With the “train the trainer” Seminar at Anatolia College, addressed to teachers and titled “The Marine Environment and us: Ensuring a Sustainable Future”, the Educational Community and Public Awareness Campaign on the Marine Environment, Shipping and Sciences was concluded on 26 March, in the city of Thessaloniki. The Campaign, which will be implemented across 14 Greek cities by 2017, is supported by UK independent charity, Lloyd’s Register Foundation* (LRF).
The Primary Schools’ Education Directorate of Eastern Thessaloniki’s Environmental Education Officer in Charge, Ms C. Tsaliki, introduced the Seminar and mentioned the significance of updating and raising the awareness of students and teachers alike towards the protection of the marine environment. She went on to thank HELMEPA and LRF for this initiative, as well as Anatolia College for hosting the event.
Participating teachers each received a Certificate of Attendance and became members of HELMEPA’s new “Volunteer Teachers Network for the Marine Environment”. Of these, 80% assessed the content of the Seminar as being “Excellent”.
The Exhibition, which for 16 days was housed in AnatoliaCollege’s Bissell Library, was visited by a total of 1, 050 students from public Primary and High Schools around Thessaloniki, with costs covered by the Campaign. A further 330 Anatolia and American College of Thessaloniki (ACT) students also passed through the Exhibit.
Within the context of the environmental education research HELMEPA is carrying out, students completed specially constructed surveys. The results of these reveal that 90% of students partake in some recycling program, while ‘school’ is reported as being their primary source of information on issues pertaining to the environment. 1 in 2 Primary school students considers ‘litter in streets and on beaches’ to be the most serious problem as far as the pollution of their local area is concerned and 73% of High school students stated an interest in pursuing a career related to the sea in the future.
Furthermore, in the framework of the Campaign and in collaboration with the Environmental Activities’ Department of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, 375 “HELMEPA Junior” children-members and their 18 volunteer teachers from 10 public primary schools participated in the “Let’s create from Plastics” program. Students were informed about the Thermaikos Gulf ecosystem and the threats it faces from pollution, while they took part in creating objects from “junk” plastics, under the supervision of members of the “Morfogennesis” Art Association.
HELMEPA kindly thanks the Municipality of Thessaloniki for placing the Campaign under its auspices, the Municipality’s Environmental Activities Department and the Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education of Eastern and Western Thessaloniki for their cooperation and finally, Anatolia College for their warm hospitality.
Lloyd’s Register Foundation helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research.