“Star in School” project from the city of Karlovac the winner of the Europa Nostra Heritage Award 2016

Bruxelles, Haag, 7 April 2016

Operating within Karlovac, a city that wants to regenerate its potential, ‘Star in School’ involves an impressive number of students and teachers and helps to promote local identity and civic pride”, the jury said of this project which aims to educate students about their city’s heritage. Karlovac was built as a defence fortress in the shape of a six pointed star and while the city has grown considerably since then, the star shape remains as the historic town centre. Star in School brings students from primary and secondary schools and their teachers to the Star to learn about the historic centre. The project aims to find innovative ways of including cultural heritage in each subject in school, whether it is mathematics, biology, history or Croatian language.

The project achieves this by using the historic centre as a platform for performing various classroom and outdoor activities. These activities have been organised with great creativity. For example, a mathematics workshop for elementary school students saw the participants measure the streets, squares and monuments of the star using the principles of geometry. Another activity had students learning about the plants present in the square while another class was brought through the city to create drawings of the historic buildings’ facades. Other workshops are more specifically focused on heritage and history, with students learning about famous figures from Karlovac, the differences between the Catholic and Orthodox faiths and discussing ways to use this rich cultural heritage to revitalise their city.

With each workshop, the aims to enhance local identity and to demonstrate the economic significance of the Star to the city of Karlovac are clear. “The project has re-emphasised the star shape as the primary cultural value of their city for the next generation. In highlighting the potential of cultural heritage to play a part in several fields of study, the initiative has contributed to the sustainable safeguarding of the Star”, the jury said.

This project which is supported by the city, is a sustainable way of improving knowledge about cultural heritage among teachers and students. The practical and modern method of instruction is welcomed by both of these groups, with students often finding this mode more accessible than traditional classroom teaching”, the jury highlighted. “This innovative initiative has had a profound effect on the local attitude towards cultural heritage and has the potential for wide application throughout Europe”, the jury stated.

Source: Europa Nostra

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