Congratulations Italy on Leading Citizen Science Projects for Environmental Protection!
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The "Piccoli grandi scienziati (e cittadini) crescono" project promoted by the Cnr - Department of Earth System Sciences and Environmental Technologies (Cnr-Dsstta) is an initiative based on the Citizen Science methodology that combines scientific education, civic commitment and environmental protection.



The project, born last year in the Tiber basin with the participation of 9 schools, has made a leap forward this year both in terms of number of institutes involved and also sampling the Arno basin. Overall, this year the project has involved 19 schools for a total of approximately 1500 students and 100 teachers.

The heart of the project lies in the collaboration between the scientific community, represented by researchers and experts, and the educational fabric, embodied by students and teachers. Through the practical and participatory Citizen Science approach, the students faced two crucial challenges: pollution from plastic waste in river courses and the biodiversity of pollinating insects.

The project actively involved students and teachers in collecting data on river quality. The sampling of macro- and micro-plastics carried out during the year is part of the European Plastic Pirates - Go Europe! initiative of which the Cnr, together with Legambiente and Marevivo, is responsible for the activities in Italy. The path on the observation of biodiversity was developed as part of the Cnr activities in the National Biodiversity Centre. The schools were provided with a kit including all the materials and tools to be able to independently conduct the activities.

During 2 events participants celebrated the work carried out during the year, highlighting the results obtained and stimulating reflection on future actions to be undertaken. The two "Youth Conferences" were held on 10 May in Rondine (AR) - Cittadella della Pace for the Arno basin and on 13 May in Rome - in the CNR conference room for the Tiber basin. The final days were attended by both international guests (La Saison Bleue and Plastic Pirates Europe) and national guests (Legambiente Umbria, Deloitte Foundation, Marevivo, Institute for Research on Terrestrial Ecosystems - Cnr-Iret, Institute for the study of anthropogenic impacts and sustainability in the environment marine - Cnr-Ias and Institute for chemical-physical processes - Cnr-Ipcf) who discussed with the students of the various institutes.

In particular, for the Rondine Cittadella della Pace event 7 Tuscan schools for a total of 220 students and 30 teachers attended the event.