4GEON: Four Continents Connected through Playful Geoeducation

Vision – target state
The local and indigenous communities of involved geoparks, which are facing growing pressure on the exploitation of their land including local geoheritage, are gradually implementing and evaluating novel concepts of playful geoeducation. The general public is being involved through a user-friendly geoportal which explains, how geology relates to the life of local people – accurately, enjoyably and in their own tongues. Special care is given to youths, the future of the society, especially in the fragile indigenous communities. Playful courses combining digital and outdoor activities (geobus excursions, trails augmented with QR codes, etc.) let youths understand and cherish stones, rocks and wildlife around them, connect with their traditions and heritage, creatively and accurately identify risks and challenges their environment is facing and propose meaningful solutions. From the midst of the course participants, geoambassadors are to be selected each year who will, together with geopark experts and representatives, convene at a global geo-get-together. There they will discuss their findings, views, and plans with fellows from around the world. Scientific evaluation and case studies published in scientific journals will raise awareness of the proposed concepts also within the professional community.

Long-term Vision
Our vision is that the proposed concept of immersive and playful geocourse will gradually be adopted by a growing body of both national and global geoparks to the benefit of their communities and nature. The proposed friendly competition will become „The World GeoContest“, carrying the values of geoheritage and promoting principles of humanity, sustainable development and civic participation among youths and beyond.

Aims and Rationale
Since the younger generation is the future of society, we believe in the importance and potential of changing attitudes in the whole society by educating and activating youths. The general objective of the project is to enhance societal acceptance of the sustainable development of Earth’s geological resources via involvement and activation of youths through novel, immersive and playful geoeducation.

Photo gallery of the project here

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