Autumn in Ieranto: Classroom discovers underwater treasure

The autumn is already here but the work in Ieranto doesn’t stop. Even if we don’t have a lot of visitors as in the summer because the temperature is lower, the weather is still sunny and warm enough to give you amazing experience in and outside of the water. During the September and October, our project was host to the four groups of international high school students from Germany and Switzerland.

With one of the groups we received

We had an opportunity to meet and work with the students and professors from four different high schools, gymnasiums, and share our knowledge and experience that we had as international volunteers and as guides through amazing biodiversity that we are protecting in Ieranto. 

Our main goal was to represent to our guests colourful and rich marine life that we have in our park, how it can be protected through forming marine protected areas and why is important to do it through different interactive games and activities. 

To understand what is biodiversity and what that means, we showed them through  the kayaking and snorkeling tours as well as interactive games on the land.

Mimi with outr volunteer Alaeddine

Activities on the water were more than well accepted by the students. Kayaking tours in the bay were pretty exciting for them and they had a great time together as a group. Snorkeling tours were such a pleasant surprise for me, because it was the first time that I was doing guided snorkeling tour. Amazing. They were full of questions and their thirst for information and explanations was really refreshing. I haven’t seen it for a long time ago. And I was more than happy to answer them and clear their doubts as well as sharing some fun facts about the organisms that we saw together. 

When the part in the water was over, we started the interactive games that I was talking about in the beginning. The idea was to show them biodiversity from different perspectives, so we invented a guessing game to do that. In our infopoint, we have a lot of things that came with the sea so we use that objects, hiding them in the box with a space for the hands, for them to touch the items that we had. 

Sepia bone? Posidonia egagropila? Crab shell? Plastic garbage covered with barnacle shells? Hmmm… What do you think what they recognised?

Also to show them what is a marine protected area, we invented another game to demonstrate that. Students were supposed to write all the activities that can be done on the sea on a sticky note. After they finish, we asked them to stick their activity on a board which was divided by the zone of the protection that we have in our park – Red(A), Yellow(B) and Green(C) zone of protection. As they stuck the answers on the board, we informed them about every activity and put in the right place on the board if the answers were wrong. Students had a great time and we also enjoyed. 

At the end of the day, everything was great, students enjoyed, professors were satisfied with our work, everybody learned something new and it was time to say goodbye. We wished them safe homecoming, hoping that in the future, maybe, some of them will return as Project Mare volunteers.

Thanks to our volunteers for the great job!