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The geological heritage as a tool for education and action for the climate change: Understanding the consequences by studying the Petrified Forest of Lesvos

The geological heritage provides a particularly effective pedagogical tool to engage school students with climate change through on site exploration in UNESCO Global Geoparks. Geological data provides invaluable opportunities to create authentic experiences for school children to understand the consequences of climate change. The Petrified Forest in Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark shows abundant evidences for past climate change as it reveals information about the composition of the palaeoflora (an important indicator of the past climatic and environmental conditions and their changes) the last 20 million years. At the same time the Lesvos Petrified Forest is an area where the petrified flora coexists with today’s flora. This characteristic provides unique opportunities for school children to explore the consequences of climate changes. In this paper is presented the educational program “Climate change: Learning about the consequences by studying the Petrified Forest of Lesvos” and the educational materials that have been designed to educate school students on climate change issues. Through a variety of educational activities, pupils are encouraged to explore the consequences of climate change, to think critically, formulate arguments, evaluate solutions and choices, and take action. Geological data, palaeoflora and today flora and their diversity are used as the main pedagogical tools during the educational programme.


Konstantina Bentana, Nikolaos Zouros, Ilias Valiakos
University of the Aegean, Greece
GeoKarlsruhe 2021