David Leunda San Miguel from Centro Educativo Sagrado Corazón in Spain explains the Oak Challenge, a biology project to recover damaged ecosystems and invites all Jesuits schools to join and participate in this project.
In 2016, Year 7 students from “Centro Sagrado Corazón” Jesuitas in Logroño, Spain, started a fascinating biology project to recover some damaged ecosystems in La Rioja, Spain, with species of local varieties of oak trees such as: Quercus ilex or Quercus. robur etc.
In autumn, the students sow acorns in class in small reused plastic yoghurt cups with potting soil. They follow the whole process and are responsible for watering the plants. As soon as the first plants have sprouted, they measure the length and take note of the daily growth. Some aspects like temperature, humidity or sunlight must be taken into consideration and continuously adjusted in order to ensure the proper development of the plants.
When the bloomed plants have reached an appropriate size in spring, they are introduced into a local ecosystem that has been damaged so as to restore it to its´ natural conditions. Every student must take a photo of the plant and send a poem by email, which they have previously written in Spanish.
The motto of the project is “every single tree will be a poem” and “students spread not only life but poetry”.
All the locations, photos and poems are shown on a Google map which enables us to follow the reforestation in real time on the blog “La Pizarra de la Ciencia”.
Not only do the students learn some facts about plant physiology but they also become aware of the importance of plants and the benefits of their preservation.
The Oak Challenge project is currently in progress and more than one hundred trees have just been planted in natural areas. Although it originally started in La Rioja, it has rapidly spread across other regions.
The Oak Challenge represents an opportunity to connect different subjects, providing practical experience and environmental awareness. We honestly invite more Jesuit schools to join us and participate in this project by creating a global network where significant experience and material could be shared.
Follow The Oak Challenge project on: https://lapizarradelaciencia.wordpress.com/category/oak-challenge/
If you would like to know more about the Oak Challenge leave a comment below or contact David Leunda San Miguel at [email protected]