“KIDS UNIVESRSITY BEWARE”: An innovative online campus on water and environment for young students in Santorso and Marano Vicentino

On Friday 29th of May, it took place the first edition of the “Kids University BEWARE” which involved 500 young students and teachers from the primary and secondary schools of Santorso and Marano Vicentino who had the opportunity to join an innovative online campus on water, environment and climate change.

The lecturer Lucia Bortolini, researcher and professor of the Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (TESAF) of Padua University, talked about water and the thematic focus of the LIFE BEWARE project led by the Municipality of Santorso, in collaboration with the Municipality of Marano Vicentino, the Consorzio di bonifica Alta Pianura Veneta, Tesaf – Department of Territory and Agro-Forestal Systems of the University of Padua, Veneto Agricoltura and Alda, the European Association for Local Democracy.

The young and very young participants had the chance to acquire further knowledge about the importance of an effective water resources management and the possible sustainable interventions which can be implemented to mitigate flood risk and to use water more efficiently, both in urban and rural areas.

The students showed a lively curiosity and a strong interest by asking a dense series of questions that Professor Bortolini answered in an effective and stimulating way. At the end of the event and as a seal of what they had learned, the young students faced a real written examination, with a proper final grade.

Given the complexity of the moment – underlines Claudia Broccardo, Santorso City Councillor for Culture – we wondered how to reach our children and young people. Thanks to the collaboration of the teachers of the schools and the University of Padua we have identified this new way. The lesson has been adapted to the age of the participants and the need to keep their attention and involvement high. This has not prevented us from investigating important issues, such as the water cycle, the effects of urbanization and how we can act to reduce floods in cities“.

This initiative has allowed us to talk and think together with very young students about the heavy impact that human activities have on the hydrogeological risk, stressing the importance and the necessity of a more and more conscious and responsible water management – underlines the Mayor of Marano Vicentino, Marco Guzzonato. “For the student it has been a precious opportunity to discuss important issues that will contribute to form their civic and environmental awareness, essential elements for the future of our territories”.

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