App by the students of Alonissos for the Marine Park

May 10 2023

Another important initiative for the protection of the National Marine Park of Alonissos N. Sporades, but also for the environmental awareness of the students of the island, was supported by the Thalassa Foundation, this time in collaboration with the SciCo Educational Organization. Specifically, 2 to 6 of May, SciCo's expert scientists and teachers visited students from the High School of Alonissos and through interactive lessons introduced them to the methodologies and techniques of creating applications for Android mobile phones.

Due to the huge ecological importance of the marine park of Alonissos and the significant pressures it faces, the team chose this marine protected area as a case study for the creation of an application with an interactive Google map and geolocation, which will provide the user with all zoning information, including the specific protection conditions that apply in each zone. At the same time, the application includes photos and information from selected points of interest of Alonissos, such as beaches and museums, the possibility of audio playback of the texts and sending the user's geographical coordinates via e-mail in case of emergency.

The development team of the application consists of 17 high school students, who attended 7 two-hour lessons, while parallel activities for the collection of material and information were carried out, such as a discussion on the concept of Citizen Science, a visit to the Municipality of Alonissos, etc. It is worth noting that this initiative used as an idea an earlier application developed four years ago by students of the Lyceum of Alonissos, under the guidance of their supervising teacher, which was updated, enriched and improved through the recent educational process.

Apart from the creation of the application itself, which is expected to be widely used by residents and visitors in the coming period, a crucial parameter and added value of the whole effort is the knowledge gained by the students of Alonissos, who, now having the relevant know-how, will be able to develop other applications for the protection of the natural environment and the sustainable development of their place.

The AlonissosApp application is almost completed and the whole team of the children and SciCo are working hard so that it will soon be fully operational. The activity was supported by the IT teacher Mrs. Vaya Mandela and the school's headmistress Mrs. Meropi Machairidou.

Further actions are expected in the immediate future with the support and participation of the Thalassa Foundation: educational actions on the importance of the bee as a pollinator in collaboration with the non-profit organization The BeeCamp (6/6), donation and installation of a dermatoscopy system with the collaboration of Althexis (7 & 8/6) and of course the two-day closing conference of the Green Fund funded project Guardians of the Sea (8 & 9/6). Stay tuned...