By Deborah, Josip and Sanela

In the new crowdfunding campaign, we learned what it looks like when citizens take the energy in their hands and completely fund the solar power plant within less than 48 hours!

But, what happens when young people take energy in their hands? 

Hundreds of youngsters in the city of Križevci joined the global movement of high school strikes against climate change through the Solar Sonic Labs program and we decided to join them at the High School ”Ivan Seljanec”.

As we started (and ended!) the Campaign of Križevci Solar Roofs in the same week, we considered it necessary to further inspire and ‘ignite’ the situation in the city.

The Croatian edition of the protest was launched as a follow-up of the international School Strike 4 Climate, the famous global high school movement, initiated by 16-year-old Greta Thumberg from Sweden, founded to raise awareness of the consequences of climate change and global warming.

So, what did all of us do? The education program was divided into four modules. The workshops started shyly and with our attempts to literally draw volunteers from the ‘audience’ to demonstrate different technologies. “What’s with your computer?” workshop dealt with electronic waste and disposable technology, so the students could easily find out how to make a creative device from EE waste without fear of ‘blowing-up their garage’.

Through ‘Solar Micro Lab’ we presented the use of solar panels, LED – lighting objects and solar-powered electric motors. Students in the lab could, without any serious consequences, literary ‘burn’ the LED in order to see the results of a short circuit at the micro level. The aim of the workshop was to enable the transfer of knowledge of energy and light through entertainment, play and a few “burned-out” components.

As for the workshop ‘DIY Theremin’, it gave the opportunity to girls and boys to put their hands on soldering irons, transistors, capacitors and to learn the basics of electronics, at the same time creating a mini-version of theremin whose sound is modulated by light with a photo-resistor. At the end of the workshop, the participants could pack their mini-gadgets into plastic bottles and take them home to cheer up their families with truly a nice and sharp noises that are probably nailing down their ears. On this way, we wanted to emphasize the importance of recycling and re-use of consumables from our everyday lives.

The fourth module titled the Recycled Orchestra probably caused the greatest interest of high school pupils because it allowed them uninterrupted and loud ‘roar’ and ‘buzzing’ with the unusual DIY music instruments by Yuri Landman and Dirty Electronics in the school premises. The specificity of these electronic instruments is that they are made of wood, metal and plastic using discarded elements from the computer and the urban environment, such as a hard disk that is modulated into a bass machine or a plastic tube with a coil being playable on body movements. We only hope that with this workshop we initiated someone’s future music career.

After these wobbly beginnings, step by step, our students took all of these things in their hands and simply rocked down the workshops with numerous issues and music they created without fear of being interrupted due to the loud noise and echo in the school halls. We’ve plugged-out a few power fuses, but with so many soldering irons and gadgets plugged-in, we won the title of the greatest attraction of the week.

What did we learn and what did these workshops have shown us?

– There is a critical mass of young people who are willing to take responsibility.

– That in schools we need stronger power fuses and more solar energy!

– Something else.

Solar Sonic Labs has introduced to pupils many important topics on the protection of the environment, solar energy and the ability to use natural resources, to recycle materials and objects, how to creatively express yourself via technology and how through the curiosity and play they could eliminate fears from technology, thus creating a more innovative society where no one feels excluded.

The project was held in the partnership of the following organizations: Green Energy Cooperative – ZEZ, Terra Hub, Radiona / Zagreb Makerspace, Energy Office – City of Križevci and Faculty of Geotechnics.

 

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