Stu­dents are lear­ning valuable cli­ma­te skills

This autumn, six upper secon­da­ry schools from Oulu, Ii, Kuusa­mo and Yli­vies­ka will take cli­ma­te actions serious­ly as they par­tici­pa­te in the City of Oulu’s pro­ject “Cli­ma­te Upper Secon­da­ry Schools”.

Each school will find out their cur­rent car­bon footprint and crea­te an action plan on what they could do as a com­mu­ni­ty to lower the school’s envi­ron­men­tal bur­den.

“It means simple choices made in eve­ry­day life. For example, not taking hundreds of small juice car­tons to a school trip whe­re they would end up fil­ling 18 gar­ba­ge bags. Ins­tead, eve­ry­one could just take their own bott­le that can be fil­led. The values of the school have a major impact on stu­dents,” says educa­tion deve­lo­per Jus­si Tom­berg, the lea­der of the pro­ject. 

As sup­port for plan­ning their cli­ma­te actions, the schools can use a digi­tal lear­ning envi­ron­ment cal­led Repair Manual for Schools. Toget­her with Häme Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Sciences, they will also design a cli­ma­te calcu­la­tor tai­lo­red for schools. 

Stu­dents at Oulun suo­ma­lai­sen yhteis­kou­lun lukio upper secon­da­ry school star­ted a podcast on cli­ma­te issues when the school par­tici­pa­ted in the pre­vious cli­ma­te pro­ject desig­ned for upper secon­da­ry schools. In the pho­to: Jen­ni Karp­pi­nen, teac­her Min­na Kor­pierk­ki, Kaner­va Mur­to­vaa­ra and teac­her Iiro Oika­ri­nen recor­ding an epi­so­de about sus­tai­nable food and vegan diet. Pho­to­grap­her: Saga Bruun.

Cli­ma­te know-how is the high-tech of the futu­re

The Repair Manual for Schools will be finis­hed this autumn. On the web­si­te, stu­dents can comple­te cli­ma­te skills bad­ges and stu­dy to beco­me cli­ma­te experts. 

Accor­ding to the pro­ject lea­der Jus­si Tom­berg, cli­ma­te skills are high-tech of the futu­re – a valuable asset in wor­king life. 

The Repair Manual covers the cli­ma­te impact of food, school infra­struc­tu­re and logis­tics. Tom­berg says that the who­le school com­mu­ni­ty is res­pon­sible for the actions. 

“With this manual we can show, for example, that it mat­ters what one hundred thousand stu­dents choo­se to eat eve­ry day. What if the vege­ta­rian option was not the last option in the line but the first one?” he asks.

Sus­tai­nable lifes­ty­les are taught alrea­dy at kin­der­gar­ten 

Oulu aims to achie­ve car­bon-neut­ra­li­ty by 2040. Children are lear­ning envi­ron­men­tal­ly sus­tai­nable thin­king throug­hout their school path, star­ting alrea­dy from day care.

The City of Oulu is also com­mit­ted to the UN’s Sus­tai­nable Deve­lop­ment Goals, which means that in addi­tion to envi­ron­men­tal thin­king, children and young people are rai­sed to con­si­der social, cul­tu­ral and eco­no­mic sus­tai­na­bi­li­ty.

In May 2021, the Agen­da of Hope 2030 event gat­he­red stu­dents from the Oulu area to con­templa­te the imple­men­ta­tion of the UN’s goals. Children and young people par­tici­pa­ted in plan­ning the pro­gram­me from the begin­ning. More than 10 000 viewers atten­ded the onli­ne broadcast of the hybrid event.

The broadcast inclu­ded a video from the stu­dents of Kel­lo School in which the stu­dents say what they think the UN’s Sus­tai­nable Deve­lop­ment Goals could mean in their eve­ry­day life:

Cli­ma­te Upper Secon­da­ry Schools

Main ima­ge: One of the project’s schools, Hau­ki­pu­das Upper Secon­da­ry School, won the inter­na­tio­nal Luma StarT com­pe­ti­tion in June with a mobi­le applica­tion cal­led “Upper secon­da­ry stu­dents’ cli­ma­te calcu­la­tor for green­house gas emis­sions”. Hau­ki­pu­das par­tici­pa­ted in Jus­si Tomberg’s pre­vious pro­ject, “Cli­ma­te Chan­ge in Upper Secon­da­ty Schools!” (2019–2021). In the pho­to: the win­ning team of Mii­na Kar­ja­lai­nen, Inka Jäm­sä, Jaak­ko Oja­la and Max Nabb­vik. Pho­to­grap­her: Anna-Hele­na Iso­pah­ka­la.