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You can see great nature under dark sky
Start date: Feb 15, 2016, End date: Aug 14, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

When STEP was drafting the project „You can see great nature under the dark sky“, the regional as well as European needs were taken into consideration as EU realizes that environment becomes more and more threatened by pollution of all kinds and, therefore, EU sets apart a considerable finances to tackle this issue. National park Poloniny with two rare specimens - The Park of Dark sky which provides a suitable habitat for several endemic plants and animals thanks to a low level of light pollution (general public is not well-acquainted with the park, though); and a Water Reservoir – Starina, which provides really clear potable water to the entire Eastern Slovakia region.One can undoubtedly agree that the purity of the untouched natural beauties of the Poloniny National Park is threatened to a great extent by British companies who wish to extract shale gas in the park itself, timber harvesting (of obviously healthy trees), air pollution caused by developed chemical industry in the area of cities of Humenné, Michalovce, Strážske also called “triangle of death” because of higher risk of cancer; as well as by waste dumping at riversides. If the youth from the region does not take the initiative and does not act, it is more than possible that it will have to account for its indifference to environmental issues to the future generations and will be held accountable for the deteriorated health of the population living in our region. The main aim of the project will, therefore, be not only to inform the youth, point out the rare natural heritage and its polluting, but also to arouse interest, and will to work on themselves to become more responsible towards the environment and to make them disseminate the ideas and worries about the environment further into the community.Seven partner organizations from seven different countries will take part in the exchange. They will provide five participants, one of whom will be the leader of the group. Gender balance will be kept. Partner organizations will be chosen according to their former experience in the area of nature conservation so that good practices are shared and future cooperation in dealing with environmental issues is possible. Partner organizations will be responsible to send participants who are geographically, socially or economically challenged and have a strong feeling for the nature and environment as such.The activities were created so as to offer theoretical knowledge obtained by non-formal educational methods e.g. workshops, excursions and, consequently, provide an opportunity to implement the theory into practice. The fact that each individual obtains and processes information in a different manner was taken in account as well by opting for activities suitable for all individuals, who prefer different learning styles and strategies.Space for employing different types of intelligences and talents will be provided as well:Creativity – short photography course, taking pictures of night sky, building the bicycle model, creating flash mob choreography,Mathematics, logics – presentations about water filtration methods, analyzing, generalizing and other cognitive techniques will be employed when solving the tasks, geocashing and spatial orientation, elements of astronomy;Linguistics intelligence – opportunity to present, express one’s opinions, drafting presentation;Kinesthetic intelligence – excursions, energizers, flash mob;Intersocial intelligence - activities on group dynamics, teambuilding, intercultural evenings.The long-term contributions will be as followed:- change of attitudes and approach of participants and community towards environment and its conservation; - Making the issues related to environmental pollution visible to the community, which will ,in return, act as a stimulus for future possible environment-saving activities;- Creation of new partnerships among youth organizations, which will allow for solving environmental issues on a broader scale;- Support and motivation of National Park Poloniny’s staff, whose efforts of conserving the nature in our region are not often felt, and appreciated; - Making the Erasmus + program more visible.

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