International Conference
Daylighting Rivers: Inquiry Based Learning for civic ecology

Florence (Italy)

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the conference has been postponed to December 1-2, 2020 

Click here to access the Conference Website

Teachers, researchers, professionals and academics with an interest in educational methodologies, are invited to present results of their experiences and researches to the Daylighting Rivers Final Conference.

 This conference aims to promote discussion on three core topics connected to interdisciplinary education in relation to:

  • Inquiry Based Learning and other methodologies for STEM connected to environmental education, with emphasis on issues of urban rivers: links between school curriculum and outdoor practice, multidisciplinary learning activities, knowledge and skills achieved;
  • ICT and mobile game design for land use studies and communicating findings to different targets: Geographic Information tools and Apps for mapping, location based games etc.
  • Rivers as triggers for experiential learning and active citizenship.

During the conference the winners of the International Competition “Schools in action for Daylighting Rivers” will be announced.



This conference is organized in the framework of the Erasmus+ project Daylighting Rivers. Daylighting Rivers engages secondary school students in hands-on, interdisciplinary learning under a STEM approach, focusing on land and river use and transformation, with an emphasis on the ways in which urban growth impacts local river ecosystems. Daylighting Rivers acknowledges that due to accelerated urban development, many rivers have been diverted or covered over in favour of urban infrastructures. This leads to increased risks of flooding, loss of biodiversity, increased water pollution and impaired community services connected to the rivers. The process by which the culverted or covered rivers are uncovered and re-exposed to the environment is known as ‘daylighting’. 

The educational approach adopted in the project is known as Inquiry Based Learning. Three pilot schools in Europe have successfully implemented this approach, through learning units, which investigated different aspects of the local rivers. Some classes worked on water pollution, identifying the pollutants and their sources; other classes examined the biodiversity of flora and fauna, also identifying environmental threats; and others investigated the effects of urbanisation on land take by urbanisation and its consequences on water cycle.

In the framework of the project, the partnership has launched an International competition entitled “Schools in Action for Daylighting Rivers”  ( whose award of the prizes will be celebrated during the conference.

 Conference themes

With urban river ecosystems as a central focus, the conference will encourage discussion on:

  • Pedagogical and technological innovation in STEM and environmental education; the use of new media
  • Environmental education and civic ecology
  • Urban rivers and rivers as laboratory for science and environmental education
  • Social networks and learning communities as agents of environmental education
  • Geographic Information tools and studies
  • Game based learning, location based games

 Call for papers & deadlines

We invite all those who would like to participate in the conference, to submit abstracts drawing on the above themes. Innovative contributions that do not fit the above themes might also be considered if they would be judged to be of benefit to conference participants.

The call for abstract is RE-OPENED until  5th October 2020.

We collect abstracts of 200-300 words, accompanied by the title and name(s) of author(s) with their affiliations, to be sent to Template for abstracts is available here.

The abstracts will be assessed by the scientific committee of the conference and decisions will be notified to authors by the following 10 days. 

Full papers submission is due by  31st October 2020. Template for full papers is available here. Papers must not exceed 2.500 words or 6 A4 pages, including graphs and/or pictures.

Accepted papers will be published in the digital conference proceedings with ISBN.

Information at this link.

 Targeted participants

  • Teachers, educators and facilitators of learning
  • River management and conservation professionals and NGOs
  • Public or private organisations providing ICT-enhanced learning
  • Social partners and policy makers in school education
  • Academics and students with an interest in STEM, environmental education, pedagogical innovation.

Participation in the conference is free of charge. Stakeholders in the field of education, citizen science and scientific studies on rivers are invited. Classes of students are more than welcome! Their referent teacher is invited to communicate the number of students attending and if they will attend specific session.

Participants will receive the Book of Papers published in digital format with ISBN.

Registration is requested to attend the conference at this link:

Conference programme

The conference is a two-day event with plenary or parallel sessions depending on the number of speakers.

Part of the second day will be devoted to the presentation of the finalists of the competition “School in Action for Daylighting Rivers” and the award of the prizes.

Other social events will be announced later on.