During the project, we held 20 educational workshops on brown bear in Primary and Secondary schools in Croatia. We visited a total of 13 elementary schools and 2 secondary schools in Gorski kotar and Lika area. Over 550 pupils participated in these workshops, which aimed to explain thoroughly specific and interesting facts about brown bears and our coexistence.
During the workshops, pupils had a chance to hear about the anatomy and ecology of bears, and to see educational videos about bear behaviour. Seminars brought to discussion also the most common examples of human-bear conflicts (garbage, non-maintained orchards, irresponsible behaviour when visiting nature, etc.), and through open communication with students we offered solutions to potential problems and explained methods of conflict prevention (bear-proof garbage bins, responsible waste disposal, how to behave, if encountering a bear, etc.).
During the interactive part of the workshops, students inspected closely a telemetric bear collar, camera trap, and skull, fur, paws and tail of bears and wolves. They also tested their skills with making front and rear bear paw casts, which were then put to permanent exhibition in each school.
Finally, education materials (including presentations and all necessary materials to conduct such workshops) were left to the school teachers as a “bear kit”. Teachers will continue to carry out these workshops as part of their Biology or Nature classes.
Here you can take a look, how pupils felt about attending one of our workshops: