The Icelandic part of the Geoheritage group 2020.

Week 40 in Iceland

The last days in September (week 40) were a challenge for the Icelandic participants in the project. We were supposed to welcome our partners from Finland and Norway in Iceland. According to the application we wanted to visit selected places and work together in groups.

Due to COVID-19 it is impossible to visit other countries and we as hosts for the first visit had to find ways to go on with the project. This semester we are working with global goal 13 in the project, Climate action.  We wanted to teach the participants in the project about climate changes, how it can be seen in Iceland and the impact of climate changes on the whole Earth. We worked on five different topics; retreating glaciers, changes in the vegetation, more frequent landslides, climate changes because of eruptions and climate changes because of human activity.

We decided to take our Icelandic students to selected places which are connected to the topic of the emphasis this semester. The Katla Geopark and Vatnajökull Nationalpark are supporting parties with FAS and experts from those institutions took care of sharing information about topics. We went on our trip on the 29th of September to the south of Iceland and visited places where we can see and experience the changes. From each place our experts gave a lesson which was possible to see online on the YouTube Channel of FAS. Those lectures have now been uploaded to our website.  Our trip lasted two days and we experienced all kind of weather. During the trip, the students’ sense of place was also systematically strengthened by having them pay regular attention to the local environment and what was in front of their eyes. Overall, it was a good trip, and our students learned a lot.

The last day in week 40 the participants in the project worked together in groups. We had five groups and in each group were two students from each country. It was not easy at the beginning but after a while the work started to get better. At the end of the day all groups had done good work.

This partnership has really been a challenge because of COVID-19. However, it is most important to have found a way to make the project work even if no visitors come. Thanks to technology, a lot can be done. But we all hope we can visit our partners in Norway in spring 2021.



News from Norway

Now our pupils have evaluated the project and the project week. The pupils are very satisfied. Many of them have already made personal contact with students from the other countries, and they say that they have learned a lot about nature, geology and climate changes.

After the school had ended today, 14 of the schools employees went out in boats to pick plastic garbage from the shores in the strandflat. It was a beautiful weather, but it was a bit of a shock for us to see all the plastic laying on land– we like to think that the sea shores in our part of the country  are clean.

The plastic pollution is strongly related to SDG no. 12: Responsible consumption and & production and SDG no. 14: Life below water.

The work so far on the project

The view from FAS to glacier Vatnajökull.

Our application was accepted which is great news. Times are indeed a bit strange now because of COVID-19 and it is difficult to travel. The idea turned up to postpone the project, but all schools had already planned this project in the ongoing schoolyear. Therefore, we decided to go on, but we needed to change the plan which is at the same time challenge for us all.

According the application the first visit is to Iceland in September 2020. Now the land is almost closed and severe travel restrictions. Instead of welcoming the guests to Iceland we are now developing methods on how we can work as planned but without our guests from Finland and Norway. We want to use the technology as much as possible. We will try to work in mixed groups and use both streaming and computers for our work.


Working on the application.

The application in the final steps

Working on the application.

Working on the application.

After the summer holidays the parties concerned in the three participating countries decided to apply for funding to Nordplus for preparatory visits to discuss and develop further project plans. The application was accepted and two representatives from Finland and two from Norway came to Iceland late in November to FAS to work on the application and develop the ideas from last spring.

The guests just spent two days in Höfn but during the time it was a very efficient work. We managed to decide what the main emphasis will be and timeline in the project. Some hours were used for common skype meetings. We are also very happy that Geoparks in all participating countries will be partners in the project and the Vatnajökull National park in Iceland. It will strengthen the schools to have an opportunity to work with experts from the parks in field trips.

After the intensive work for two days the guests went back home, and all had some tasks to work on for the application. We are now in the final steps working on the application which must be submitted latest 3rd of February 2020.

Hopefully our application will be accepted so our ideas will happen.