LET’S PLANT A GREENER FUTURE – “Who puts out the fires?”.

Datum objave: 11. May, 2023.

On May 6, 2023, the fifth workshop of Argonaut’s Eco Patrol was held, entitled “Who puts out the fires?”. In the first activity, participants were given pieces of paper on which they were supposed to write what they think about firefighting and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the same. After 10 minutes, they had the opportunity to express their opinion, so we had the opportunity to hear how firefighters save lives, put out fires, have free time if there is no fire, have excellent exercises, devices, and equipment, drive undisturbed with the siren while the other cars avoid them, they save animals… Some of the disadvantages they mentioned are: sacrificing one’s own life, too much work in the summer, too little rest, low pay, heavy equipment, working in double shifts…

The participants had the opportunity to learn what firefighters do and what they use in firefighting. We learned that the firefighting activity is: participation in the implementation of preventive fire and explosion protection measures, extinguishing fires and rescuing people and property threatened by fire and explosion, providing technical assistance in accidents and dangerous situations, and performing other tasks in environmental and other accidents. The firefighter’s protective clothing and footwear are made of material resistant to atmospheric influences, acids, alkalis, heat, and mechanical damage, and are suitable for wearing in the conditions created during fires in summer and winter. Protective clothing and footwear include a protective jacket and pants or overalls, protective gloves and leather boots with reinforced soles and steel caps, a fire helmet, a climbing belt with accessories, a protective mask…

St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters, so May 4th is Firefighters’ Day, and in Croatia, the month of May is celebrated as Fire Protection Month. The goal of this workshop is to highlight the humanity and social engagement of firefighters for the common good. We should know that firefighting is a tradition that we should preserve, and we must pass on to younger generations the noble idea of helping others when they need it most.

In the second activity, we made a model of a fire extinguisher. The supplies and chemicals we used were: a 500 ml plastic bottle (soda bottle), 20 ml plastic syringe, baking soda (sodium hydrogen carbonate), citric acid, liquid dishwashing detergent, and electrical tape.

The head of the workshop drilled a hole with a diameter of about 4 mm on the upper rounded part of the plastic bottle with the heated tip of an iron nail. She visibly marked the hole with a waterproof felt-tip pen in order to direct the foam jet from the “fire extinguisher” to the right place.

The rest of the experiments were performed by the participants according to the instructions of the workshop leader. They added a large spoonful of baking soda to the bottle, filled it halfway with water, closed it with a cap, plugged the hole with their finger, and stirred until most of the baking soda had dissolved. In the end, they added some liquid dishwashing detergent.

They “sucked” 20 ml of the citric acid solution obtained by dissolving one packet of citric acid in about 20 ml of water into a plastic injection syringe. They pushed the filled syringe into the neck of the bottle with the baking soda solution. They wrapped the space between the neck of the bottle and the body of the injection syringe with electrical insulating tape and thus completed the creation of a model of a fire extinguisher for extinguishing fires.

In order to test the operation of the apparatus, it is necessary to direct the hole on the “apparatus” toward the “source of the fire”, press the piston of the injection syringe and keep the pressure on the piston, and direct the foam jet towards the “source of the fire”. Care must be taken when handling so as not to spray yourself or observers with the jet. After use, the device needs to be recharged, just like a real fire extinguisher.

Each participant was assigned a task and participated in the creation of the model. The skills they acquired during the activity are: improving the ability to divide tasks and carry out their own tasks, developing the ability to teamwork and think about the broader context of the story, connecting knowledge and developing the ability to logically reason, developing creativity, and improving fine motor skills.

In the third activity, we divided the participants into two groups. Each group received two glasses full of water and a Petri dish. The goal of the game is to transfer as much water as possible with the help of a Petri dish into a jar that is 15 m away. The team that transfers more water into the jar is the winning team. The aim of this workshop is to improve coordination and the ability to react quickly, train for working under pressure and under time constraints, developing the ability to work in a team, developing the ability to solve problems and come up with strategies, improving the ability to listen, improving the verbalization of attitudes and feelings.

The project holder is the Association for the Protection of Nature and the Environment and the Promotion of Sustainable Development Argonaut, and the partners in the project are the art association More, LAG More, and Vodice Elementary School. The project is co-financed by the Ministry of Science and Education.

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