EDURISK – EDUcational itineraries for RISK reduction

Aims

The main aim of the project is the change in attitude of single persons as well of communities towards earthquakes risks. The hypothesis is that scientific knowledge, properly used, allows moving from an unconscious fear to a conscious evaluation of risk and to an appropriate behaviour.  The project claims to be in between the research world, the school world, and the world of interested citizens, aiming to the development of individual and social competences for the reduction of risk. 

Children at the active exhibition ‘Tutti giù per Terra’, All Fall Down , Bologna 2007 © EDURISK

Children at the active exhibition ‘Tutti giù per Terra’,
All Fall Down , Bologna 2007 © EDURISK

Argument for inclusion

A multidisciplinary and contextualised vision of science and of science education,  including  history, psychology, landscape science, educational science, …..

Relevant information in short

Main Research Partners

National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), Bologna

Educational partners

63 schools in 9 Italian Regions, about 1.000 teachers, an Educational Publisher, a NGO specialised in Educational Games (ConUnGioco)

Other partners

National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome, Naples and Catania Departments; National Dept. for Civil Protection; National Institute of Geophysics and Oceanography, Trieste; University of Naples; Prospero Group, Trieste.

Age classes

From 5 to 18, but mainly 6-13 year old students

Thematic orientation

Multidisciplinary, with seismology as the main starting component.

Main Focus

The reduction of risk in the society  through a different perception of risks and a different training

Duration of activity

Since 2002

Resources

Funded by the National Dept. for Civil Protection and by voluntary work

Website

http://www.edurisk.it

Contact person

Romano Camassi, INGV Bologna

Context and conditions
The project led by the Bologna INGV Department define itself as ‘a work in progress for propose and test educational tools aimed at the reduction of risks in the community”. The risks faced are the volcanic and earthquake risks (involving a high percentage of the Italian territory).
The project involves directly only teachers, proposing teachers courses and educational materials that can be used at different level of schooling. The teachers are asked to integrate the knowledge and suggestions received in their own curricular programmes within their own schools. In the website there is a section also for communication between students, and some of the activities proposed on the web can be carried on autonomously. 

Activities and Contents
The main idea is that scientific knowledge is important for the prevention of risks but that it is not enough: equally important are the knowledge of local history (the history of local geological emergencies, catastrophes, and risks), the knowledge of cultural and psychological habits, the knowledge of past and present building techniques, and so on.
The activities proposed are various: children are asked to research local information on natural risks in their family experiences and from historical sources, to simulate an earthquake, to build an home made seismograph. Experts in ‘communication’ (the book publisher) and in educational methodologies (the NGO) are involved in the construction of innovative learning materials. 

Methodologies
Science is presented as the integration of several knowledge tools in a precise geographical, historical and social context,  with the aim of ‘acquainting’ the students and the general public with risk situation, lowering the level of fear and developing informed behaviours.
Games, small experiments, research of iconographic sources of information are part of this methodology. 

Educational games

An NGO specialised in Educational Games prepared a series of activities named ‘Tutti giù per Terra’, All Fall Down , title of a popular Italian rhyme.
The activities are ‘ludic’ in presentation but scientific in substance.

 Children draw themselves  during an earthquake simulation activity
Children draw themselves  during an earthquake simulation activity ‘

History and Arts are part of the proposed Curriculum

  



Children are invited to express their hypothesis and their fear:
May be that an earthquake arrive when the devil is angry and want to destroy the earth” . “He is shaking the soil with his pitchfork”

 

An analysis of old picture representing earthquakes effects allow to link the risk concept to local history  and to the local environment.

 old earthquake picture
5

Curriculum relevance: the school benefits
Schools appreciate a proposal that is able to really involve in a concrete experience many different teachers and disciplines, including some disciplines often neglected in a science oriented curriculum (as religion, or physical exercise)
Some schools, following the project from the beginning, are now autonomous and have integrated the activities in their normal curriculum in such a way that they seldom ask for help.

Other outcomes: the research benefits
The benefits for the researchers of the Geological Institute and of the Civil Protection Department are various: through the school activities they are able to verify in a real concrete situation the meaning that seismic codes, rules, planning indication, assume for the population, their intelligibility and applicability. Schools and students are also making a strong contribution in the checking and preparation of ‘local risk maps’, in some cases adding events and elements unknown to the researchers (local historical earthquakes).

Other outcomes, an International diffusion of the project
The EDURISK project was presented at several international meetings.  Following these presentations, two leading international institutions - IFFO-RME (France) and PLANAT (Switzerland) – filed official requests for cooperation, which led to the diffusion of EDURISK materials outside Italy and to the development of similarly-structured international educational projects. To meet the requirements of international cooperation, English, French, German and Spanish versions of the nursery-school kit and primary-school notebook, have been prepared and will be available as PDF files downloadable from the EDURISK website. An Arabic version of the two booklets is in preparation, in the frame of a collaboration with MASAD (Mediterranean Association for Science Advancement and Dissemination), and also an Icelandic edition, in collaboration with Civil Protection Department of Iceland.

what if there is an earthquake?  earthquake lessons

Educational tools published by the EDURISK project

Feedback and evaluation

The evaluation of the educational materials and methodologies is mainly devoted to teachers, who are also asked to report on  the activities carried out, on  the interest raised, and on the level of involvement of children.

Limits and possibilities
The extension of the project to other countries is an indicator of its possibilities of adaptation not only to different level of schooling but also to different cultures. A limit is given by the ‘voluntary work’ of almost all people involved, the funding covering mainly the production of material and the travelling expenses. In order to document and give visibility to all the work done by the participating schools a lot of extra work would be needed.
 
Selected References

Angiolino A., 2006. Terremoti come e perchè, Firenze-Milano, EDURISK, INGV-Giunti Progetti Educativi.

Brasini F., Modonesi D., Camassi R. and B. Sidoti, 2006. Italy. "Tutti giù per terra" (all fall down). An active course to discover earthquakes topics. Proceedings of the First European Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, 3-8 september 2006, Geneve (Switzerland), SS 3.
Camassi R., Azzaro R., Castelli V., La Longa F., Pessina V. and L. Peruzza, 2005. “Knowledge and practice”. Educational activities for reduction of earthquake impact: the EDURISK project, Proceedings of the international conference on the 250th Anniversary of the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, 1-4 november 2005, Lisbon (Portugal), 100-104.

Costa N., Giraldo M.L. and Sidoti B., 2005. What if there’s an earthquake?, EDURISK, INGV-Giunti Progetti Educativi

Pictures and drawings ©project webpages

Links

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