developing HANDS-ON games for WATERMEdIES collaborates with the Energy and Water Energy of Malta to develop hands-on programmes to be played at the Għajn National Water Conservation Awareness Centre
Following the collaboration between MIO-ECSDE with the Energy and Water Agency of Malta (EWA) in 2017, on the development of the e-games at the Għajn (= water pond) Water Centre, and further to the request expressed by EWA, MIO-ECSDE (through MEdIES) undertook the development of four new hands-on educational programmes to accompany the e-games, aiming to maximize their effect by enhancing the awareness and cultivating the skills and attitudes of the visitors of the centre.
In a NUTSHELL
In this respect, between 2018 – 2019 the MEdIES team undertook a needs analysis, and then developed and piloted four tailor-made, hands-on, educational programmes to be applied to the students/ visitors of the Għajn Centre. Alongside, four take-home brochures were prepared and two seminars for teachers took place. All undertaken tasks are the result of the continuous collaboration and exchange with the Għajn staff, adapting deliverables along the way to better meet their needs.
the Energy and Water agency
This is a Government Agency within the Ministry for Energy and Water Management, tasked with formulating and implementing national policies in the energy and water sectors. The Agency is entrusted with the running of the National Water Conservation Awareness Centre (Għajn) in the frame of the LIFE 16 IPE MT 008 Project.
A non-profit Federation of 128 Mediterranean NGOs working in the fields of Environment and Development in 27 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area. MEdIES is the long standing education initiative of MIO-ECSDE. MIO-ECSDE, through MEdIES undertook the development of the educational programmes.
THE eDUCATiONAL PROGRAMMES
The educational programmes are holistic, linked to the school curriculum and connected to the specificities of the Maltese natural environment. The programmes address all three categories of educational objectives – knowledge, skills, and attitudes. They are all different from one another, and designed for a range of ages, allowing for the same class to keep revisiting the Centre and have a different experience and learning content.
Moreover, the four take-home brochures (one per programme) containing facts, games, quizzes and comics complement the ‘live’ programmes. Learners can start completing them on-site, during the programme and do the follow up activities at home or at school. They are meant to be used as a souvenir from Għajn and a kind of water-calendar, where students can note their own behavioural changes e.g. in water consumption, etc.
puppets as sensitisation tools
The protagonist of the e-game appears as a puppet, she introduces herself and tells her water relating story. The other protagonist of the e-game (dragon) also appears as a puppet representing the ‘bad’ (forgetful, neglectful) character whom the kids try to sensitize.
the water-guard knight
After playing the e-game the students are presented with the knight’s closed chest. Inside there is a long rope with knots, in each one of which there is a riddle or a challenge having to do with managing water in the past. Can the students help the knight to solve the riddles and reach the chest? What’s inside?
becoming a water engineer
Following the e-game the students become plumbers and engineers: they are split in four groups and are asked to assemble a 2D or 3D pipe network that represents hydraulic works, namely a) the RO plant and b) a sewage treatment plant c) a rainwater harvest system and d) a grey water recycling system.
the water & sustainability hero
Finally, in this programme students become water and sustainability auditors of the Ghajn centre itself. They split in groups, they spread inside and outside the premises of the centre and explore how water, energy and waste is managed. Can they make proposals for improvements?
In April 2019 the Ghajn National Water Conservation Awareness Centre won the prestigious European Sustainability Award for 2019, organised by the European Commission.
This prize is awarded to those projects and initiatives that focus their efforts in turning the SDGs into concrete actions and opportunities. In fact, in its actions, the Ghajn Centre, addresses 10 out of the 17 SDGs from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.