The European Blue Schools bring the ocean into their classrooms. While becoming a European Blue School, the teachers and the students will improve their knowledge about the ocean and develop a sense of responsibility towards our planet. By doing this, the children will be encouraged to become more active and accountable European and global citizens.
The program helps schools explore their connections to the ocean while creating networks across Europe. The network of European Blue Schools was created by the European Commission. It is supported by DG MARE and developed by the partners of the EU4Ocean coalition.
Why should you become a European Blue School?
The schools part of the Find the Blue challenge must choose an ocean-related theme and work with their students to create a school project. The aim is to make the ocean a part of the school program by project-based learning. One of the values of the project is to create a community by working with organisations and people involved with the ocean. By completing the Find the Blue challenge, the schools will receive a certificate for a European Blue School.
All European Blue Schools part of the network:
– Advocate for change for ocean sustainability;
– Share their experiences with teachers and students from other schools;
– Connect with the ocean literacy community.
All successful projects will be shown on the map of European Blue Schools. Every school will receive its web page on the Maritime Forum, which can be managed and updated. See all members here. In the network for European Blue Schools, you can find:
– Professional development workshops for teachers, run by ocean experts;
– Access to recourses and activities by potential partners in the EU4Ocean platform;
– News and updates;
– Opportunities for collaborations.
How can you become a European Blue School?
All projects must meet the following criteria:
Create a project with interrelated activities: The project consists of several activities under one common theme. Enable students to gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period to explore an ocean topic, question, or problem.
Create a clear outcome: The initiative encourages students to be active learners and to create a product, event, or service that can be displayed and used as a means of communication. Be smart and start creating.
Involve all students: The students play an important role in all parts of the project. The teacher helps them learn and become independent workers, which helps them show what they can do.
Cooperation with a local partner: Teamwork is the key to success. Invite an expert, a marine scientist, an organisation, a science centre, a marine company, and/or a government body to help you create the project. See the platform members of the EU4Ocean to find a partner!
Spread information on the result of the project: Allow students to improve their communication skills and be more engaged with the local community by talking about the project in a meaningful and informed way, starting from their social environment.
After completing the project successfully, the schools will receive a European Blue School certificate. “We are happy to accept applications for various projects but encourage teachers to think about developing complex project ideas. They can, for example, work with other teachers or other schools abroad to make a huge impact and increase authentic learning experiences outside the classroom.”
Here are 5 optional criteria for teachers who want to take their projects to the next level:
Provide authentic learning experiences: Provide your students opportunities to find the blue not only in their classroom but in the real world too. This initiative allows students to apply what they have learned in class in practical projects with relevance in real life.
Work in a multidisciplinary way: Explore your topic through various subjects to allow the students to show their different strengths, points of view, and interests. Multidisciplinary projects provide learning opportunities beyond science, like languages, history, (water) sport, art, or economics.
Mobilise: This initiative allows you to go beyond the classroom by offering opportunities for collaboration between teachers who teach different subjects and age groups. The project allows working as a school and not just as a class.
Promoting land-sea interaction: Schools from coastal areas can cooperate with schools inland to exchange experiences and information on the differences and similarities they observe in their environment, economy, and culture. Cooperation can be done through eTwinning.
Introduce a European dimension: This initiative makes cultural exchange between European schools by allowing students to see themselves and their work in a European context and to cooperate with peers across the Union. It offers the opportunity to travel abroad through a funded exchange program and develop more collaborations.
Submit your application!
Is your school ready to start the Find the Blue challenge? Here is what you have to do to become a European Blue School:
The first step is to download the Teacher Guide.
The guide outlines the teaching principles behind the initiative and the certification process of the European Blue School. It includes a step-by-step guide to develop your own blue project, ideas, tools that can get you started, and a variety of inspiring projects from across Europe.
Download the manual by clicking here.
European Schoolnet posts additional analysis for ocean-related initiatives in schools in Belgium, France, Portugal, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Germany, Finland, and the United Kingdom, which can be downloaded here.
Become part of the big “Make Europe Blue” movement and apply to become a European Blue School.
Applications for a certificate are now open!
The European Blue School initiative is open to all schools within the European Union and schools that cooperate with schools in the EU. They can apply for a certificate and participate in the online European Community of Blue Schools.
The application form is only available in English. Entry into the EU is not required to complete the application form.
Apply to become a European Blue School!
If you have problems with the application form, contact email@example.com. Your application will be rated by reviewers of the European Blue Schools Network two times in the year.
– Documents for 1st semester are accepted between 16th October and 15th December. They will be examined in December.
– Documents for the 2nd semester are accepted between 15th January and 30th May. The applications will be viewed in June.
Translation: Malena Petrova