This Grant project was completed in 2021 .We continue to showcase this project’s outcomes on our website because we are proud of the impact it has made and continues to have. While this grant project has been archived, we think you might be interested to read on….
The challenge here was to engage young people and the local community in the local heritage of footpaths in the small-Cycladic islands Sikinos, Thirasia and Donoussa. Like in so many places in the Cyclades, the restoration and preservation of local footways is not a priority, even though they are a key part of local identity and, crucially, the road towards sustainable tourism practices.
In response to this challenge, we partnered with SciCo to launch a new project: Citizen Science in the remote Cyclades: Local paths to change. This project took place in the islands of Sikinos, Thirasia and Donoussa.
The project involved high school students creating a mobile app to map local paths and points of interest on the two islands. Hikers on these paths contribute to data collection by inputting their findings in the app as they walk the trails. Through this Citizen Science project, people themselves were able to get closer to organised research and data collection on a voluntary basis.
What does the project deliver in practice?
Through this project, students were given the opportunity to get involved with STEM Education. They were trained in gathering information about island trails and in developing an app through MIT’s AppInventor. SciCo teachers visited the islands in order to provide both students and teachers with the necessary technical support.
The project also included:
Fieldwork– Hiking on the islands involving students, teachers, educational participants in order to determine the routes of the app.
Identification of points of interest – which were included in the application, such as antiquities, churches, natural resources, etc.
Sign-making – for the selected points of interest (Island Gems), which were also added to the application.
Throughout the program, the wider community was also actively involved in providing information for the app and in promoting it when it was released. Now, the app is used by visitors who can send in data and photos in “real-time”.
The last impact of this project will be the ability to use this data collection to ensure that the necessary actions are being made, such as cleaning up trash, changing signs, etc. Another important result is the observation of biodiversity, i.e. the flora and fauna of a specific geographical location and time.
A bit about the organisation
‘SciCo (Science Communication) is a non-profit organisation, focusing on scientific engagement and empowerment, through innovative, interactive, and entertaining means. It was founded in 2008, and consists of scientists, academics, educators, artists, and people with an interest in everyday science. Today, it operates as a social enterprise.
Through numerous high-impact outreach activities, such as science festivals, digital platforms, and workshops, SciCo has reached more than 400.000 people all over Greece. It has also reached audiences outside Greece by expanding some of its own projects internationally and by participating in EU Programs and Networks.’ – SciCo official website.