Merman in School (1, 2, 3)


Children in urban areas are with the growth of information technology even more disaffected from nature. In the educational process in schools, we miss genuine contact with nature, experiential learning, which contributes to the unforgettable experience and testing of theoretical knowledge about natural processes. This is the only way we will educate responsible individuals with a high ecological awareness that will strive for sustainable development at all levels of life.

Conservation of inland water is crucial not only for the preservation of biodiversity but also for the protection of drinking water (quality and quantity), without which our life is difficult to imagine. The responsibility of each individual for the aquatic environment is an important factor in achieving the objectives of water protection. Through this project we wanted children to learn about the aquatic environment in their city and to learn about dangers and threats that man is causing to environment. Year 2011 was also the year of forests. We informed children about the biodiversity of forests and their protective function at all levels, especially water protection.We used innovative approaches for experiential learning in nature by presenting differences between inadequate and appropriate environment (forest, cultural landscape) and water management.



In 2012 we decided to continue with successful implementation of the project Merman in School. Workshops were organized in various elementary schools in Ljubljana, where we learned about the biodiversity of inland waters. Special attention was paid to: more careful handling of water resources from sources to entire river basin; water conservation – for sources of drinking water and water ecosystems with typical flora and fauna (otter as a charismatic animal species, a predator at the top of the food chain); sustainabl regulation of surface waters as a preferred way of water management.
Our aim was to achieve a better understanding of the processes in the natural aquatic environment and knowledge about biotic diversity of the domestic aquatic environment and constant care for it.



We continued with the activities that we successfully implemented with the help of the City of Ljubljana in elementary schools already in 2011 and 2012. In two years, we established cooperation with some elementary schools and improved workshops, with which we wanted to enrich day care and after-school supervision of pre-school and elementary children and to upgrade the knowledge they acquire in the classroom.

We wanted children and adolescents to present the diversity of life that surrounds us and plays an important role in our lives. We went to the nearby stream or to Ljubljana Moors, where children could test themselves in biological sampling methods, chemical analysis of water, look for animal traces etc. We set different challenges for students, thus encouraging independent work, research, creativity and teamwork. We conducted simple water experiments in the classrooms and checked our water footprint. We talked about how we can reduce our own consumption and pollution of water by simple everyday actions. Water and biodiversity accompanied all our activities, as  General Assembly of the United Nations declared 2005-2015 for International Decade  for Action Water for Life, year 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation and decade 2011-2020 for Decade on Biodiversity.


Title: Merman in School 1; Merman in School 2; Merman in School 3

Applicant: Lutra, Institute for Conservation of Natural Heritage

Co-financier: The City of Ljubljana

Duration: 2011, 2012 and 2013