eHAND - effects of Human Activities on Natural Disasters


eHand aims at arming students with the necessary skills to be future responsible citizens and contribute to the achievement of the goals of the Europa 2020 strategy.

According to recent research studies, it is very likely that human activities will impact future catastrophes, like earthquakes, storms, floods, landslides, while population growth and urbanisation make communities much more vulnerable to natural hazards.

At the same time, interest in disaster education has grown rapidly. Several studies confirm that effective results can be obtained in this field by combining direct experience, observation, discovery and action, so disaster and risk education should be part of the national schools curricula and be included in several school subjects.

The eTwinning project eHAND (effects of Human Activities on Natural Disasters) involves seven partners (from Italy, Estonia, Greece, France, Romania, Portugal and Turkey). The project’s duration is three years and it aims at arming students with the necessary skills to be future “good citizens”, focusing sharply on more complex social issues, such as the links between environmental quality, human equality, human rights and peace, and on the critical role of science in understanding and mitigating the effects of extreme events. More details on the project at

Basic information

Country: Estonia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Turkey

Coordinator: Liceo Majorana,

Programme: Erasmus+

Project Acronym:

Target groups: education authorities, general public, industry, secondary school students, teachers

Topic: Applied sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Earth science, Ecology, Energy, Environmental sciences, Geography, Information technology, Maths, Meteorology, Oceanography

Start year: 2016

End year: 2019


Contact person: Franca Sormani Email f.sormani (at)

The eTwinning project eHAND provides general research studies on natural hazards and on geology, risk of “natural” disaster or disaster due to human activities in each country, with particular regard to earthquakes and eruptions, water scarcity, increase of invasive alien species and biodiversity loss, calamitous events related to climate change like floods, landslides, extreme storms, melting glaciers, hotter summers, drought, etc.

Through e HAND, students study and examine in depth the cutting-edge technologies for the monitoring of geophysical and environmental phenomena on a large scale and for risk reduction (Earth observation satellites, GPS, etc.).

Students also study possible solutions for specific areas in their respective country and learn more about sustainable development, through a strong connection to the theme of EXPO 2020 Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, and possible solutions at different levels (individual, school, regional and international).

The final report includes:

  • An essay on historical disasters in Europe.
  • An essay on natural hazards and induced disasters in each country.
  • An essay on the role of civil protection and NGOs in each country.
  • An essay on the role of science and technology in disaster reduction and sustainable development.
  • A database for each country, where the calamitous events in their region are monitored and every six months a Google fusion map and a mathematical comparison of the events is published.

The innovative features of eHAND rely on creating a holistic educational project, designed to ignite students’ curiosity and empathy and desire to participate actively in the project’s design, building and delivery.

  • Students are engaged in Interactive Learning (brainstorming; interactive multimedia presentations), Inquiry-Based Learning (team case-study research and analysis; Internet enquiries, use of ICT, use and creation of apps, project work), Experiential Learning (film making, outdoor lessons, field trips to disaster support services; hazard mapping and vulnerability assessment in schools and in communities), Action Learning (student-community partnerships to raise hazard awareness, poster campaigns).
  • The work programme aims at enabling students not only to consolidate academic learning, but also to extend and apply their understanding, and encouraging them to solve real-world problems, developing students' skills in areas such as problem-solving, critical thinking, decision-making, as well as in written and oral communication.
  • The project is developing innovative didactic paths about the topic involving more subject matters (maths, physics, science, history, ICT, Geography, Art, Physical Education) according to the different scholastic curricula.
  • Students collaborate with the teacher in order to create a lesson plan for peers and teachers and create an evaluation method.
  • Guidelines for teachers are included.


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