Multiplier event and one-day event – University of Aveiro
On 25 October 2022, the Portugal Multiplier event and one-day event was held at Vera Cruz Primary School. The one-day event was the third meeting for the design of the multisensory garden.
The multiplier event was divided into three moments: presentation of the current status of the garden, presentation of the Co-Education in Green project and its results, and two rounds of discussions on the use of urban green spaces by the community and the possible uses of the school garden.
The event started with a visit to the sensory garden. The students continued the development activities of the garden, while the research team from the University of Aveiro presented to the participants the steps taken so far to create the garden.
After the garden visit, the participants were invited to learn more about the Co-Education in Green project through a presentation prepared by the University of Aveiro. Some general information about the project was presented, such as: the partners, the objectives, the main activities, the products and the results so far.
In addition to the general information about the project (e.g.: objectives, main activities, products and results), some examples of gardens created in Portugal were presented, namely a video of Santo Antonio Primary School highlighting the involvement of parents and students in the creation of this garden and the benefits for the students and the school. The event continued with a panel discussion on the history of the occupation of public spaces in Portugal through citizen participation, particularly in Aveiro. It also discussed the importance of local community engagement and participation in the collective design of green spaces. Other good examples of projects in Portugal, such as the Valongo project, were presented.
The last part of the event was dedicated to discussing alternatives and planting techniques that can be used to improve the multisensory garden, but also good sustainable practises. Through fun activities, participants shared some ideas for improvements in the Vera Cruz Primary School garden to transform it into a space where environmental issues can be learned through sensory experiences that allow for a better understanding of the world through their five senses.
With this in mind, the team from the University of Aveiro proposed to use the Game-Based Learning (GBL) methodology in the completion of the garden in order to arouse student engagement and promote more sustainable behaviour. In addition, environmental education should be delivered through challenging games that engage our senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch.
At the end, the participants' suggestions will be evaluated to help in the next phases of the development of the sensory garden at Escola Vera Cruz.
Acknowledgements to the video which belongs to the exhibition " Hortas de Lisboa. Da Idade Média ao século XXI", at the Museum of Lisbon - Palácio Pimenta, until December 12th, 2021.
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