Tutech staff member Jürgen Becker speaks to B&P about an unusual education programme that’s on the up.
Hamburg’s free education week for schools on climate, sustainability and social change
Text: Wolfgang Becker, B&P
Climate activist Greta Thunberg, founder of the “Fridays for Future” movement, was just ten years old when students from Hamburg schools were invited for the first time to a wide-ranging educational event on climate, sustainability and social change entitled Wetter.Water.Waterkant. Initiated by the Hamburg environment ministry and organised by Tutech Innovation GmbH in Harburg, it had one main topic: the climate itself and consequences for the environment and urban life. The educational programme for schools will be taking place for the sixth time from 21 to 25 September 2020. For a year now, organiser Jürgen Becker, network manager for climate at Tutech, has been aware of a noticeable hype: the number of partner companies has risen, the almost 6,000 places offered for participants in workshops, excursions and lectures were almost completely booked out last year and the programme is now 110 pages long. There is no doubt about it, the climate has definitely become a hot topic.
Becker: “Wetter.Water.Waterkant is the biggest education programme in this sector in northern Germany. This year, too, we’re planning a wide range of activities with recognised experts and aimed at school students of all age groups – from year two right through to school leavers. There’s something for everyone.”
The programme is aimed at school classes, however. Individual registrations by the offspring of climate-sensitive parents are possible only in exceptional cases.
Around 60 respected cooperation partners from the sciences, municipal administration, business and associations are taking advantage of the opportunity to interest the next generation in climate and sustainability issues. The Hamburg Senate is supporting the programme with considerable funding and has firmly anchored WWW in the city’s climate plan. Content is related to the Hamburg school curriculum. For instance, the topic of water ecology is part of the Hamburg “Abitur”, the school-leaving exams. Becker: “That is why we’re again offering the workshop ‘Water monitoring in harbour basins’, an exciting programme supported by the Institute of Hygiene. The students take water samples in the harbour and analyse the water quality on site. Up to 12 classes can register.”
How about a bit of
climate speed dating?
Among the cooperation partners are Hagenbecks Tierpark, Deutscher Wetterdienst, Greenpeace, the HH2 Wasserstoffgesellschaft, a whole range of companies and HafenCity Universität (HCU), which is hosting a large part of the programme. The utility company Hamburg Wasser, for example, is offering a “Permeability Workshop”. It sounds a bit odd, but addresses the question of how surface water can be encouraged to soak away naturally in urban areas with a high proportion of sealed surfaces. One place this can start is on school premises. Becker: “There’s a whole host of great, practical ideas.”
One high point will take place at the launch on 21 September in the HCU foyer: climate speed dating with up to 100 school students participating. Prominent representatives from a variety of areas will be dotted around the room, ready to answer concrete questions on climate issues.
Participation in Wetter.Water.Waterkant 2020 is free of charge as always. Interested schools can find further information and registration details at www2020.de. As the programme is still being finalised, registration will not be possible until mid-June.
The original German version of this article was published in the print version of “Business & People” and can also be found at www.business-people-magazin.de/bildung/hamburg-laedt-zu-wetter-water-waterkant-25842/.
A conversation about last year’s Wetter.Wasser.Waterkant. can be found at tutech.de/wetter-wasser-waterkant-2019/.
Contact: Jürgen Becker, firstname.lastname@example.org