Co-created ideas and regreening the schoolyard – Basisschool Aventurijn, the Netherlands
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Co-created ideas and regreening the schoolyard – Basisschool Aventurijn, the Netherlands

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When I enter the school building of the Aventurijn (near Utrecht) hall I’m welcomed by the energetic teacher of group 8. Richard makes jokes in the class, kids respect him, feel the freedom to ask questions and accept each other’s feedback. I like it. During the lessons I receive a lot of questions and everyone feels the importance of the discussed themes such as climate change and sustainable food. This makes them lively interact within their group during the co-creation exercise. So much that time is a bit too short to let them address and exchange all ideas. More flexible time management next time. 

When I leave the class after lesson one, I feel the kids can do nice projects on their own. Which they do. After four weeks, during lesson five, I’m amazed. The groups present their results in lots of different ways: interactive presentations with quizzes and experiments, 3D posters, a self-made video animation about plastic pollution, a vlog while cleaning up the schoolyard (including bloopers), a self-composed rap song about sustainable energy, tips and tricks about water re-use to share with the younger kids of group 7. Richard and I laugh a lot, share tips and tops with each group and engage them in going on with their actions. Which they do.

The team which planned to regreen the schoolyard sends a nice e-mail to the municipality of Houten, which is followed by a fast and positive reaction. Within two weeks, four trees are planted in the schoolyard and plans are made to plant more trees, install insect hotels and flower beds during 2021. I’ve got energized by the kids and I’m glad that the Nemesis lessons and co-creation enhanced the kids’ confidence in themselves and in their ability to change things together.