From the Station’s Cupola observatory, astronauts have a privileged vantage point to observe the beauty of our planet. But its fragility and global threats are also more obvious when seen from space.
The loss of biodiversity, climate change and the human habits of consumption are increasing problems for our planet. The Earth Guardian project will educate pupils about the causes and promote possible solutions.
ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst will encourage schoolchildren aged 7–12 years to create their own environmental protection project.
Europe’s ambassador in space will ask students to pay attention to geographical features such as oceans, rivers, landscapes, mountains and forests in their area during the summer holidays.
As an Earth Guardian, he will question students about the role of these elements for human life, their value as energy sources and protection measures.
Pupils will support their local observations with footage of various terrestrial events like cloud formation, mountains with glaciers and deforestation.
In return, Alexander will share with them his views from orbit. The International Space Station will serve as his unique outpost for Earth observation.
The students could link their own experiences to the astronaut’s reports from space. Alexander will stimulate their curiosity by showing them how global-scale phenomena can have similarities to their local experiences.
Earth Guardians on the ground will learn how certain views can change the perception of the environment. For example, the global effect of local actions are more easily observed from a distance. The sense of fragility, beauty or environmental pollution can also differ depending on the viewer’s perspective.
Youngsters will study daily life problems in their environment and think about sustainable strategies for the future.
Last update: 8 May 2014