The first major climate festival of VERBUND Hohe Tauern National Park Climate School generated a great deal of interest at schools in Carinthia, Salzburg and Tyrol: On World Environment Day, 103 classes with 1,814 students and more than 180 accompanying friends participated in the event on the subjects of climate, energy and climate protection. In order to enable all students to have optimal supervision, the event was quickly divided into two days. The festival will be continued on 6 June.
In her address at the climate festival, Tina Widmann, the provincial government member responsible for the national park, stressed: "Educational work is an immensely important area within the scope of duties of Hohe Tauern National Park. Raising awareness for climate protection cannot start early enough and the climate school is an important step in this direction."
Dr. Karl Gollegger, one of the VERBUND founding fathers of the climate school, was delighted by the large amount of interest in the climate school offer: "In the VERBUND Hohe Tauern National Park Climate School we want to communicate the contribution that each and every one can make towards climate protection. With the aid of young climate protection advocates, we want to also convey awareness within the family and thus firmly anchor it in the living environment. At VERBUND, we are decisively backing electricity from hydropower and thus supporting the domestic climate footprint."
The global national park idea doesn’t just mean protecting nature and researching natural processes, but also raising the awareness for this. Furthermore, in the past years the national park administration has also devoted itself to current environmental issues. The Salzburg national park director, Wolfgang Urban, is delighted about the lively participation: "Our know-how in the area of environmental education is meanwhile highly appreciated by the schools, and the national park education programmes - such as the water school and climate school - are in great demand."
World Environment Day
The 5th June 2012 was the right day for the climate festival of the VERBUND Hohe Tauern National Park Climate School. In 1972, which is now 40 years ago, the 5th June was declared an annual World Environment Day as part of the United Nations Environment Programme. It is intended that the main focus on this day should lie on the careful handling of nature and the environment.
Furthermore, the climate festival of VERBUND Hohe Tauern National Park Climate School is a good preparation for later participation in the free 4-day school programme. In the process, specially trained national park rangers come into the classes of the fourth through the seventh grade students with large cases of experiments, many brainteasers and games, and explain complicated interactions in a student-friendly. By means of active learning, observation and analysis, the students develop an understanding for those factors that have an impact upon the regional and global climate and discover what they can personally contribute to climate protection.
A colourful programme
Awaiting the young climate protecting students were more than 20 different, exciting, educational and amusing activity stations. The children were fortified by means of snack boxes – provided by Ja!Natürlich and Billa.
An excerpt from the programme:
Climate School "Who wants to be a millionaire?":
- Guided tours through the new VERBUND training workshops: Apprentices gave the students insights into the training in the dual profession of mechanical engineer and electrical engineer.
- The growth rings of our trees – dendrochronology: children counted growth rings on tree discs, discovered the year of their birth or the year that they started school, but also years of catastrophes such as the year of the Chernobyl disaster, for example.
- Legends and fairytales: In a mysterious environment, legends from the national park region were recounted – for example the formation of glaciers or about the weather maker of Dürnbachalm.
- Weather craft station: Here, under the guidance of a ranger, children created their own wind turbines, sundials and much more.
- To ensure that movement also played a part, the local gorge association gave guided tours through the Sigmund-Thun gorge. Here, the melted surfaces of Kaprun glacier left strikingly smooth tracks – this again is closely linked with the issue of climate and climate change.
- In the VERBUND information centre, children were given a guided tour on the topic 'Hydropower is transformed into electricity'.
- Between activities, the climate show from puppeteer Christian Ulbrich ensured entertainment and excitement.
These and many activity stations playfully sensitised students to the importance of climate protection and enabled them to recognise what they can personally do for climate protection and the impacts that this can have upon the environment.