Science teacher from Erzurum, Tuba Dumlu Güler, who was touched by her students' concerns about climate change, started the "Little Climate Ambassadors Project" six months ago.
Tuba Dumlu Güler, who teaches at Ömer Nasuhi Bilmen Secondary School, aimed to raise awareness about the environment at an early age, and integrated "Environmental Education and Climate Change" subject, which was decided to be an elective course in secondary schools’ curriculum starting next year by the Ministry of National Education (MoNE), into her lessons six months ago.
At first, Güler focused on researching how students are affected by climate change in her "Little Climate Ambassadors" project and decided to accelerate her work when she resolved that her students were concerned about this issue.
Then, Güler prepared digital materials, animations and educational videos on recent environmental events such as floods, droughts, the mucilage in Marmara Sea, forest fires in southern Türkiye, and then shared them among the students and their parents in order to lead the way for her students and raise public awareness.
Güler invited Şahin Korkmaz, an environmental engineer who was selected as a "climate ambassador" by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, to provide environmental training to students and parents at the school, and prepared numerous posters, slogans, and public service announcements with her students.
Güler, who included statements in Turkish and English on the posters, has not only get children and their families to become voluntary climate ambassadors through activities and trainings, but also shared her work with an international sustainable development program, Global Schools.
Environmental teacher Tuba Güler told AA correspondent that she has been teaching environmental education and climate change at the school since January.
Explaining how she observed her students’ concerns about upcoming climate change, Güler continued as follows:
"We have participated in international studies to help my students express their concerns and get their voices heard. With our 'Little Climate Ambassadors Project', we were able to go beyond the school borders, and we have carried out activities to raise public awareness among students, parents, and adults in neighboring schools. We held a climate change action during 40 minutes of class time and reached 570 parents. My students' anxiety levels decreased after witnessing support from other people."
Güler stated that the project aims to raise students who are climate change-intelligent at a young age and competent to act consciously while dealing with climate change related problems.
"We are the first and only school from Eastern Anatolia to become a member of Global Schools"
Stating that they share their work and activities on the international platform called "Global Schools", Güler said, "Global Schools is a platform that supports Sustainable Development Goals and follows the work of teachers and students from schools all over the world and shows examples. We are the first and only school from Eastern Anatolia to become a member of Global Schools. We have sent our work via e-mail. This is our way to demonstrate how caring our children in Türkiye are to social problems."
Güler stated that she also talked about the issues that would cause environmental pollution in the lessons and said:
"When I hear my students’ concerns such as 'Teacher, when drought begins, and animals disappear, what will happen to us then?’ ‘What can we do about climate change?', I wanted to be their voice. We conveyed those concerns to adults and carried out activities. The students learned how to mitigate climate change with the training they received and the activities about awareness raising, and consequently, became climate ambassadors."
Teacher Güler asked for support from teachers, families, and students in mitigating climate change and eliminating its factors.
Zeynep Elçin Çakan, one of the school's 5th grade students, explained that they have various concerns due to climate change and said, "Let's not use cars too much, because exhaust gases cause climate change. Trees are also very important, they provide us with oxygen. Let's save our world, which is alarmed by climate change, our future is under threat."
"We might not stop climate change entirely, but we can mitigate the effects"
Beren Bulut stated that nature and the environment should be protected for a sustainable life, then asked people to walk or ride bicycles to areas in the vicinity and not to burn a fire in forested areas
Expressing her concern about the danger of drought in the future, Bulut said, "We might not stop climate change entirely, but we can mitigate the effects even a little bit. As climate ambassadors, we did awareness activities in our class, in our neighborhood, in our neighboring schools and with our families. We can prevent disasters, floods, and forest fires caused by climate change by taking precautions."
Ervanur İbişoğlu expressed her happiness to become a climate ambassador and said, "I talked to my family and my surroundings about the importance of climate change. If we do not protect nature and the environment, we may not have a future."
This blog is a repost with full acknowledgment of the original article, here.