At the end of March, after a two year wait, our Earth Summit Team finally had the opportunity to head to Sweden and meet up with the schools they’d previously met virtually.

Milo, Year 10, is one of the team and he’s written about his experience.

After what felt like a lifetime in lockdown, it really felt nice to get out and be part of a group and try to help save the world. More than anything, I would love to highlight how welcoming and inclusive everyone was. Saving the world, or having any impact is practically impossible to do on your own or in a group of people you can’t work with. However, having a group of people that all have the same goal and are passionate about the same thing made it a really fun experience. We learned about the ‘4Fs’ whilst we were there from a lady in America through a zoom call. They were friends, fun, food and free. It shocked me how true this was. If we really want to make a difference then you need to be happy and have fun, to have friends and people to talk to, to have food because food just makes everything better, and for everything to be free both price wise and how any opinion is not wrong.

Even though being separated from your friends for the day may seem scary, I was also really excited to meet these new people in real life and not just a zoom call. I learned so much whilst I was there, as environmental science is something that I am very interested in. Northgate has done so much towards promoting how precious our planet really is, and being with other schools who had different ideas inspired all of us. We can use these ideas and put them to use at Northgate. That sense of working together and learning was what the Earth Summit was all about, and it worked. For example, the idea about doing an environmental survey about what other students at Northgate feel about what we do as a school was an idea from one of the other schools. The results we got were honestly really interesting, and helped us know what we had to do as a next step. That’s another thing the Earth Summit was about, it acted as a stepping stone or a battery to boost our ideas.

Interesting looking rooms in the science centre where different activities took place

The 3 days were full of different activities, all based around the theme of sustainability. We went to the science centre in Malmö and were split into 6 groups. The gulf stream, food, mining, questions about sustainability and what we can do, coding, history of the planet. These were the 6 activities at the science centre. We had a science show, where we had reactions with liquid nitrogen and a dancing robot appeared! There was also this fantastic sustainability-based wall activity, where we had to get the correct balance between too much carbon dioxide and too little. This was really fun and engaging. On the next day, everyone went to different places including: the botanic gardens, the recycling centre and a trip to Lund University. I went to the university, where we interviewed a selection of masters in sustainability science. For example, we learned that one of them went to a greenhouse and used the carbon dioxide produced from fermentation as carbon dioxide for the greenhouse.

On the final day, we had our presentation of everything we’ve done at school and anything we learned over the last few days. We received positive feedback from the guests from Lund University.

Lastly, Sweden is a really nice country with incredible architecture. We also walked through Lund, which was amazing.

A plastic sculpture in Copenhagen

Inside the cathedral in Lund

I am really proud of the Earth Summit Team and how we have brought our ideas together and I believe it is a very positive thing. Everyone was welcoming and very kind. It was an impeccable experience.

Freya, Year 11, also attended and said, ‘We learnt how different schools combat different issues to do with climate change and sustainability. I went to the recycling centre and I learnt how much waste we produce and annually (the statistics were horrific) then we got a tour of the site and they had built a man-made island attached to the site for extra room. We all learnt a lot, overall the experience was amazing and I left feeling inspired and motivated to charge ahead with our green projects!’