Kildegårdskolen in European cooperation: Project: (EUse Science to STEaM up Your School)
The project is an EU-supported KA2-Erasmus+ project. This means that the project participants (the 6 participating schools) have joined together to apply for a teaching-related project (Erasmus +), which is based on pupils in primary and secondary school (KA2). With the help of EU funding, the project weeks are meant to be different from regular teaching, including excursions and materials that are usually out of reach. It is the hope and experience, that the exchanges leave lasting impressions on the students, so that they might consider an international STEM career later in life.
The project framework was designed upon application in spring 2018 and resulted in an exchange program where each school hosts three others in science weeks focusing on the STEM method, against being able to send 8 students off at a time to three other countries, over the duration of two years. When the students leave, they must live with a local family whose child is also a participant in the Erasmus project. Each project week therefore has about 48 participants, as each of the 24 guests must stay with someone who also participates in the project week. In addition to the scientific content, the aim is therefore to give the students a cultural meeting, which can result in contacts / friends across borders and a greater international focus in their future education and life.
Kildegårdskolen is a representative of Denmark, and during the project have gone to Germany, Spain and Croatia with 8 pupils each time. (Croatia was cancelled due to Covid19 outbreak). We have also hosted 24 pupils from Spain, Germany and the Netherlands to see how we work in Denmark. Which we showed them in week 8 2020, under the topic "Waste Management and Sustainability". We presented our participants to the Danish model for project work, by working with 8 different relevant issues from the real, contemporary world.
We started Monday with icebreakers, group training, choice of problem and initial research, which was followed by a lecture from one of Denmark's leading researchers in plastic and environment on Tuesday, at DTU (Danish Technical University). When we got back to school, the students had time to work on their projects. Wednesday and Thursday we sent half of the students to Måløv wastewater treatment plant, while the other half were at school, and the other way around on thursday. At the school we held STEM workshops where the students worked on their issues according to the STEM method and produced their products, studies and presentations.
The week ended on Friday with a presentation where approximately 40 primary-school students heard these presentations in english. After the presentations the primary-school students voted for the best presentations and the three best groups received a prize each. The official program ended with clean-up, evaluation, a group photo in front of the school and finally the official end of the project week.
The students exchanged contact information and said goodbye before returning to their own host families, who drove them to the airport. Some of the pupils cried when they had to say goodbye, so it seems obvious that friendships and connections were made.