The conference, titled Environment and Well-being: A Joint Venture of Technology, Sciences, and Humanities, was held at the Faculty of Science of the University of Ostrava and the students also had the opportunity to get to know two other Czech universities, namely the VSB – Technical University of Ostrava and the Czech Technical University in Prague.
The programme of the first day started with a tour of the centre of Ostrava and the UO City Campus, where students could visit, among other things, several laboratories. After a short introduction to the city and the newest university building, the whole group moved to the Faculty of Science, where the part led by the University of Ostrava itself began. The participants listened to lectures on topics such as Healthy Aging in Industrial Environment, Environmental Justice and Environmental Racism or Biodiversity and Citizen Science Project.
The second part of the day was directed by VSB-TUO, which demonstrated to students how to create a 3D model from images taken by a drone and also included lectures on Plants: A Mirror Image of the World or Introduction to Cryptocurrencies. The undoubted highlight of the evening was the screening that the university arranged in the Ostrava Planetarium. The conference participants first watched the film Expedition Reef in the spherical cinema and after dinner learned a little about the starry sky and planet Earth.
Student representative Niumi Dissanayake, who represented Latvia at the conference but originally comes from Sri Lanka, had very positive impressions of the first day. “The conference has been well organised so far from my point of view. The food is excellent, I am enjoying the programme and I have already met a great many inspiring people from all different countries on the first day,” she said.
The conference has been well organised so far from my point of view. The food is excellent, I am enjoying the programme and I have already met a great many inspiring people from all different countries on the first day
The last day of the conference belonged to the newest Czech member of the Baltic University Programme, the CTU in Prague. Professor Jan Hrdlička and his colleague Associate Professor Lukáš Krátký prepared a lecture on Carbon Capture and Utilization: How Much CO2 Is Produced and How It Can Be Captured. The programme was later complemented by Ms. Pavla Cvachovcová from the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic, who presented the goals and challenges of our country within the SDG 2030 and answered many questions from the students.
As the last part of the program, the students enjoyed a tour of the Lower Vítkovice area, which enlightened them about the entire production process, the history of the town and the blast furnaces. After returning back to the hotel, all that was left to do was to enjoy their last hours in Ostrava, so some went to the Christmas markets and others continued to explore the city. The official ending took place at Frankie’s Pub, where students had the opportunity to take part in a pub quiz and compete for prizes – both sweet and savoury Czech products.
After the conference, Svenja, a student from Greifswald, Germany, felt that the snow had made her and many other students’ journey to Ostrava very difficult, but in the end it was worth it: “I would definitely call the event a success. The excursions and lectures were interesting, but I hope we all get home safely,” she smiles.
The conference was attended by over 40 Bachelor, Master and Doctoral students from all Baltic University Programme member countries, including Sweden, Estonia, Ukraine and Poland.
Photos: Václav Čajka