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Earth Community Organization (ECO)
the Global Community


Dr. Vyacheslav Sharov
Russia
vbsharov@chat.ru


3, 4, 6, 15, 22, 25, 26, 28, 41, 42, 43, 46, 47, and 55


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Interactive Computerized Ecological Education of the Population and Specialists

Dr.Vyacheslav Sharov
Russia

Nuclear weapons production in the Chelyabinsk region during more than 40 years resulted in the severe contamination of the environment by radioactive waste. Information on that problem for public is limited although very important, for many people are still living in the contaminated territories and are under the high risk of radiation and have elevated morbidity and mortality rates. Moreover, radioactive contamination of the environment due to the radioactive waste in the Southern Ural continues at present and may result in a disaster much greater than Chernobyl. Although information concerning the Kyshtym accident in 1957 and the radiation and ecological situation in the Southern Ural is considered to be a secret no more, it is still not available to anyone in complete and is not widely known all around the world anyway.

There is no system for providing the population with timely information on radiation accidents and urgent measures to prevent irradiation of the population.

Thus ecological education is vital for inhabitants of the Chelyabisnk region to preserve the greatest values - their health and life. We have developed interactive computer programs for ecological education of population and specialists. One of computer programmes 'What Radiation Is?" consists out of two parts: database and tests and that is why the user can simultaneously study and carry out self-testing.

The database contains information on radiation, its definition, sources of radiation, their biological effects, consequences of nuclear weapons production on the population of the Chelyabinsk region. Besides, pathways of incorporation of radionuclides into the body are described, recommendations are provided for the reduction of the radiation risk for inhabitants of radiation comtaminated territories, for the management of radiation effects and use of medicine hearbs for the prevention and reduction of radiation effects. The computer program makes education significantly easy and effective for users can study even in those localities and facilities where no consultants and educators are available. Besides, the independent checking of knowledge is provided. The software allows to select a chapter of interest very easy and fast and start to study it, additional information is supplied as well. It makes the computer education technology cheaper, more reliable and effective for the education of population and specialists.

Telecommunication contributes sufficiently in the effective use of interactive computer education because users can connect to medical information centers any time and run the educational software. Additional advantage of telecommunication is that consultants and educators become available to users who can connect to them on-line or by e-mail.

The public education is successfully used at several medical information centers which have been set up in the Chelyabinsk region due to cooperative activities of "Chelyabinsk-Hanford Project" public movement. Besides, the computer programme can be used at schools, universities and for ecological education of the leadership. The programme is friendly, easy and accessible to users, and that is important for getting interested and involving new public.

It is planned to regularly upgrade the database in the future and continue to develop and improve the programme for the use in the education of new groups of population and specialists.




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Ecological Lesson for Children


The following is the plan of the ecological lesson for chidlren from radiation contaminated territories we used to teach while they are undergoing rehabilitation at the local sanatoria. Usually the course of treatment takes approx.30 days and in order not to interrupt their studies teachers come to sanatorium and conduct lessons there. We have recognized that it is an exellent opportunity to study ecology there for the sanatorium is located in the beautiful surroundings (lakes, hills and pine-trees all around) in the Ural mountains and they can combine outdoor and indoor lessons which is good for their health.

A couple of years ago the rehabilitation program for childern from contaminated territories was budgeted rather well, but now it was almost stopped for the lack of money. Only time to time it is resumed if some sponsor has been found.

Plan of the Lesson

Basics of Radiation

Duration - 45 min

Indoor section - 25 min.

1.What radiation is?
2.Types of radiation.
3.Radiation sources.
4.Natural radiation.
5.Why radiation background is high in the Ural?
6.How to measure radiation?
7.Measurement of indoor radiation background in wooden and brick buildings.

Outdoor section - 20 min.

1.Measurement of radiation background outdoors
2.- " - " - " - " - " - " - " - " - nearby the lake
3.- " - " - " - " - " - " - " - " - at rocks
4.Asking questions (tests) why there is difference in levels of measured radiation.

Depending on the weather we can change the duration of indoor and outdoor parts of the lesson or take children out for the whole lesson.

That is the example of one of the ecological lessons.


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