Is water a dangerous substance? Can water scarcity lead to armed conflict? And what does the term shit matters actually mean? These and other issues will be discussed by 350 high school students from Spyken high school when LUCSUS and Lund University is marking World Water Day on 22nd March.
A programme of educational talks, discussions and workshops aimed at high school students and teachers has been organised in Stadshallen in Lund to mark the day. Speakers include researchers from Lund University, Sydvatten, Sweden Water Research and VA SYD. The newly appointed general secretary from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Karin Lexén, is also making her first public performance with a talk on the life-giving qualities of water.
Ahead of World Water Day, the high school students have been assigned roles such as a climate sceptic, an environmentally aware preschool teacher, a religious youtuber, a local politician and an artist. The role play is designed to make the high school students reflect on water issues from another perspective, that might be different from their own, and they participate in talks and discussions in their different roles.
It is not the first year that LUCSUS organises a World Water Day event aimed at high school teachers and students, but it is the largest event to date, comprising all of the first year students at Spyken high school.
– World Water Day is one of our largest outreach events of the year. We want to broaden the students' knowledge and challenge their perspective on water – through the meeting between students, researchers and organisations. Our hope is that they will start to reflect on how they use water in their daily life, and get an insight into the latest research on water consumption, water access and future developments, says Ann Åkerman, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, LUCSUS.
The programme scheduled for the afternoon is aimed solely at high school teachers. It focuses on showing the teachers how they can bring sustainability issues in to their subjects – through workshops and practical examples. Teachers from Lund University will lead a session on virtual water, the water that is used to produce a good, and water conflicts, and the Global School will highlight how teachers can work with the United Nations sustainable development goals. Sydvatten will focus on locations based teaching – where the location is used as the starting point for learning about an issue.
– The role of the teachers is absolutely central in inspiring and engaging youth to care about, and wanting to work with, sustainability. Yet, there seems to be a lack of teaching methods in how to do this. We want to support the teachers in teaching sustainability, through tips and tricks, and by highlighting the research we do at LUCSUS, says Ann Åkerman.
World Water Day is part of the Lund University 350th jubilee celebrations and is organised by LUCSUS in collaboration with Sydvatten and Spyken high school.