By Erviola, Edvi, Suela & Stela, from High school Zhani Ciko in Fier, Albania (members of the CRESCENDOschools Network).

“Sometimes it may be difficult to communicate the urgency of climate change through science and the media, but we and our students can explore the power of art to mobilize the public and the great potential for science-focused art, using STEM to influence climate policies, to create a change in climate awareness and participate in the engagement of our communities”– scientists say.

We heard about CRESCENDOschools Network contest at Scientix, within the European Schoolnet website, and immediately thought it was an interesting theme and an important problem which we can help to solve. Because climate change has its roots in our individual actions, we all can give and contribute to solve it.

Photos above: Top left, from left to right: Natalie Garrett (Climateurope), Edvi, Erviola, Suela, Stela and Paula Newton (Climateurope). Top right and bottom, students Edvi and Suela presenting their video to the audience ‘If Earth was human…’ at the Climateurope festival in Belgrade.

Every little one can make a difference.

We took information about the topic, but the challenge was how to bring it in an innovative way that would be interesting and understandable for all ages. After discussing, the girls decided to make a video where they would represent Earth as a teenage girl who is very sick and therefore she goes to see a doctor. We thought that if we brought the information like this it would be easier for people to understand and reflect. After writing the script we took permission to film the video at a hospital in Patos, Albania. We filmed two videos there. Our first video didn’t have enough scientific information, but the idea was original so we were given a second chance from CRESCENDOschools Network to make another one. The students Edvi and Suela worked for it during summer and tried to do their best. After making a new script, Earths lab results about water percentage, CO2 and the gas of methane, brochures with solutions for climate change and photos with the visualization of solutions, the girls filmed the second video. Winning made us proud and happy (read about their video and watch it at https://climatechangewechange.crescendoproject.eu/2018/10/17/if-earth-was-human/).

– “Hi I am Edvi Bedini and I am Suela Muhametaj. We are students from Albania, but we are here to represent CRESCENDOschools…”, Edvi and Suela during their intervention at the Climateurope festival 2018 in Belgrade.

A few months ago we could only pray to win. And when we were standing there in front of that wonderful audience, everything was better than we thought it would be.

Participating at the Climateurope festival in Belgrade was a surprise for us, but we felt really honored and grateful. It was a great opportunity and the experience at the festival was wonderful. Everything was amazing, from the building where the festival was held to the people participating. We learned so much information and we were presented to projects related with climate change we haven’t heard of. We presented our work during the first day of the festival, 17.08.2018, before going to the marketplace. Natalie Garrett a colleague of CRESCENDOschools Network introduced Edvi and Suela (two of the students involved) to the audience and then they had some time to introduce ourselves and our work. After our presentation, the trailer of our video was shown and the students Edvi and Suela received claps and a gift! It was a scarf from Vladimir Djurdjevic (RHMSS) that shows how the temperatures in Belgrade have changed during 1888- 2017. It was a beautiful moment and the students were and are thankful for the gift.

During the second day we enjoyed the group work with amazing people. By dividing in two groups, the ones who believe in climate change and the ones who don’t, and having conversations in couples we made strategies about how to convince skeptics. It was a great experience that will be used by us to convince people in our daily lives. We would like to thank them all for giving us something beautiful to remember.

Unfortunately, due to the time of our return flight we couldn’t attend the third day of the festival, but we were able to say goodbye and thank one more time CRESCENDOschools Network for giving us the opportunity and Climateurope for letting us participate at the festival, and of course all the people there for making us feel welcomed.

Now after coming home, we are more determined to help solve this disease called climate change.  We will continue to increase the awareness of people towards this theme as much as we can.

And by thanking one more time CRESCENDOschools Network we want to finish this by inviting other teachers to participate in activities like this, because involving students will make them explore the impact and importance of protecting the environment, commit and take action around this issue, and connect with other people making them aware of this issue and taking action as well. Climate change may be a difficult topic, but speaking of solutions can bring a message of hope and empower students. It is important that students understand the types of actions we can take and the extent to which these changes are needed.

After all, students are the voices of the future.

Thank you! (Special thanks goes to Alberto, Helena, Natalia, Paula and Anna :-))

By Erviola, Edvi, Suela & Stela.