summary: Green areas are increasingly scarce in cities and in schools and, oftentimes there are many abandoned green spaces and parks. These could become places of biodiversity, environmental education, healthy recreation for people, improving the ecosystems of cities. The aim of this activity is to carry out a project with students, to connect uncultivated existent green areas, and external spaces of the school, with green cycling paths and walking tracks. See the final learning scenario.
NBS to prevent forest fires and reduce risk disasters caused by deforestation
Suggested Age/Subjects: 14+ – STE(A)M
Summary: Nature Based Solutions can reduce disaster risks connected with forest fires. This is a key issue in ciuntries where climate change and desertification have increased the risk of forest fires and disasters, mainly caused by deforestation. With this learning scenario students will analyse risks and propose NBS based on the data resulting from scientific research, using digital competences and real-world problem-solving skills. See the final learning scenario.
Waste Management of The Food Industry – Hazards, Risks and Solutions
Suggested Age/Subjects: 16-18 yrs old – Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics
Summary: Uncontrolled landfill sites are increasingly being used as a method for food waste disposa, becoming sources of diseases, unpleasant odours, parasites, rodents, etc. In this learning scenario we conduct an experiment, in which food waste is converted to compost, and with it grow some vegetables. In this way, we linked the production of natural fertilisers and green energy with food initiatives. See the final learning scenario.
Green infrastructure and NBS in dialogue: How to integrate NBS in your technical classes
Suggested Age/Subjects: 15-20 yrs old – Technical classes
Summary: The purpose of this learning scenario is to introduce students, especially those at technical and vocational high schools, to Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), using the concept of green infrastructure applied to a practical project. To begin with, the teacher presents NBS and their benefits and discusses them with students, with an eye to local issues. After laying the foundations of NBS and related challenges, students’ approach (urban) problems and how to address them through green infrastructures, i.e. infrastructures integrating nature. See the final learning scenario.
Note: picture credits
- 01 Image by Angelika Graczyk from Pixabay
- 02 Image by Waqutiar Rahaman from Pixabay
- 03 Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay
- 04 Ralia Thoma CC-BY
- 05 Tullia Urschitz CC-BY
- 06 Image by David Mark from Pixabay
- 07 Image by A. Krebs from Pixabay
- 08 Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay
- 09 Imagen de Peter H en Pixabay
- 10 Image by J Garget from Pixabay
- 11 Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
- 12 Image by Ich bin dann mal raus hier. from Pixabay
- 13 Image by 272447 from Pixabay
- 14 Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay
- 15 Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay
- 16 Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
About the NBS project
Better awareness of the opportunities, benefits and limitations of nature-based solutions has been identified by citizens and experts as one of the main factors that could facilitate the transition to more sustainable cities and territories. Nature-based Solutions (NBS) use nature and ecosystems to deliver social, ecological and economic benefits, increasing biodiversity and contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
However, the educational potential of NBS remains largely unexplored, whilst innovative programmes and resources around NBS are currently missing from formal and informal education programmes for children and families. Building on scientific evidence and on experiences from NBS demonstration projects in cities, this educational pilot study will exploit recent research results to develop innovative educational programmes and resources to raise awareness on nature-based solutions (NBS) and their benefits among children, young people and their families.
The project is initiated and funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and coordinated by PPMI, in collaboration with European Schoolnet (EUN). PPMI (www.ppmi.lt/en) is a leading European research and policy analysis centre, aiming to help public sector and civil society leaders from around the world, presenting evidence in a way that is simple, clear and ready to use. European Schoolnet (www.eun.org) is the network of 34 European Ministries of Education, based in Brussels. EUN aims to bring innovation in teaching and learning to its key stakeholders: Ministries of Education, schools, teachers, researchers, and industry partners. EUN’s task in the NBS project is to coordinate the pilot teachers.