About the Centre
The Youth Environmental Centre (YEC) is a modern educational environment where the youth and children investigate the surrounding world. Here, training workshops and journeys into the marine environment are going on all the year round.
YEC was multiply awarded as an interactive environmental project to propose fascinating educational games and activities in the frames of the school lessons. YEC activities arouse pupils’ motivation to learn more about the environment.
The Centre has been working since 2002; its main task is to encourage children towards analyzing their activities, realizing what influence they have on the outside world and making right decisions. YEC does not only motivate children to protect the environment but also is an invaluable resource for parents and teachers.
The Centre activities provide knowledge about the environment, teach pupils to carry out tests and use the obtained knowledge. The activities develop children, get them organized, teach them to think, work in teams, share information and obtained results. All this develops a potential of the young researchers to become scientists, leaders and politicians in future.
What is YEC
Environmental education may be boring, especially for schoolchildren. To make studies more interesting, YEC specialists raise environmental problems in an unusual manner: they conduct video quizzes, electronic voting and true experiments.
The Centre programs and projects are designed for 3 – 17 year old pupils. More than 350,000 people took part in the programs and projects of YEC over 10 years of its operation. Here, children make their first discoveries in the Droplet’s Laboratory, follow the water cycle and play with toy inhabitants of the Baltic Sea.
Schoolchildren may take part in the video quiz with an electronic voting system, flip through the on-line encyclopedia about the inhabitants of the Baltic Sea and perform interactive tasks on the touch screen.
The Centre was built in St.Petersburg not by accident. St.Petersburg is the biggest city on the Baltic Sea coast; therefore it has a special responsibility before the Baltic Sea and before the future generations.
Vodokanal is convinced that in order to improve the environmental situation it is not enough only to introduce new technologies and modern equipment, but it is necessary to change people’s mentality, form the culture of water consumption and develop solicitous and responsible attitude towards water. Children are eager to learn, contrary to adults who mostly do not want to vary their habits. It is children that are able to get their friends and families interested in the idea of solicitous attitude towards natural resources. They explain to their friends and parents why we shall consume water very carefully, show how to calculate the amount of tap water consumed during tooth brushing and bath taking. Children draw their parents into practicing careful attitude towards water in the form of a game, and that game is gradually turned into a habit.
The Youth Environmental Centre (YEC) was established by Vodokanal St.Petersburg in 2002.
The Centre is located in the former machine house of Main WTP (built in 1858).
YEC started its work with a project “Let’s save water together!”. The project participants (around 1,000 people) were the first to attend the Centre activities, measure water consumption at home and wonder for the first time how much water has been lost in vain. Then, children themselves proposed methods of using water more carefully.
More than 350,000 boys and girls visited the Youth Environmental Center over 10 years of its work.
Over 50 projects dedicated to water and the environment have been implemented here.
In 2010-2011, YEC underwent reconstruction.
The Youth Environmental Centre of Vodokanal St.Petersburg was granted the following Russian and international awards:
2004 - The National Environmental Safety and Sustainable Development Award by V.I. Vernadsky Foundation
2007 - The European Environment Agency Certificate for interaction with the youth focused on the protection of the environment and the Baltic Sea.
YEC proposes a number of programs (entertaining activities to increase the environmental knowledge level) to young visitors.
Pre-school and primary-school pupils get acquainted with the water world in the Hall of First Discoveries. Here, they participate in “Droplet’s Merry Journey” program. Pupils together with the Droplet make a journey through a water cycle, Vodokanal St.Petersburg and then-the Baltic Sea.
Pupils watch cartoons about the Droplet’s adventures in nature and in town, play games, work in the laboratory, and learn how to handle water at home properly.
A specially created educational environment helps children play and study simultaneously. Here, there is an almost true ship; toys are made in the form of the Baltic Sea inhabitants. Besides, children have their own laboratory with an electronic microscope and other exciting equipment.
The older children take part in the Baltic Cruise Program in the Baltic Sea Hall.
Participation in the program provides an excellent opportunity for getting information about the specific features of the Baltic Sea and culture of the Baltic countries, and – what is more import - getting an idea on how to preserve our sea. A movie with stereo-holographic effects and 3D-animation dedicated to the inhabitants of the Baltic Sea contributes to more deep, emotional, submergence into the world of the Baltic Sea.
In the course of the program, each child takes an active part in games, laboratory tests, discussions and quizzes. The present-day schoolchildren will be surprised by technical and technological content of YEC.
The main task of the Baltic Sea Program is not only to rouse children’s interest but also to encourage them for taking proper actions to reduce the environmental load on the Baltic Sea.
Today, several interactive halls are located in YEC building (56, Shpalernaya St.):
- Hall of First Discoveries,
- The Baltic Sea Hall,
- 3D cinema hall,
- Technical hall of the former machine house.
YEC educational environment includes the following:
- Hall of First Discoveries
- Multi-media panel “Water cycle”
- Droplet’s laboratory
- Vegetal walls
- Ship with a “steering system”
- Collection of toys and costumes of the Baltic Sea inhabitants.
- Cartoons, etc.
- The Baltic Sea Hall
- Gaming table with a touch panel
- Electronic encyclopedia of the Baltic Sea inhabitants
- Video-quizzes with e-voting system
- Collection of aquarium fish and houseplants
- LWA (laboratory of water analysis)
- 3D cinema hall
- 3D-installation “Nature of the Baltics” with stereo-holographic effects
- 4D Trance-Force amusement
- Technical hall of the former machine house
- Machinery and mechanisms of XIX - XX centuries
- Interactive scientific models and toys