Over the last century, Uranium has become a desired raw material for countries and the weapons industry. Since the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the worldwide arsenal of deployable atomic weapons has increased to 23,000. The use of radioactive resources, whether for civil or for military purposes, brings with it immense challenges for hundreds of following generations. How are the mining, test and the nuclear waste areas that are contaminated by radiation safely and transparently managed? How can an end to the use of nuclear weapons and the controlled disarmament of them be accomplished? Are we at all able to protect ourselves, over the long term, from severe accidents in connection with the nuclear industry?
In order to develop effective solutions to these questions and regulate already existing damage to the ecosystem of the earth, a wide remodelling of our views and creative action is asked. Likewise, if we want to preserve these for the coming generations, we need highly qualified, technical knowhow and a considerable amount of money in order to clean the contamination of the earth, the water and the atmosphere.
If this process fails, the future generations will have to deal with inconceivably huge mountains of toxic and radioactive trash. Already today, countries have to be supported financially and technically because the old radioactive technologies, for example submarines that are rusting in the water, and the countries that use these technologies don't have the means to satisfactorily secure this past hazardous waste.
Modern societies are challenged to deal with these realities in an accountable and constructive way and to take responsibility. Part of this responsibility is to enable young people to gain access to these topics and give them the opportunity to bring their ideas into the political process.
The Workshop: Our Earth - Nuclear weapon free?
Over the years, this workshop has become a significant medium of the peace movement. People from all different origins, ages and genders can come here relaxed and free from pressure to act in a certain way or from economic interests, to be able to come into discussion about the topic of worldwide nuclear armament and the consequences for our life and the lives of the next generations.
The present working material offers basic information about the nuclear threat in the global weapons industry. Furthermore, we are introducing methods that are suitable and age appropriate to bring children and adolescents into dialogue about the nuclear age. The goal of the workshop is that young people gain insight into current global disarmament politics and can develop ideas how they themselves can become involved to bring about a peaceful, healthy world. They get to know the biographies of people that have become the symbol for peace in the world.
"First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you
and then you win."
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Material: depending on the unites you want to use: see each unit.
Ort und Zeit: calculate for the preparations twice the time you have for the workshop. So for 1 hour workshop calculate 2 hours preparation time.
On the first consultations with the leader of the group you will visit the following questions and information are helpful to clarify:
Decide together on the main focus of the workshop's content. For orientation you can use the given time at every unit. You need to calculate about 30 minutes for introduction and evaluation. As an orientation you can say that during 1,5 hours you can have about 2 units and in 3 hours you can have about 4-5 unites.
- When and where the workshop will take place.
- Clarify the fees for you and your travel.
- Check if the media (e.g. beamer) you need is available.
- How many participants the workshop will have.
- How old the participants are.
- Does the group have no, any or much knowledge about nuclear weapons.
- How many time do you have for your workshop.
- Do the participants know each other or do they come together for the workshop the first time.
Within your preparations you first think about the methodic introduction of you workshop.
Then decide for units of content you would like to do with the group.
- Round of introduction by name, age….
- Method: Bee-Bee Simulation
- Game for getting to know each other
- Method: the rainbow serpent
Decide on a method for evaluation.
- Sadako story and folding paper cranes
- Country quiz and letter to your mayor
In a last step you make a moderation protocol with approximate time for every unit and a lists of materials you need.
After a workshop take your time to reflect your work. If you have new ideas for another workshop write them down so you don't forget them.
- Clinical Thermometer
- Evaluation questionnaire.
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Material: A questions as a starting point (impulse question) should be chosen. The rainbow serpent text is on hand.
Time and location: depending on number of participants (10-50) 10 to 20 minutes.
The Australian aborigines tell a myth about the rainbow serpent that lives in a mountain. Whoever disturbs it's peace, provokes it to crawl out and destroy life.
Goal: This exercise serves as an entrance, as well as a loosening up for the group.
Mutual perceptions in the group are supported. In addition, this exercise encourages the students to be sensitive towards indigenous peoples. There is a massive worldwide conflict of interests between those peoples and the nuclear industries because of high deposits of uranium in those areas. The adolescents have the option to speak briefly about their prior knowledge concerning the theme of nuclear weapons. Through that, the seminar leader gains insight into the group's level of knowledge. There are several impulse questions concerning this topic listed below.
Choose which question fits most to the age and prior knowledge of the group.
The rainbow serpent text is read. After that, the students are invited to join together to act out the sleeping rainbow serpent. They may form a circle, a spiral, appearing to sleep calmly. It can be especially beautiful, when the students arrange themselves according to the color of their clothes, to form a rainbow.
A rainbow has seven colors:
It begins with red / orange / yellow / green / blue / indigo / violet.
The seminar leader can take a picture of the sleeping rainbow serpent.
Eventually, the sleeping snake is asked in the dream:
Do we need nuclear power plants?
Tell us what you think uranium is.
Do you have an idea why nuclear waste is so dangerous?
Tell us. How and when nuclear bombs were developed?
Why is a nuclear power plant significant for military purposes?
If a child has an answer, he / she should be encouraged to speak it out, when not the children should continue as if sleeping, until each child has had the turn to speak.
We transform the serpent back into a group of students and ask them to take their place.
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Material: two big signs with "Very good" and "Very bad".
Time and location: big room/space indoor or outdoor, about 10 minutes.
A "clinical thermometer" is not only proper to get an overview of different opinions on an issue during the workshop but also for a final evaluation.
Therefore you put up the two signs at two sites of a room, or outdoor between two trees. Now you ask the participants on each unit of the workshop how they liked them. When the participants have taken their position ask some of them why they have taken this position and what they have learned out of the unit. The reflection is very helpful when you had a long workshop for tightening your knowledge.
You can finish your workshop/the clinical thermometer through asking the question "Do you believe it is possible to abolish nuclear weapons?".
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Material: copies of the evaluation questionnaire.
Time and Location: about 10 minutes.
Make copies of the questionnaire (download) or design one by yourself and hand it to the participants after the workshop.
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