A contest involving middle school students to raise awareness of fire prevention
Within the scope of the project, the CMCC Foundation has set up two competitions called OFIDIA2School Contest aimed at junior high school students from Lecce and the whole region of Apulia. The first contest edition was held during the 2018/2019 school year whereas the second edition will be held from February to April 2020.
Only for junior high schools in Lecce, the contest provides for up to five training courses, with about 20/25 students involved per course. The courses last 20 hours and will be held at the school premises. They will be headed by a tutor appointed by the school and an external expert from the CMCC Foundation. During the course, students will be dealing with the design and set-up of the OFIDIA2School weather station, using the Arduino technology and a data collector module. CMCC will provide the mounting kit and all the necessary equipment to set up the weather station, which will be donated to the participating schools and shall remain at the students’ disposal. The study of the atmosphere and weather events is introduced through the practical activities carried out by the students to collect weather data, whereas the theoretical bases are provided during the training lessons. The weather station is an essential component of the fire prevention monitoring network and the contest aims to disseminate both the purpose of the equipment used in the OFIDIA2 project and the analysis of meteorological variables.
Objective of the OFIDIA2School Contest – 2nd Edition
The students that wish to take part in the second OFIDIA2School contest are required to produce a short video on the topic “Climate Change and Wildfires” to raise awareness of this widely discussed subject and stress the importance of fire prevention. Specifically, students are invited to produce a short video or film about forest and biodiversity protection. Alternatively, students can opt for a) a mini guide to the forests and woods of Apulia, b) a visual-storytelling project (multimedia presentation, cartoon, leaflet, brochure, comic, poster, drawing etc.) about the nature trails in the Region and any related safety concerns or weak points, c) an illustrated list of best practices when visiting the woods. Prizes will be awarded to the most creative products that shall in any case be aimed at raising awareness of the importance of wildfire prevention. The final event (prize-giving ceremony) will be held at a location made available by the Municipality of Lecce on a date to be defined. Prizes range from personal computers and tablets to IWB (Interactive Whiteboard), 3D printer, toner and stationery (besides gadgets for all participants), which will be awarded to the winning schools and shall remain at the students’ disposal.
Raising public awareness, especially among the younger generations, through an environmental education plan for school students, aiming to introduce participants to the importance of participatory prevention for landscape and forests protection.
The contest promoted by the OFIDIA2 project therefore involves schools in sharing the responsibility of protecting our forest heritage by means of targeted environmental protection actions, such as using advanced sensors equipment for environmental monitoring.
The contests also provide for the design of a small weather station, which will eventually help middle school students understand how important it is to know how to analyze the measured environmental parameters. Besides the weather station, this learning by doing experience will have the participating schools work on the production of multimedia material such as brochures, videos, ebooks etc. to illustrate their experience and publish an online selection of “good practices” for fire prevention.