Plucky Students Prepare To Criticize The Establishment

GaiaMOTHER OF URANUS, Oceanus, Coeus, Crius and Hyperion, Gaia (the primal Greek goddess personifying the Earth) adopted Lovelock’s mantle on Wednesday as students, representing four countries, called upon their schools to embrace new sustainable technologies for the benefit of the planet.

The appeal was made by five groups of passionate 16/17 year-old students, at Canvey Island’s Furtherwick Park School, which was hosting the final presentation of Project Gaia, a three year investigation into renewable energies and environmental impact funded by the European Commission as part of its Comenius Lifelong Learning Programme.

I am not drunkWhat began as a cool opportunity to meet members of the opposite sex; travel to different countries; and experience different cultures, had soon revealed itself to be nothing more than an elaborately contrived way for the establishment to make the students work for the rewards on offer. So it is perhaps understandable that one of the visiting dudes should force the audience to recognize his own sobriety in the face of such wicked intentions.

Project Gaia turned-out to be one of the longest and hardest projects that any of the students had undertaken. Confronted with a mass of scientific data; statistics and opinion from both sides of the environmental debate, they soon found that reaching definitive conclusions would not be easy. Defining the problem, when so much scientific evidence supports the fact that mankind’s actions are placing the planet in jeopardy, was fairly easy; but deciding how to redress the situation and, in particular, devising a sustainability plan for the schools in which they studied, was far harder than any had anticipated.

Five groups of students each introduced an unedited video they had made on a different aspect of the project. There had been insufficient time to produce a final, single, edited version; but the students had been unphased. Confronting their stage fright in the presence of a large audience, they mastered their fears and bravely pressed on with their introductions, leaving their videos (made in English for the benefit of their island hosts) to speak for themselves.

The presentations were impressive. The audience was left in no doubt that the presenters had risen to the challenge, and had gathered all the material necessary to provide a compelling argument for the need for all schools and colleges to stop sitting on the fence and take urgent action on introducing proven sustainable technologies in all their buildings.

With options ranging from simple timed delivery of urinal flushing systems; through building insulation and solar panels to wind turbines for electricity generation; there is now an array of options from which establishment heads can choose to lessen their environmental impact.

The argument was clearly put. All the students need to do now is produce a single, edited version of their individual presentations; document their findings and distribute the final package to head teachers throughout the EU in the hope they will heed its contents.

Canvey Island can be proud of the contribution made to this international project by its Furtherwick Park School students.

… (23/05/2009) – Catch-Up With Project Gaia

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  1. […] UNABLE TO ATTEND THE FINAL PRESENTATION OF PROJECT GAIA, held at the Furtherwick Park School on Wednesday, can now view the unedited videos on the project’s working […]

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