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The competition for high school students in the Košice region called Water over Gold, announced by the Košice self-governing region, is coming to an end.

A total of 13 secondary school projects were submitted with a positive impact on the environment, the environment, water retention, biodiversity and the climate.

The projects:

Stredná odborná škola veterinárna Košice – Barca

Námestie mladých poľnohospodárov 2; 04017 Košice

The aim of the project is to create suitable living conditions for several animal species in the Barčiansky Park, specifically for bats, birds and insects. Based on the relationships between individual species and their interconnectedness to the entire ecosystem, the support of these animal species has a major impact on the diversity and sustainability of the entire ecosystem in the Barčiansky Park. At the same time, we want to inform visitors about the importance and need to preserve biodiversity, the species living in the park and the principles of behavior in the park, which do not disturb animal life and overall biodiversity.

Project activities: insect hotel, bird feeders, bat booths, production and installation of boards that inform park visitors in an entertaining and engaging way about the activities and their importance for maintaining biodiversity, the principles of behavior in the park, which supports the conservation of biodiversity, animal species living in the park and the importance of not polluting the park – the time of decomposition of different types of waste. Both Barca and ZRPŠ support the project.

According to the jury, this is a nice project to support biodiversity, to feel the handwriting of active students. On the positive side, they are interested in the surroundings of the school, that they also went through it with the mayor of the district.

Stredná odborná škola beauty služieb

Gemerská 1, 040 11 Košice

In addition to the existing rain garden at the entrance to the main school building, we want to complete two more rain gardens in March – April 2022 in the area of the outdoor eco-classroom in the school yard. Associated with these rain gardens are the installation of drain pipes for each shelter to catch rainwater.

According to the jury, the project builds on the school’s activities, which is very positive. Relying on school staff was obvious in the solution of the project (which is necessary). From a technical point of view, the project is well developed.

Stredná odborná škola dopravy a služieb Strážske

Mierová 727, 072 22 Strážske

The aim of the project is to use rainwater for watering flowers, which are located both in the school premises – flowers in pots, but also outside – atrium – flower beds and also for watering cultivated crops on the school growing field by capturing rainwater through the drip pipe system into collection tanks.

The implementation of the project itself consists of the implementation of craft modifications on the gutter on the construction of the school garage and electrical substation. The water will be lifted into a plastic water barrel with a valve and lid. It will continue to be used for watering from this collection barrel.

Jury comment: Well-crafted descriptions, the project is well thought out. Water retention from roofs is justified. Indoor plants should also be watered from the barrels.

Obchodná akadémia, Michalovce

Kapušianska 2, 07101 Michalovce

Objectives: To improve the condition and the amount of greenery on the school premises. Improve conditions for biodiversity (establishment of flowering areas, insect hotels and birdhouses). Encourage ecological thinking so that these habits become part of the lifestyle of the young generation. Implement practical activities, deepen the positive attitude towards nature and work by restoring and modifying the school yard and thus gradually change the way young people think, approach and behave towards the environment by perceiving, experiencing and feeling nature experiences. At the entrance to the school, the rock garden is currently neglected and in some places the dry parts melt. In these places we would like to add a quality substrate, plant various plants and flowers and perennials (eg rudbekia, alpine aster, echinacea, cockade…) and ornamental shrubs. Plant various types of medicinal herbs (eg mint, honeysuckle, sage, marigold…) on newly created raised beds and also plant shrubs (eg currants, gooseberries…). We want to get involved in the treatment of shrubs, growing flowers and medicinal herbs within the subject of biology. At the same time, we could use these medicinal herbs and fruits from the shrubs to prepare drinks during the heat to maintain the drinking regime during the day. Birds and insects are an integral part of nature. They help plants and trees get rid of pests. At the same time, insects pollinate flowers and birds need to be fed in the winter. Through individual human interventions in nature, they lose their natural space and therefore, by placing birdhouses, feeders and insect hotels, we will create this space for them in the vicinity of an old non-functional fountain. In its vicinity, under the trees, we plan to plant shade-bearing plants, e.g. fern, rhododendron, hosta…

Jury comment: A project with many activities. Good ideas for increasing biodiversity, beautifying space.

Spojená škola, Sečovce

Kollárova 17, Sečovce

The aim is to demonstrate that even in small steps we can contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change. The members of the team want to show their classmates that by composting we can return to nature what it provides us. Thanks to insect hotels and birdhouses, we will provide various types of small useful animals in the schoolyard. The aim is also to create a green vertical wall to beautify the environment in the biology classroom, to bring harmony with nature into the premises and to show hydroponic plant cultivation. The plants will be a natural freshener, humidifier and air purifier.

Jury comment: Three small (relatively different) necessary activities in one project. The green vertical wall in the interior is interesting and innovative. The positioning of the elements is logical. Composting and setting up a green wall is a benefit. A construction for climbing is also needed.

Stredná odborná škola techniky a služieb, Prakovce

Prakovce 282, Prakovce

The aim of the project is to make students, teachers and school staff aware of the possibilities of using biological waste that enters around the school, building hotels for insects or capturing rainwater. We want to build a covered composting site. Its two walls will form a hotel for insects and water in the rainy season we will capture from the roof of the composting site. We want to incorporate several parts into one building. The project will be implemented on the school premises with the help of students and especially masters of professional training of our first year class of the Forest Production department.

Jury comment: Concise, clear, real project. Activities in one “package” (composter + insect hotel + water) are an interesting consideration. The activities are sufficient, real.

Gymnázium, Michalovce

Gymnázium, Ľ. Štúra, 26, 071 01 Michalovce

The project is called Hydroponic Cultivation at GĽŠ. Outdoor hydroponic cultivation could be called outdoor cultivation. The advantage is that it can be grown even where the soil is infertile or non-existent. In our conditions, it is mainly seasonal cultivation, as the system is exposed to the external environment and in the presence of rainwater. The cultivated plants will find application in the school canteen. We will use the cultivation process in biology lessons.

Jury comment: A simple, feasible project for growing plants in the school’s atrium.

Gymnázium, Šrobárova 1, Košice

Šrobárova 1, 042 23 Košice

Our school is located in the city center. We plan to implement the project on the school grounds in order to improve the premises of the school yard, at the same time to have easy access to the maintenance of this project and to use it for didactic purposes, for example in practical biology classes.

Activities: Purchase and construction of birdhouses, insect hotels and plants. The species composition of the plants would consist of groups of species Echinacea, Salvia, Verbena and Rudbeckia. These are plant cultivars originating from grassy steppe areas. They have a very long flowering period and provide living space and food for many pollinators. They are supplemented by groups of resistant and undemanding grass species. Planting plants and installation of booths and insect hotels. Accompanying activities.

Jury comment: Sympathetic idea – finding a way to improve living conditions for insects and birds in the middle of the city.

Stredná odborná škola techniky a služieb — Múszaki És Szolgáltatóipari Szakközépiskola

Janka Kráľa 25, 079 01 Veľké Kapušany

Through this project, we would like to increase biodiversity in grassland. While there is only one species with an occasional presence of weeds per m2 of common lawn, up to 50 different plant species per m 2 can grow on the richest meadows, each providing food and shelter for a different species of insects or birds. While nothing but ants can survive on a normal lawn, hundreds of different animal species can be directly or indirectly attached to species-rich meadows. By collecting rainwater from the roofs of the training building into a pond with a lizard rock – the pond in case of lack of moisture can also be used to irrigate the meadow, which we plan to create within the project. From unnecessary discarded furniture and materials, we plan to create an insect hotel and thus bring nature and its cycle closer to our classmates in this Internet and media-infested time.

Jury comment: A complex, ambitious project. Nice vision. Support for biodiversity is desirable.

Gymnázium, Krompachy

Lorencova 46, Krompachy

The goal is to plant three fruit trees and create 6 insect hotels using raw materials from renewable sources, which we want to increase the insect population, plant pollination, get rid of pests and provide fruit from our own resources for school canteen diners.

Jury comment: Pleasant, simple project. The goal is clear, well defined, focused on a specific purpose. The project is innovative, it also considers the use of fruit.

Stredná odborná škola informačných technológií

Ostrovského 1, 040 01 Košice

The aim of the project is to use a hole in the forest to create a pond made of natural materials that will serve forest animals (for example, for drinking) and insects (the environment for laying eggs, a place for the development of young individuals). We clean the hole, fill it with water, thus creating a natural pond, which we want to provide the animals with a source of water and forest insects to provide a place for storing eggs.

Jury comment: On the positive side, a group of young people are interested in solving the country outside the school premises.

Gymnázium, Trebišov

Komenského 32, Trebišov

By implementing the project, we will get a suitable space with a revitalized part of the garden – the school yard. The meadow vegetation, which is mowed once a year, captures a significantly larger amount of water and ensures its gradual and slow evaporation, which contributes significantly to increasing the overall humidity. We will use rainwater from the school pond to water the meadow in its initial stages of growth. We will revitalize and create a recreation area that can be used during breaks between classes and outside of teaching activities in the afternoon.

Activities: translucent and shaping of tree crowns; we will prepare a part of the lawn of the school yard for sowing a meadow mixture of grasses and flowers; we sow a mixture of meadow grasses and flowers; we will provide regular watering if necessary; we install an insect hotel; we will install 2 feeders and 3 birdhouses in protected places.

Jury comment: A well-described, well-thought-out project. On the positive side, the project envisages the use of the premises outside of class hours.

Stredná zdravotnícka škola

Kukučínova 40; 041 37 Košice

Our school is located in the context of residential buildings, parking lots and sidewalks. There is very little greenery around the school. With this project, we would like to increase the share of greenery in the school premises, where, in addition to the playground, there are spaces suitable for relaxation, but at the same time they will contribute to the protection of water and insects. One goal is to increase the interior of the school, but at the same time restore the greenery, increase the proportion of trusses, herbs and trees. Use existing woody plants as a refuge for insects, which gradually disappear in the cities. By planting blooming flowers and trusses, attract bees. Use the captured water for watering plants and herbs both outdoors and indoors.

Jury comment: Quite a complex project. Full planting at school is probably not possible, so the team proposes planting only in “pots”, respectively. larger containers. The intention to capture and use rainwater in barrels and a rain garden is positive.