By Evelina Mahler

This year our school was invited to participate in the first Student Climate Summit at the Lincoln Schools Association along with St Andrew’s School, St George’s, Lincoln school and Gartenstadt Schule on April 21 and 22, coinciding with the eve and celebration of Earth Day.

The objective of this conference was to deliberate and decide what actions schools can take to reduce their carbon footprint and have a positive impact on reducing global warming. .

In preparation of this project we sent an anonymous  survey to all high school students (525 in total) through Google Forms, asking them about their appreciation on the management of different aspects of the school that impact the carbon footprint and the possibility of finding solutions. At the end of the survey, the students were invited to participate in the project by forming a team to address one of the multiple problems found and present our proposals to the Summit. 

Respondents were asked to rate the following aspects from «very poorly managed» (1 point) to «very well managed» (5 points). The rating averages can be seen in the following table:

The issues “use of paper” and “transport to and from school” were the two with the highest subjective perception of insufficient attention or neglect on the part of our school community.

The following students volunteered: Lara H. (6B), Catalina N. and Lucía C. (6A), Franco L. (5A), Juan Manuel H. (5D), Alexander W. (4A), Valentina C., Emilia F. T., Lara D. F. and Catalina U. (3C). With this team we worked on our primary goal: to reduce the carbon footprint that the transportation to our school produces and to rise awareness about it.

We worked together during lunch times and a whole afternoon in preparing the position paper, the opening speech, the solutions as well as the consideration of implications, responsible actors and budgets for our solutions.

On Friday 21st, at 14:30 we were received in Lincoln school to initiate the summit. The conference was based on the flow of debate in a Model United Nations conference (MNU).

The opening speech was held by Lara H. and Catalina N.. An excerpt of the speech follows:

 “ Our school prepares us for our futures. For us to be healthy, critical individuals, capable of rethinking  and reshaping our prospects. But it still hasn’t fully taken into consideration one vital aspect of our future lives and it is our planet and how to take care of it. A normal and reasonable question could be, why are we here? And the answer is simple. Because we care. We care about our future.We care about the planet and all the living beings that inhabit it. We, the Goethe Schule, will begin to care, and we would be glad if you wanted to do so as well”

Catalina U., Lara D. F., Emilia F. T. and Valentina C. presented the solutions and the implications (responsible persons and budget) were explained by Franco L. and Alex W.

April 22: Earth Day

On day 2 the delegations of the schools worked together in order to prepare resolutions, make the questions, write amendments and finally write a resolution that was voted on by all participants. At the end of an exhausting and exciting saturday, delegates on behalf of each school signed the commitment to implement the voted resolution, a combination of actions explained in the Resolution Paper.

We are convinced that this event did not end here, but marks the beginning of a new era for our community: getting involved in sustainability, making it our own, building team spirit, transforming our school and realizing that every action leads to a better future for us and the generations that follow. This is just the beginning and this team is motivated to change history. We appeal to everyone who is interested in collaborating with us to deepen this project.