Education on the go

January 31, 2011

Sky Tent tours 11 Turkish cities to raise climate change awareness

By Sky Tent project team instructors

'What Will the Weather Be Like Tomorrow?' is a project developed in response to study results measuring public awareness of environmental and climatic changes. The project objective is to involve high school students in searching for climate change solutions and to help lay the groundwork for adaptive infrastructure.

PERFECT PITCH: The Sky Tent educational road show touches down in Istanbul's Rahmi M Koc Museum – Hasköy District. Photos courtesy of REC Turkey

The Sky Tent is portable educational facility, the main features of which are its Planetarium and Magic Globe. These and other specially designed tools and instruments allow visitors and participants to understand and feel the impacts of climate change at a sensory level, mostly by seeing and touching. Within the project framework, the Sky Tent visited 11 cities in Turkey, staying in each location for one week. The exhibition is geared primarily for high school students, but adults were welcome to join in the training activities during specially designated evening hours. All course participants are encouraged to identify ways in which they can take action to confront planetary change.

Each Sky Tent training session is designed as an interactive 90-minute workshop, and involves both the Planetarium and Magic Globe. The session for high school students begins with a film stressing the fact that both the Earth and humanity are merely parts of a much larger whole. The session then focuses on planet Earth's unique features, such as the atmosphere and the existence of water.

PROBLEM SOLVING: Students in Van, Turkey contemplate a simulated dilemma.

With the help of visual demonstrations and interactive games, the second part of the session examines the causes of climate change and its effects on Turkey and the world.  Participants also learn about large-scale transformations resulting from climate change. Games and visuals are used next to help steer discussions about strategies for stabilising carbon emission rates in the atmosphere. Lastly, participants put forward their own proposals for tackling climate change.

The Sky Tent training activities, conducted by REC Turkey staff members, were made possible through sponsorship from Turkish gas company Aygaz. Four sessions took place daily in each city visited, with group sizes between 25 and 30 people. Additional sessions were offered to interested adults. The training programme kicked off in Sivas on September 27, 2010, toured through Sanliurfa, Van, Kars, Trabzon, Samsun, Kastamonu, Eskisehir, Antalya and Izmir before ending in Tekirdag on December 17. An estimated 4,000 participants took part.

Participant feedback indicates increased levels of awareness of climate change, and this corresponds with higher levels of readiness to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change. Participants were especially motivated because the sessions included discussions of possible solutions in addition to traditional considerations of causes and consequences of climate change.

Visit the project website here:

Here are some links to view the TV spots for the 'What Will the Weather Be Like Tomorrow' campaign:

Comments from trainers and participants

Sebnem Feriver Gezer: Trainer

Our activities present an important opportunity for teachers as well, as they attend the sessions along with their students. We attempt to talk with them and obtain their feedback about what we're doing. Our teaching method involves encouraging students to discuss issues amongst themselves, to help make them more proactive and interactive. This gives teachers the occasional opportunity to act as a facilitator instead of a 'teacher' per se.

In Sivas, one teacher approached us and said that she intended to include the main points of our training in her next class at school. It makes us very happy to see that our work can have an impact exceeding our expectations.

Deniz Dinçel: Trainer

TOP OF THE CLASS: Project team instructors brought valuable environmental lessons to an estimated 4,000 people.
One of my favourite experiences was when a 10-year-old primary school student expressed great interest Sky Tent training. Although the training is designed for high school students, this boy attended the adult session; then, after getting permission, he attended all of the remaining training sessions. In the following few days, he dropped by the tent and chatted with us. He is a very intelligent person, and at least as knowledgeable as the average high school student about climate change. He took notes during the training and told us that he would share them with his classmates. Shortly after completing the training, he sent us an e-mail telling that he shared his notes with his friends at school.

Selected student feedback

'I am certain that, from now on, my consumption pattern will change forever. Thank you very much.'

'I learned a great deal and have become a more conscientious individual after attending this training.'

'The course made me realise how irresponsible we are. We've not been thinking about the future. What will happen to our planet? You really should organise these work-shops in every city.'

IT TAKES TEAMWORK: The 'Stabilising Wedge Game' challenges students in Sanliurfa.

'This project is an example of sensitivity translated into practice. We need endeavours like this if we are to secure a better future. If every individual has to do something, large-scale achievement is possible.'

'This workshop taught me a lot about climate change. I learned that this phenomenon poses a grave danger. But I also learned that we can use this danger to our advantage. Thank you for giving us this opportunity.'

'I am a more conscientious individual after attending this workshop. Henceforth, I will treat nature with greater care and respect. I will do whatever I can. Thank you.'

'It should be everybody's top priority to understand and respond to what has been told here."