242 students from Years 4 to 6 of primary schools from the Silesia Province were participating in the project of AURAEKO. The project was carried out by the Ziemia i MY Association from Dąbrowa Górnicza. The main objectives of the project were:
- to raise environmental awareness among children in the scope of reduction of the amount of packaging and to share manners of handling waste among the adult members of society through multiplication effect,
- to support the formation of eco-friendly attitudes in primary school children in their school and local environment.
In order to achieve the objectives, the following forms of activity were employed:
- workshops consisting of a multimedia presentation, games and play, creation of handiworks in the form of lapbooks,
- school exhibitions of works created during the workshops,
- exhibition of the best works from all schools,
- official summary – award of teaching aids to schools and prizes to participants.
Based on the behaviour of the children during the activities, it can be inferred that they were greatly interested. The activity exhibited by the participants during the workshops makes it possible to deduce that both the subject of used packaging and the form of workshops with the use of the lapbook method, which was new to the participants, provided them with new knowledge and skills, which they applied in practice with great enthusiasm. It would appear that the experience gained through participation in the project will translate into one of the project objectives: formation of attitudes towards threats to the environment posed by used packaging.
When presenting the results of the project, attention should be brought to the functions of the exhibitions at individual schools, as well as during the summary of the project. For instance, display of works created by the participants during the exhibition served as a strong motivational factor. Just the thought that one’s work, one’s creation would be displayed publicly at their school, as well as during the official summary of the projects, was highly motivational. Such a state of affairs must have heightened the drive to present the contents of the project, but also competition based on the principle: “I will show how to fight the threat posed by used packaging in a better/the best way at the exhibition and the entire school will be able to see it”. The described mechanism worked even better in relation to the exhibition of student works at the general summary of the project, where competition was between all schools participating in the project rather than between individual students.
It is worth noting that the activating method applied in the project resulted in enthusiasm in terms of learning about difficult issues connected with threats to the environment and people posed by used packaging, which issues are a serious challenge of the contemporary world.
Observations of the (three) trainers confirm that students have poor teamwork skills, but at the same time greatly enjoy creating and are active, with the above being true even for individuals perceived as problem students by their teachers. During the summary of the projects, the participating schools were awarded teaching aids and diplomas. The commended individual participants received small non-cash prizes, funded by AURAEKO BATERPAK Organizacja Odzysku Opakowań SA.