Climate Change, Coastal Protection and Seaside Holidays with Grandma – three girls from Berlin with a thirst for knowledge
What could be better than linking fun pastimes—like swimming in the Baltic Sea—with curricular activities? As part of the "Year of Science 2016/17 Seas and Oceans" students, Johanna Gronewald, Kira Paprotka and Bleona Veselaj, from the Rheingau-Gymnasium secondary school in Berlin discussed adaptation strategies to deal with climate change ef-fects at the German Baltic Sea with Dr. Grit Martinez from Ecologic Institute.
Under the title "Effects of Anthropogenic Climate Change on Germany's Baltic Coast and Sustainable Protection Measures – An Examination based on Individually Chosen Examples," the three 15-year-old students prepared a presentation for their certificate of secondary education.
In the first step of their analysis already, they came in direct contact with the RADOST research project. Due to the proximity of their school to Ecologic Institute they came to meet Dr. Grit Martinez to discuss their research topic and seek guidance from the research findings of the RADOST-project. The students and their academic advisors found the link between individual observations and experiences on the one hand and the forecasted changes and results from the scientific research processes on the other to be both exciting and a successful combination.
With the positive results of the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) framing the investigation, the students focused on effects of climate change on the Baltic Sea's coastline and a better understanding of the most common strategies for resolution. Self-researched, exemplary protection measures were subsequently evaluated using a matrix of sustainability criteria.
As a whole, the project was a great deal of fun for the students and served to motivate further investigation and discussion of climate change. All this comes at opportune timing as the Year of Science 2016/17 Seas and Oceans offers a large range of activities for young people.