#FOSSILSEACHALLENGE: COVID hasn’t stopped the students

It was supposed to be an edition dedicated to the relationship between the Dolomites and time, but due to COVID, the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and the Autonomous Province of Trento, who were its sponsors, had to surrender to the “times” and cancel the third edition of the #Fossilseachallenge, a competition aimed at secondary schools in Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia. However, some students and teachers at the “Astori” high schools of Mogliano Veneto did not give up; their desire to deepen and share the fruits of their research convinced them to continue working on their project and present it in 2021. You can find it at this link: https://astori.it/archivio-home/731-progetto-dolomiti-e-tempo and it goes without saying, it’s well worthwhile!

A cooperative project

Six departments, two fields of study, and five classes collaborated: second grade science with Aurora Casarin, Emma Cappelletto and Tommaso Oselladore; fourth grade linguistics with Angela Michielan, Denis Mestre, Francesca Chiara Matteligh, Matilde Gnasso and Sebastiano Marcato; fourth grade science with Alexander Coppo, Alvise Merlo, Camilla Balconi, Eleonora Barbon, Elisabetta Zago, Francesca Valotto, Francesco Azzoni, Giulia Ancilotto, Jan Alexander Pasqualetto, Laura Cossalter, Marco Daoud; fifth grade linguistics with Kristina Rocchetto; and fifth grade science with Gaia Spolaore, Maddalena Boccato and Pietro Michielan. It was a cross-sectional, multidisciplinary collaboration that the teachers were able to coordinate by reaching beyond the well-known educational difficulties of these times.

Voices from time and space (dolomitic)

The team from the Astori high schools initially worked in person, and then remotely, to produce films covering five themes: “The Dolomites through Time”, “The Geologic Timescale”, “The Human Timescale”, “Time for Interviews” and “What is Time Anyway?”. The contributions have been incorporated into a single panel that compares geological and human time through two timelines via QR codes. The children were not satisfied with simply illustrating the fruit of their studies on geological time; they also wanted to collect the voices of people who are experiencing the Dolomites landscape of the present in the area. You can listen to the voices of administrators as well as cultural sports animators from Corvara, Cibiana di Cadore, Predazzo and Sesto Sexten.


There have been three editions of “The Fossil Sea Challenge”: the 2017/18 edition, dedicated to the relationship between the Dolomites and water; the 2018/19 edition, on the theme of fire; and, most recently, the 2019/20 edition, on time, with a supplement which saw the children and teachers of the Astori as protagonists during the following school year, thanks to their spontaneous initiative. There is no better proof than this that the work done in previous years to disseminate scientific knowledge and raise awareness among secondary school children has left its mark.