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A summary of Nature’s Classroom project results.

Video and photo reports, panoramic images, round tables

Summer School: Establishing an Ecoremediation Course in Čatež
A trip to outdoor learning courses: project presentation
Permaculture zone: Building a Yurt
Early spring at the ERM course in Modraže
Učne table v Občini Zreče (available in Slovene only)
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing from Maribor at the ERM Course in Modraže
Okoljske škode (okrogla miza) (available in Slovene only)
Permacultural zone Dole: planting the first trees
Opening of the Nature Development Centre Poljčane
Municipality of Poljčane and the Nature Development Centre
Municipal Waste in the Municipality of Poljčane
Predstavitev projekta na občini Sv. Trojica (available in Slovene only)
Outdoor learning exercises of UM FoA students at the ERM learning course in Modraže
Autumn Activities at the ERM course in Modraže
Re-Use Centre in Rogaška Slatina
Initial Construction of the Learning Course in Dobrovce

Presentations of Partners (video)

University of Maribor, Faculty of Arts
Energy Agency for Podravje – Institute for Sustainable Energy use
Development Agency Kozjansko
Institute for Development and Improvement of Infrastructure and the Social Environment RISO

Educational trails

Boč forest educational trail
Quarries in the Bela valley educational trail
The subterranean treasures of Haloze
Ličenca Ecosystem educational trail
Educational trail among treasures of the trees
Educational trail through the Dravinja valley
Educational trail through the valley of freshwater crabs
Convent educational trail
Learning point on bees, herbs and their products

Educational and promotional materials (Slovene only)

Osnutki strokovnih podlag 2011

Vzpostavitev ekosistemskih tehnologij za izobraževanje v naravi in učnih opazovališč (Limnos)
Raziskave z namenom izobraževanja za vodne ekosisteme (UM FF)
Vzpostavitev Izobraževalnega centra o stoječih vodah – Sveta Trojica (RISO)
Trajnostno gospodarjenje z odpadki na projektnem območju (RA Kozjansko)

Učni programi za inovativno učenje v naravi

Učni program za raziskovanje v učilnici v naravi za 1. triado
Učni program za učenje v naravi za osnovne šole
Učni program za praktični pouk naravovarstva v učilnici v naravi
Učni program za praktični pouk na ERM poligonu

Učna gradiva za inovativno učenje v naravi

Tematske učne poti po Dravinjski dolini
Izobraževalni poligon o ekoremediacijah v Modražah

Strokovne podlage

Strokovne podlage učnih poti
Učne table

Primeri dobrih praks in aktivnosti za raziskovanje, učenje in poučevanje v učilnici v naravi

Ekosistemi – življenjska okolja
Rastline in živali v ekosistemih
Živalski svet Dravinjske doline
Voda vir življenja
Spoznajmo prsti
Vremensko dogajanje v naravi in toplota
Voda in delovanje v pokrajini
Ekoremediacije – terensko delo
Učne poti in vodenje v naravi
Dejavnosti v prostoru
Na sprehodu ob potoku
Zasnova učne poti Spoznajmo prsti

Problemske naloge Učilnice v naravi za osnovne šole

Biološka pestrost
Življenjsko okolje
Tekoče in stoječe vode
Biološa pestrost mlake
Skrbimo za čisto okolje

Problemske naloge Učilnice v naravi za praktični pouk

Ekološka kmetija in trajnostni razvoj
Gozdna učna pot
Kemijska analiza vode
Lesna biomasa
Načrtovanje prostora z umestitvijo rastlinske čistilne naprave
Natura 2000
Propadanje gozda
Rastlinska čistilna naprava
Zelišča na ekološki kmetiji
Spoznajmo tla in analize prsti

Social networks

Nature’s Classroom @ Facebook
Nature’s Classroom @ Twitter
Nature’s Classroom @ Vimeo
Nature’s Classroom @ Flicker


Promotional film Nature’s Classroom 2009

Members of the Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Podravje Maribor visited the ERM outdoor course in Modraže to see how certain laws of nature work. We recorded a report that was also interpreted into sign language.

During winter nature is usually resting, however, the lecturers and guides still managed to successfully present the activities and processes at the outdoor course: constructed wetlands, ecoremediation approaches, the importance of substantial development, etc. The visitors liked it so much that they decided to return during the summer.

Video report

View photos from the event.

Video transcript

Several days ago members of the Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Podravje Maribor visited the Nature’s Classroom outdoor course in Modraže, in the Municipality of Poljčane.

Prof. Ddr. Ana Vovk Korže, head of the Nature’s Classroom project: We wanted them to engage their understanding, their view of the Nature’s Classroom, and it’s very interesting to see that they perceive and relive these teaching methods with all their senses.

At the educational outdoor course, which combines 24 educational environments for natural ecosystems, the participants learned about new approaches to solving current environmental problems, such as cleaning waste water.

Andreja Kovjanič, member of the Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Podravje Maribor: What I found interesting was the explanation how plants purify the wastewater and how they help make it clean. I’d like to return to the course, maybe at a later time, during a warmer season, when the nature will come alive as well.

Marija Koser, sign language interpreter: The biggest problem of the deaf is communication, understanding words and concepts. Sadly, they can’t hear the words we hear through different media and they also can’t read or perceive them easier. The deaf sometimes cannot understand words, even if they are written down. That’s why we’re interpreters, not translators. Translators translate a word simultaneously, while we interpreters interpret it in a way to make it understandable for them.

Bedrija Črešnik, chairman of Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Podravje Maribor: It is great that we are in contact with nature and see how nature actually helps us and helps the environment to become what it should have been. The lecturers explained to us how this cycle works in the nature. We didn’t know much about it, as we don’t have certain options to learn more about this topic.

That’s why it’s important to allow the deaf and the hard of hearing to participate in environmental education without communication obstacles. It is our wish that in the future as many special target groups as possible visit the Nature’s Classroom. We are also planning to enable wheelchair access, so those who are bound to wheelchairs will also be able to experience a piece of the natural environment and understand its importance for human kind.

Objavil Editor,
Categories: Other, Učni poligon Modraže | 16,549 comments

Recently, nutritional self-sufficiency has become an increasingly popular topic, as Slovenia currently produces only slightly less than a half of the food its citizens consume. Based on Eurostat data, Slovenia is ranked 24th in the EU in regard to the size of its farming surfaces. Sadly only a minor part of these surfaces is being cultivated according to ecological standards, which are the only ones ensuring healthy nutrition, sustainable management and independence.


If we want to preserve a healthy habitat and equal chances of survival for our ancestors, we have to take radical steps toward sustainable management and improve awareness raising efforts on local production and exchange. Permaculture is a planned system trying to establish a sustainable habitat by mimicking patterns from natural ecologies. Even though it is most often connected with food production, it can be applied in all fields. It is an ethical system of planning that is also suitable for using surfaces for housing. Permaculture combines elements of ecology, landscape, organic farming, architecture and agroforestry. It emphasizes connections between individual elements in order to achieve synergy effects.

Permacultural Zone Dole

At the microlocation Dole near Poljčane we are setting up a zone with permacultural gardens. Work has already started: we planted 35 tree seedlings: apple, pear, cherry and plum trees (additional trees will be added later). Part of the zone will be a “forest garden” the other part a meadow orchard. During the summer months additional work is planned.

See a few photos from the first working day at Dole.

Objavil Editor,
Categories: Other, Poljčane, Učni poligon Modraže | 7,698 comments

Students of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Maribor are currently carrying out outdoor learning activities under the leadership of their mentor Ana Vovk Korže at the ERM learning course in Modraže. We visited them and made sure that outdoor experiential learning is the right approach to teaching the young.

Video transcript

What do oxbow lakes, accumulation lakes and drainage ditches look like? That and more was explored by geography students of the Maribor Faculty of Arts, who have, for a time, swapped their lecture rooms for the outdoors.

Amadeja, student: Many of us know the theory, but can’t explain certain phenomena or processes in practice. This way you remember much more and get to see firsthand what is otherwise merely written on paper.

That is why a learning course was designed in Modraže with 24 educational environments featuring natural ecosystems, presentations of their operation, functions and their importance for mankind.

Ana Vovk Korže, Head of the Nature’s Classroom project: The learning course is an area of about eight hectares; we’re currently using 3 hectares, where we are showing new approaches to solving current problems like cleaning wastewater, stopping erosion, increasing biomass, use of phytoremediation plants for cleaning the soil … We are solving current problems in new ways – without chemistry, without electricity, merely with new knowledge. Users here share a direct experience, one they can participate in.

Educational institutions are well aware that classic teaching methods in classrooms are not enough. Students need outdoor experience to easier understand certain processes and phenomena.

Ana Vovk Korže, Head of the Nature’s Classroom project: We had an immediate positive reaction from the schools and from the Ministry of Education and sport as well; we were included in their curricula and courses, so everything here is now a part of mandatory study contents.

The learning course, which also comes with a neat classroom, was recently visited by geography students. First they studied the theory, which is essential, and then they went to see firsthand what they had learned.

Ana Vovk Korže, Head of the Nature’s Classroom project: Today we learned about identifying environmental factors, which we can, of course, identify here, where we can feel them, walk around, smell, through hearing we can sense the sound of water, the rustling of trees …

Amadeja, student: What we experienced most today was how much moisture and water the soil can soak up and what such saturation means, because many of us slipped when we were walking through the forest. Those living in cities have no idea what happens when a certain coating forms on the soil or on the ground in the forest.

We checked how much the students have actually learned. What is this thing behind us?

Matej, student: Here we see a pond; above, there are three pools where water is being purified. I think we’ve learned many new things. Before, it was all theory, no practice, no outdoor experience. My knowledge of these things is now much better than before.

Ana Vovk Korže, Head of the Nature’s Classroom project: Students are really excited. I designed the whole programme with their help. We’ll be coming here this whole semester; we have reserved our Fridays for this. I gave them the choice – one half here, one half in the classroom, but they decided they wanted to do everything here.

Considering that students are ready to sacrifice their free time to extend the lecture time spent learning outdoors, such way of acquiring knowledge must really agree with them. How will it help them in doing their future job?

Ivo, student: In a few years I see myself as a professor. I’d also like to encourage younger people and students to live in symbiosis with the nature, to help preserve it in its natural state.

Objavil Editor,
Categories: Poljčane, Učni poligon Modraže, Video report | 9,237 comments

Things are lively at the Ecoremediation Course in Modraže even when no education activities are taking place there at this time. Ferdo Vouk and his team are preparing the grounds for experiential education. View the photo report and the panoramic image.

Objavil Administrator,
Categories: Pano report, Photo report, Poljčane, Učni poligon Modraže | 8,896 comments

The “Valey of the Freshwater Crabs” educational trail is located in Dravinjske gorice, north of Modraže and not far from the Vouk farm. Up to the present day, this small patch of land has preserved a unique combination of cultural and natural landscapes. The valley consists of a number of extensive wet meadows, reach forest edges and a beautiful lowland forest with a creek.

The smaller creek, originating below the Vouk farm and opening into the Dravinja south of Globoko, has been preserved in its natural state and serves as an ideal learning ground for the presentation of the dinamycs of running water. A number of endangered and protected animal species have found shelter here, such as the stone crayfish (Austropotamobius torrentium) and the Balkan goldenring (Cordulegaster heros). In case of the stone crayfish, we can also say that the creek below the Vouk farm is the best suited habitat for it in all of Haloze and Dravinjske gorice region.

The area contains interesting thermophilic grasslands on its western edges and forest clearings next to the creek itself, whose ponds and forest headwaters complete the colourful range of diverse habitats.