30 Jul, 2021
In the 2021 academic year, ATP’s Environmental Education department will commence its “Mobile classrooms on wheels” pilot project, which is aimed at bringing environmental education to the students of the bordering and remote villages of Armenia.
The idea to transform one of ATP’s used mini vans into an environmental lab/classroom came from ATP’s educators during Covid-19. Prior to the pandemic, ATP’s Environmental Education team was constantly on the move, juggling multiple projects, like teaching and conducting trainings with schoolchildren and teachers, organizing summer camps, creating eco clubs and developing new teaching materials that were applied in many schools in Armenia with whom ATP collaborates.
Although the collaboration with many schools continued during the outbreak, and was switched to online platforms, ATP trainers and educators constantly felt the need to re-invent their teaching methods and courses and make them even more interactive and accessible to rural villages of the country.
The classroom on wheels is designed to include all the necessary equipment, furniture and devices for conducting lessons out in nature. The goal of this project is devised to encourage the students to do research, investigate and wonder why certain things happen in nature.
Furthermore, not only will this project offer opportunities for experiential learning outside of the classroom, but it will also enable students to make connections and apply their learning in the real world.
The students will be able to take all the necessary tools, such as telescopes, microscopes, water quality measurement devices, etc, from the mobile classroom and do their research independently outside in nature.
As a Biology teacher with over 45 years of teaching experience, ATP Environmental Education senior trainer Nvard Gevorgyan recounts that the majority of environmental issues arise from a lack of education.
“Helping and giving students the opportunity to conduct research on their own will help each of them to come up with different solutions and ideas, and make their own decisions about complex environmental issues. Besides, it also enhances critical and creative thinking skills. They can also apply all the knowledge gained by leading their own projects or endeavors in the future. Even in case of minimum expectations and outcome of the project, the latter can at play a guiding role for the students to choosing a profession in the future,” noted Ms. Gevorgyan.