The Erasmus+ project Our Solar Town is reaching its final phase of implementation and the project’s consortium celebrated the milestone with an event meant to showcase the activities done in the past 3 years, the teachers and pupils engaged from Austria, Slovenia, and Greece raised awareness on a broader topic, youth involvement in a more sustainable future.
The concept of the event was based on the idea that empowering young generations to act and find solutions to reduce society’s impact on the planet and giving them concrete opportunities to contribute to a better future should also be a priority of the education system. In this context, the European project ‘Our Solar Town’, which focuses on the importance of renewable energy in tackling the climate crisis, by teaching young people about solutions such as solar thermal and allowing them to put their learnings into practice, is a perfect example of such opportunity.
The event ‘Youth fight against climate change: From knowledge to action’ took place on June 10th and gathered a diverse group of stakeholders, such as youth representatives, European policymakers, teachers, public authorities, and environmental NGOs.
The agenda started with a series of keynote speeches focused on the thematic ‘The relevance of youth engagement in sustainability’ which brought different perspectives on the topic, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Laurin Greiter, a musician passionate about sustainability and working at the Climate Alliance Austria.
The international and European perspective was brought forward by Anastasia Pentagioti, Climate Activist and Special Advisor in Sustainability for the European Parliament, and it was followed by a local perspective from the City of Weiz, Austria which has extensive experience in offering young people opportunities to contribute to a better future. Anja Fortuna from the European Youth Forum and Ariadne Papatheodorou from Fridays for Future complemented the conversation by adding the young generation’s views. The educational institutions’ perspective was represented by Simon Kragelj, headmaster, and teacher at Fran Erjavec Elementary School in Nova Gorica, Slovenia.
The second part of the event included a presentation of Our Solar Town project, followed by the Awards Ceremony meant to recognize the most engaged schools that implemented the project.
The 3rd place winner was the school from Slovenia which started to work with the learning units of the project and plans to build a solar thermal application in autumn this year. The Secondary School for Environment and Economics, Hluv-Yspertal from Austria came in 2nd place. In Austria, more than 20 pupils participated in the project and constructed a solar thermal system that will be used in future practical units for demonstration and for measurement applications. The 5th Gymnasium of Karditsa, Greece was awarded 1st place in the competition. The Greek students and teachers were highly engaged with the project, following the learning units, creating an e-magazine and poster, and making a small-scale prototype showing the principle of operation of a solar thermal system.
The event was facilitated by Solar Heat Europe on behalf of the project’s consortium that is part of together with Climate Alliance Austria, KPE, VseUk Institute, and Akaryon.
The recording of the event is available here.