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Discovering the SDGs at Ens de Lyon's Science Fair

Par Anne Chemin-Roberty Dernière modification 16/02/2024 15:08
During the Science Fair at ENS Lyon, staff and students organized a stand for schools mixing games, videos and presentations to fight inequalities and better understand risks to biodiversity, as well as to foster creative thinking on Global Issues among the participants.

As part of the Science Fair, we organized in October 2018 a stand about the 17 SDGs at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. We offered several workshops to help the public discover some of these objectives in a fun and educational way with quizzes, games and video shootings. Student associations and staff members shared their work on the issue of biodiversity, plastic pollution on the oceans, making schools more accessible for students with disabilities, and teaching French to welcome and integrate migrants.

Teaching SDGs requires both training students now in good practices to live in a world of limited resources, as well as providing them with the knowledge, skills and culture that will enable them to live together. Our action aims to give pupils keys to understanding the major global imbalances and to encourage their reflection on the means of remedying them. Addressing issues as diverse as pollution, inequality and exclusion allows us to demonstrate how to fight them. By adopting the game as a pedagogical method, we gain student approval, generating larger and more effective participation now and in the future.

This initiative involved participants at different levels. By encouraging student associations to link their activities to the Sustainable Development Goals and thus share this experience with other young people at the ENS Lyon. By mobilizing the staff members on issues they did know nothing about. By giving teachers of primary and secondary schools tools to disseminate knowledge about SDGs through their teaching. And finally, the participating children have acquired knowledge that they can also share with people of their age as well as their parents. Sharing and transmission were the main goals of this event.


Video Workshop


Thirty people were mobilized to prepare and run this event, volunteer students for the stands, student associations to animate thematic workshops, the disability mission of Ens de Lyon for an awareness workshop and staff of the Dunes service who coordonated the event.

Océasciences : Environmental protection has become a key issue for human society. Marine ecosystems are particularly endangered : while essential for our Blue Planet, they get more and more polluted. As Young scientists and engineers they have to face this reality and act against it. They created Océasciences bearing the ExploraGyre project. The latter is a one-year scientific and ecological adventure aboard a sailing boat. Their enemy is microplastic debris. This sea poison, without any antidote so far, is mainly localized in the gyre center, a large circular marine current. Their aim is to bring new and necessary knowledge about marine plastic pollution and to share them with as many people as possible.

The PollENS association is the meeting point for people interested in beekeeping at the Ens de Lyon. Pollens works with the surrounding schools and prepares workshops to sensitize the new generation to the importance of preserving the biodiversity. At the Science Fair, they asked the children if they know the great role of bees in ecosystems and if domesticated bees are the only ones important for pollination. In fact, there are 1000 wild species of bees for only one domestic species and wild species have a very important pollination role. They also presented the operation of a hive, detailled the stages that allow the opening of a hive and the harvest of honey.

ItinérENS is a student association which was founded in order to help welcoming and accompanying migrants and refugees by providing French lessons in the buildings of the Ens de Lyon. They proposed a workshop based on a general introduction on the current migratory context (causes, itineraries with a typical path, administrative process of asylum application). Speaking the language of the country in which one lives is a survival question for all aspects of administration, health, housing, work. The children listened to a migrant's history and background and his learning of French, thought of different notions such as hospitality and wrote their ideas on papers.

The disability mission  : The School is actively engaged in a policy of recruitment, reception, support and integration of people with disabilities. During the Science Fair, the animation on the theme of disability allowed pupils to work precisely on this word "disability" and its meanings.The exchanges began by linking the word with the different Sustainable Development Goals. Quickly, the SDGs "Access to Health", "Quality Education" and "Reducing Inequalities" appeared. The idea that being disabled depends more on the environment in which people live than on the disorders that affect them.The pupils then drew their vision of the handicap, which led to new exchanges. Among the themes that emerged, the notions of "visible or invisible" disability, of "innate or lifelong" situations were the most prevalent.

The DUNES Service  : DUNES's mission is to support teachers and students in the use of digital education, to organize the production of scientific and educational digital resources stemming from the teaching and research activities of the school. We are also engaged in organisation of events on sustainable development such as COP simulations (MUN). In october 2018 we coordonated the first edition of the project on discovering SDGs for schools during the Science Fair and animated the games and video workshops.



Crédits photos : Service DUNES, Ens de Lyon 2018