As the International Environment & Sustainability Olympiad (INESPO) 2012 competition is coming to a close, I find it fascinating to know that students around the world are not just vying for the top place in the competition, but are all fighting for ideas to make our world a better place. From Bosnia, there have been a total of three projects chosen to represent in the worldwide competition. These projects include “Purification of Heavy Metal by Banana Peel,” “Use the Microbial Fuel Cell to Create Electricity from Waste” and “Micron Water Cleaning.” Now why can’t all school projects be like this?
What if the education system re-vamped its views on what is important for students to learn in this day and age? What if education was more about making an impact on the world we live in today and less about learning a bunch of gibber-gabber that many of us forget upon leaving the classroom?
Maybe it’s not all education systems that are lacking in the area of environmental education among students. In looking at the Project list accepted for the 2012 INESPO competition, it should be noted that as Bosnia has been accepted for a total of 3 projects to compete for the top prize, there are only two projects for the USA and non for Canada, Australia or even England – countries I would naturally assume to be top of the charts for something such as this. Perhaps some of our top power countries need to take a humbling look at what the smaller countries of the world are focusing on. Somehow I would suspect the iPod is irrelevant.
Though Bosnia is located in Europe, it doesn’t immediately come up on my personal radar of countries to be on the lookout for with regards to new and innovative eco-friendly ideas. And Bosnia is not alone. Many of the projects listed for INESPO 2012 are smaller countries not normally in the front lines for world development. It makes me wonder if countries like Bosnia are simply focusing their energy on issues that matter in the world. Money, power and materialistic possessions are completely irrelevant if the world we live in will one day implode from our lack of effort to change the way we live. Perhaps Bosnia is ahead of the game in this regard – at any rate, over the past three years this competition has run, countries such as Bosnia have become more prominent in the project listings where as ones such as the USA have decreased in participation.
So perhaps as we look for inspiration in the world around us for ideas on how to be eco-friendly and treat the world we live in with a bit of respect, we should look to Bosnia. This small European country seems to be developing its education system in such a way that students are becoming more well-known in the environmental industry. As our world fights to be green, Bosnia is helping to lead the way.
International Nominated Projects 2012. (2012). Retrieved May 27, 2012, from The International Environment & Sustainability Olympiad: http://www.inespo.org/projects/international-nominated-projects-2012