Main Article Content
On the 5th of May and the 20th of June 2017, the NRDI GeoEcoMar received the visit of students of two elementary schools from Constanţa (“Ciprian Porumbescu” and “Mihail Koiciu”), which dedicated a day of “The school differently” week to awareness-raising and educational activities on marine protected areas. “The school differently” is part of a program developed within the Romanian Program of Education, in 2011. Under the supervision of biologists from NRDI GeoEcoMar, in collaboration with the PhD students from Belgium involved in the PRIDE project, a series of interactive and proactive activities were accomplished, aiming at foster a sense of community and environmental responsibility to the young generation. In total, 30 students of 5th grade, with ages between 11 and 12 years were involved. The children from “Ciprian Porumbescu” School learned how to identify species belonging to the Ponto-Caspian relicts, recognize and understand the negative impact of the invasive species on the Black Sea biodiversity. The children from Mihail Koiciu School, who visited the R/V Mare Nigrum (in custody of the NRDI GeoEcoMar) guided by the ship’s commander and biologists from GeoEcoMar, explored the complicated but interesting domain of marine science, helped by explanations and demonstrations on research work in biology and geochemistry. The feedback received from the children, assessed by help of questionnaires specially conceived for the targeted category of age and activities carried out, is presented in the paper. Judging after children’s reactions and responses to questionnaires, it makes sense to affirm that the activities achieved their scope and these methods of education and awareness are positively perceived by the children from elementary schools.