PERCORSO DI POTENZIAMENTO-ORIENTAMENTO "SCIENZE DELLA TERRA CON CURVATURA GEOLOGICO-AMBIENTALE" (Geologically and Environmentally Focused Science High School)

  •  Italy, Tivoli
  •   2019
Time frame
  • Continuous programme
Categories
  • Formal Education
  • Non-Formal Education
  • Conditions for Learning
  • Methods & Events
  • Training & Capacity Building
Level of Schools
  • Upper Secondary School
External Partners
  • Other
Type of Schools
  • Liceo Scientifico (Scientific High School)
URL
Number of Schools involved
  • 1
Number of Schoolheads involved
  • 1
Number of Teachers involved
  • 1
Number of Students involved
  • 70
Number of Parents involved
  • 140
Number of External Partners involved
  • 3
Short Description

The teaching of Geosciences in secondary school curricula has been progressively reduced during the last 25 years in European countries, creating serious concern among the geologist community due to the substantial drop of geological contents in secondary school curricula. Furthermore, this fact produced a consequent drop of Geology students in universities and a shortage in the supply of geologists to society. In order to prevent this, a “Geologically and Environmentally Focused Science High School” has been developed in summer 2018. Now with a curriculum focused on geological and environmental subjects, we wish to become the lead school in the country for this ambitious project, with scientific support from the Science Department at Roma Tre University.

Objectives

The teaching of Geosciences in secondary school curricula has been progressively reduced during the last 25 years in European countries, creating serious concern among the geologist community due to the substantial drop of geological contents in secondary school curricula. Furthermore, this fact produced a consequent drop of Geology students in universities and a shortage in the supply of geologists to society.
After my PhD in Geology at Roma Tre University (my supervisor was Prof. Claudio Faccenna) thanks to the scientific network and contacts I have collected I had the opportunity to attend and participate in many interesting projects and scientific activities involving European schools and universities (GIFT, Subitop, CRL School, TopoEurope), I decided to start working with the principal of my school, Dr. Lucia Cagiola, to develop a Geologically and Environmentally Focused Science High School, an idea that had already emerged in the summer 2018 with Professors Francesca Funiciello and Francesca Cifelli.
Now with a curriculum focused on geological and environmental subjects, we wish to become the lead school in the country for this ambitious project, with scientific support from the Science Department at Roma Tre University.

Methodology

Our students follow this curriculum in the last three years (17-19 years old) belonging to the Applied Sciences High School. They also follow a dual training system (learning and working in our labs and at the university, as prescribed by the La Buona Scuola reform passed by the previous government) called “Dynamic Mediterranean” (“Mediterraneo Dinamico”) that I developed with the INGV (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology). At the end of the school year the students attend a school camp (2019: in the Aeolian isle of Stromboli - 2020: Santorini, but unfortunately it was cancelled because of COVID-19).
In the past 2 years I have been working on a project for the eTwinning platform with my colleague Fotis Danaskos (Athens), whom I met at the CRL School 2018 in Nafpaktos (Greece). The name of the project is "Italia-Hellas, una faccia una razza. Same geology, same geohazards!". Now our schools from Tivoli and Athens are officially twinned.

Funding

Families pay only for the outdoor activities (for example field excursions); we are a public school, so we provide free laboratories and staff.

Outcomes

We truly believe that the example of our geology-focused course of studies represents an important contribution to relaunching the teaching of Earth Sciences in the Italian school systems.
We believe that the new generations that we educate are raising awareness among the whole population about the geological risks and on the correct political choices to put into practice in order to protect the environment and life on Earth in general.

Justification

The activity included in this project together in the Lectiones Magistrales Renato Funiciello, is the first example of strong diffusion of geological knowledge in the Italian school. We truly believe that is fundamental and inspiring because Italy is a country that is geologically very young, with all the geological risks present on its territory but with a population that ignores these risks.

Innovation

Through laboratory work and field work our students observe the past and present phenomena of the Earth and touch the ingredients that made it. Before this in the Italian schools, geology was studied only from books.

Practice Orientation

Sismo box, macro and micro-scope observation of rocks, geophysical instruments (seismic and electrical methods of investigation), use of geological compass, geological maps, software (GIS and GeoMapApp). Next year we and our pupils will make a new "rocks museum" classifying all rocks recently donated by Sapienza University of Rome.

Interdisciplinarity

Often colleagues from the Physics Department of our school are involved in our activities.

Qualitative assessment Inclusiveness

I think our pupils are very lucky to live here, because our region, Latium, is a good example of geological area for our activities, hosting many volcanoes, earthquakes, mountain belt with the possibility for example to observe rocks and faults, where the Romany History was born.

Supervision

All the involved institutions check the development and results from the project but the final evaluation is exclusively part of the work and responsibility of school teachers.

Cooperation Quality

So far it has been stimulating and constructive.

Role of External Partners

1. Roma Tre University (with Prof. Francesca Cifelli and Prof. Francesca Funiciello) is the co-founder and main partner of the project playing the fundamental role of scientific support.
2. INGV with its researchers helps us to organize the field excursions on geological and volcanological sites (on April 2019 we were at Stromboli volcano).
3. Since October 2019 EGU is our sponsor for one of our Lectiones Magistrales Renato Funiciello (on October 2019 we hosted Dr. Cristina Persano - University of Glasgow).