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The mountain as a classroom
Educate to environment protection by organizing outdoor school trips
The aim is to complete the theoretical lesson by outdoor school trip to be in contact with the nature and its professionals. Reconnect students with the reality on the ground by making them experience, smell, feel, observe and understand the local solutions.
This recipe offers the opportunity to organise school trips in the Alps around different topics : nature protection, geography, sciences, manual jobs… It allows students to discover this region with a new look with professionals and inhabitants of the region.
For who is it ?
- I am an association, a school, a college, a high school… I want to take my students to the field to study a subject related to nature, science, geography…
- I am a student or a parent of a student and I would like to suggest to my school to organize a field trip.
- A motivated teaching team and professionals available to pass on their knowledge;
- A place in the Alps for field study, in contact with nature and professionals;
- A means of transport and a place to sleep, as close as possible to nature for an immersive experience.
- An already tested teaching method (Alpine School) ready to be spread and replicated;
- Easy-to-use and fun educational tools for all;
- A network ready to be mobilized to help you.
Step 1 : Create a motivated group around this project.
Communicate and talk to those around you, your colleagues, your teachers, other parents of students. It is necessary to see if the project is interesting several people.
For this, you will find in the complete kit a FLYER that you can distribute. As well as 2 synthetic videos that shows all the benefits of this way of learning:
>> FLYER_YOUrALPS Presentation, to download with the full kit
Step 2: To convince you'll have to answer practical questions!
- What discipline can be linked to an activity?
- Who’s paying?
- How much does it cost?
- Which financial assistances are available ?
The practical guide answers to all these questions!
>> The practical guide, to download with the full kit
Step 3: Finding the right guides
Target and contact professionals you want to meet (nature professionals, scientists, museums, outdoor activities…). You can then send them the booklet in the kit so that they understand the initiative.
- Thanks to the network OurAlps, a list of associations which organize this kind of trips is available here.
- The link to discover the projects set up by French high-schools to give you some ideas.
Step 4: Open source educational materials
In addition to activities and meetings, you will need educational materials to prepare and lead workshops before, after and even during the trip.
Here are some tools, games and media that could help you:
1. Lessons / folder on the global warming of the Alps (all school levels):
>> COURS_Introduction au CC dans les Alpes to download in the kit
2. Activities / lessons (From 8 yo to 15yo) : Climate change, biodiversity, transports, consumption, tourism, live in the Alps, work in the Alps.
>> COURS_8 years and more to download in the kit
3. Educational board games to do outdoor (secondary school level) : discover.
>> CARTE_Boardgames to download into the kit
4. Project ideas to encourage democratic participation of young people (secondary/high school):
>> COURS_Participation of young people to download in the kit
5. A strategic game « Transalpin » (secondary and high schools).
The game is available here.
>> Tool_Mail to send to ask for the game to download in the full kit.
6. Observe on the ground thanks to the app Spotteron (level end of secondary school and high school).
>> LESSON_App Spotteron to download in the kit
Step 5 : Prepare the trip before.
If the program of activities is defined, allow students to make research, understand and prepare it upstream for more impact.
+ It is possible to let the students votes for the activities they prefer.
Step 6 : Available funding assistance for schools
As part of a compulsory school activity, it must be free for students. If the trip is not attached to the school program then it is possible to ask for a fee.
The practical guide will give you all the necessary details with possible funding requests.
>> The practical guide, to download with the full kit
Step 7: Provide transport and accommodation
- Transport: contact a transport company (car/bus) or organize carpooling.
- Accommodation: contact shelters/lodges.
Step 8 : The security must be a priority in the mountain.
- Provide certificates of exits for minors;
- Ensure that everyone can provide adequate equipment to the mountain and its conditions.
- Check the weather in advance: it can change very quickly in the mountains;
- About the paths: if you leave the marked paths, it is mandatory (or highly recommended) to have a mid-mountain guide to ensure safety;
>> FICHE_In my bag to download with the full kit.
>> FICHE_Outdoor trips_EDUSCOL to download in the full kit
>> AUTORISATION_Parentale_Sorties Schools to download in the full kit
>>More information on school trips here ici
Step 9: Organization on the spot
Encourage student participation, encourage them to take initiative in different activities
And take the opportunity to create links, talk with students and professionals!
For some students, it’s even an opportunity to find a job or training that might interest them!
Step 10 : After the trip.
Debrief with the participants to improve the concept for the next trips.
Use this experience as an educational medium and take advantage of the common background that the students have built!
You can even organize an “alpine week” with exhibitions made by the students, conferences with specialists or a mountain meal !
Step 11 : YOUrALPS Network.
You are now part of the YOUrALPS network! You can contact the network at this email address email@example.com to be listed and be able to guide the next organizers!
>> INFO_OurAlps Network to download in the full kit
>>More information about the YOUrALPS network
- Talk about the model around you and show the positive results. It will make other schools, colleges, high schools and associations happy to replicate it.
- Perpetuate this event so that it comes back every year. The hardest part is to organize the first trip as everything is to do!
- Renew the proposed activities.
- Use this trip as a teaching basis to engage students and to better pass on knowledges.
Details of the figures can be found in our “sources” section below
Precautions of use
- Be an establishment close to the Alpine region.
- Many of the documents provided are in English and French.
They did it!
YOUrALPS – EUSALP
Creator of the solution
23 highschools and secondary schools in Europe replicated and take part in the building of this project.
>> See REPLICATOR_Collection of good practice examples, with the full kit
A general highschool (Level : Seconde), France, Isère (38)
Replicator of the solution
“As part of their training and exploration sport teaching, 24 young people from immersed themselves in the mountains, in the landscapes of the Belledonne massif, during a two-day foot raid.
The main objective of this hike was to introduce young people to the mountain in its various aspects: environmental, economic, social and human. They were thus able to discover the job of mountain guide and the job of a shelter keeper. David Savoye, Claude and Nadine Barnier shared their passion and experience of the mountains. The refuge of La Pra is autonomous in electricity, thanks to of a pico-power plant which has no more secrets for the students. »