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Colloquium - Fernández-González

Improvement of Educational Inputs in Urban Environmental Management
Alvaro Fernández-González
University of Costa Rica
9/27/2006
11:30am-1:00pm

The talk gives an overview of the research project and then will present some aspects and challenges related to the transfer of the Envisionment and Discovery Collaboratory PitA Board. The purpose of the research is the design and installation of didactic modules for third cycle, diversified and open education in metropolitan public secondary education centers, with the purpose of forming students for civic participation in integral environmental urban management, including decision making computer exercises with real geographic information.

In Costa Rica, the Ministry of Education has a long-term plan on "Education for All (2003-2015)", which pursues to create an "environmental culture for sustainable development". The Greater Metropolitan Area of the Central Valley" (GAM) is developing a Center for Urban Culture to provided civic capacity-building for the improvement of metropolitan management, and an Urban Development Observatory in order to provided technical information to orient this management on scientific bases.

In this context, the project seeks to create in its 30 month life span the conditions for secondary education public centers in the Great Metropolitan Area to incorporate a component that stimulates the development of skills and abilities for the civic participation in metropolitan environmental management on a local scale (at the county or district level). The initial pilot stage will work with students from four public high schools in one district of the GAM, to be extended during a second phase to other high-priority areas, in coordination with the Office of Environmental Education of the Ministry of Education.

A crucial element in the proposed learning process is decision-making computer exercises for urban environmental management, with real geographic information, using the EDC/PitA technology, developed by L3D at the University of Colorado Boulder. This technology will be fed with satellite images from NASA's CARTA 2003 and 2005 projects in Costa Rica, as the basic strata of a GIS to be produced by the Urban Development Observatory with census information and other data available.

Some expected impacts of this project are:

Sponsored by the Center for Lifelong Learning & Design.

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