One hundred and fifty young people will be involved in IVE’s Applied Creativity Labs across Europe between now and March 2023 to help address the climate crisis.
The Labs will equip the young people with the creative and critical thinking skills they need when working with a range of experts on environmental and climate change issues. The programme has been awarded two years of funding, which will be among the last, from Erasmus+, the European Union funding programme aiming to modernise education, training, youth and sport.
Sarah Mumford, developer of ACLs at IVE, said: “Our climate and environment are in crisis, and young people have reacted to the urgency of this in recent years. It’s high time we empower not just young people, but the experts and organisations they will meet through the project.”
IVE will partner with organisations in Belgium, Bulgaria, Latvia, Portugal and Spain and the UK to deliver the project. In each location, a delivery partner (usually a school, training provider or community organisation) will be supported by IVE to run the Labs, which will begin with critical and creative-thinking training. Partners will work with local university researchers, academics and policy makers in the field of environmental sustainability and climate change who will share their knowledge with the young people taking part, who will then work in groups to develop solutions to some of the environmental problems facing their communities. Local issues they might choose to focus on could include air pollution, single-use plastics, biodiversity, agroforestry or carbon management. The young people will then present their ideas to an expert panel, Dragon’s Den-style. The ideas are scored, and the best ideas taken forward for development.
IVE’s Applied Creativity Labs have been run by IVE with schools and youth agencies in the UK, but this is the first time they will roll out overseas. The labs are proven to engage learners by placing STEM concepts in their real-world context, and empowering learners to think about how they might change the world around them. The educational framework is unique in its solution-focussed and creative approach, and could influence education policy through this pioneering programme Independent evaluation of the programme has shown its impacts on , confidence, oracy, career ambitions and critical thinking skills.
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