The active role of citizens and their direct involvement is essential to address climate change. Changes in citizens’ and consumers’ behaviours towards more sustainable patterns can be boosted through education, awareness-raising, citizen science, observation, and monitoring their environmental impacts. It is essential to involve citizens directly, and especially the young generation and communities in contributing in taking action for the climate and in protecting the environment, thereby encouraging them to change their behaviour and mind sets, reduce their carbon and environmental footprint at the individual and collective levels.
The partnership has identified the need for raising environmental awareness and decided to develop a project that will target the school community for this purpose. The partnership is based on the fact that schools, training institutions and universities are well-positioned to engage with students, parents and the broader community on the changes needed for a successful transition to a green economy and lifestyle. As educational providers they reached the conclusion that there is a need for activities in the field of raising awareness of students and citizens about the importance of preserving the environment. Through the latter, the students will acquire new, additional competencies that will make them competitive in the labor market.
PARADIGM aims to use the appropriate technological infrastructure (devices, data platforms and tools) to empower the active engagement of citizens in taking action against climate change and for sustainable development through better monitoring and observing the environment and its environmental impacts. General objectives of PARADIGM project are:
In specific, the purpose of the project is to train, lead and motivate learners to gain environmental knowledge and propose solutions via an educational process based on three different learning dimensions (objectives):
The first result of PARADIGM will be an online training programme for teachers aiming to grow their appropriate digital and pedagogical skills. In order to achieve this, the course will train teachers in STEM projects mainly using simple DIY platforms based on an experiential approach, as teachers should construct their use cases through citizen science and digital activism approaches. It will provide detailed selected lesson plans and educational guidelines towards achieving the targeted societal objectives. Additionally, the course will provide a detailed guide to train teachers to leverage the PARADIGM development kits and virtual maker space as main facilitators for developing their PBL activities as well as collaborating in the context of an educational ecosystem that can facilitate networking, flipped learning and crowdsourcing of both contents and good practices on this educational topic.
The PARADIGM IoT-STEM Based Environmental Observatories Framework is the technological pillar of the project that will facilitate engagement (learn by doing and acting) of teachers, students, parents and the wider community towards understanding the changes needed for a successful transition to a green economy, respecting the environment and sustainable way of life.
PARADIGM will design and develop the appropriate technological infrastructure (devices, data platforms and tools) to empower the active engagement of students and citizens to act on climate change and for sustainable development through better monitoring and observing the environment and their environmental impacts. Through the activities of the project the PARADIGM school community will be equipped with:
A set of affordable, easy to use, interactive devices/development kits to allow citizens and students to participate actively in the collection of environmental data (DIY, IoT) will be evaluated and selected for use in schools
An IoT data aggregation and data visualization platform will be set up and offered to schools. The platform will be hosted by HOU DSMC Lab and will be made available also after the end of the project
A set of tutorials and companions to support the creation of an environmental data culture will be developed.
The PARADIGM virtual maker space and repository will be the second technological pillar that will facilitate the PARADIGM community development.
Through a collaborative open-source platform hosting the technical materials and associated set of tutorials and companions it will support the creation of an environmental data culture through citizen science actions.
The platform will include an intuitive User Interface, a catalogue of available material, search and online collaboration tools. These tools will ultimately turn the PARADIGM virtual maker space and repository into a complete citizen science platform facilitating flexible access to knowledge, crowdsourcing of data and information and online collaboration.