OTTER Labs: Hungary

Students in Budapest deepened their knowledge of the animal world (and the danger plastic can pose to it) and explored water quality in their environment

Plastic pollution doesn't only endanger our quality of life, but can also pose a threat to animals and their wellbeing. Though the OTTER Labs, students in our four participating countries could explore topics related to plastic waste and sustainability so they can become agents of change in their own right. Here's a glimpse of our OTTER Lab activities in Budapest, Hungary...

We kicked off our adventures at the zoo, with the Budapest School students observing animals that are typically seen in the jungle. After admiring the greatness of gorillas, the children discovered how habitats all around the world are threatened as a result of human activity and a growing demand for newer products, be it mobile phones, clothes, or even toys. Macaw parrots with their brightly coloured feathers turned out to be quite popular among the students, with arrow poison frogs also drawing the attention of the kids due to their colourful bodies and particular behaviour. The most constructive part of the excursion was discussing the danger that plastic poses to these species - it was touching to see the students being amazed by the diversity of the world's fauna and concerned with protecting its beauty and life. 

To take action, the students decided to set up a local waste collection point in their school and regularly drop off the waste at an official collection point. They have been on a mission to save the environment! And this aligns, as we know, with the SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

But this was not all we did during the OTTER Labs in Hungary! A second school was invoved in the process: the BMSZC Than Karoly Ecoschool and Vocational School. The students, aged 12-15 years old, had a fantastic day in their neighbourhood, Budapest's District 2. On that sunny, early-summer day, the students collected water samples from the Danube river meandaring by the park and analysed them to assess water quality. It was the perfect opportunity for students to experience the work of a STEM researcher - and some even shared their dreams of working in the field! 

Other students from the school learned a great deal of information about the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics that determine water quality and the steps that need to be taken when conducting a scientific experiment. Based on their results, they could start a conversation and share their findings with their peers, which also gave them the chance to practice their communication and presentation skills. Finally, the students expressed their disapproval for the plastic waste they encountered alongside the river bench, and so the teachers could discuss the micro- and macro-plastic pollution in waters, touching upon SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation

If you want to learn how to implement outside the classroom activities as well, check out our recently-launched Learning Platform, where a provide a step-by-step guide on how to design your own Lab. 

OTTER Labs: Hungary