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Authors: Mioni, Erika* 
Merlino, Silvia* 
Locritani, Marina* 
Strada, Serena* 
Giovacchini, Alice* 
Stroobant, Mascha* 
Traverso, Roberto* 
Title: “Blue Paths” and SEACleaner
Other Titles: Ensuring long-term commitment of citizens in environmental monitoring and scientific research.
Issue Date: 20-May-2015
Keywords: Knowledge based society
STEM disciplines
citizen science
beach litter
Abstract: “Percorsi nel BLU”/“Blue Paths” is a project – carried out by a Science teacher of a Unified School District in La Spezia - aimed for teaching scientific methods trough interactive learning and operational research on marine habitats. SEACleaner, instead, is a project carried out by a National Research Centre – Institute of Marine Sciences ISMAR-CNR– aimed for monitoring the impact of marine debris and for raising awareness on the importance of appropriate management strategies for solving this problem; this project involves higher secondary school students trough “work-related learning” internships. “Percorsi nel BLU”/“Blue Paths” and SEACleaner are actually cooperating and sharing some goals, methodologies and sampling sites of the coastal Tuscan and Ligurian Protected Areas. The cooperation is giving interesting and important educational outcomes and scientific results such as: updated checklists of benthic communities, high frequency of surveys that can allow to identify significant seasonal patterns (especially for beach litter accumulation rates) but also synergy among very different partners (marine parks, researchers, local authorities, citizens, environmental education centres, teachers and students) that represents an effective push-pull impulse for maintaining a long lasting engagement of citizens in scientific research.
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