Report of the science week in Dordrecht The Netherland
February 2019 Description of the activityDuring the science week in Dordrecht in February 2019 the students were working on the theme of renewable energy. The foundation of the week was the research conducted in groups into a form of renewable energy that is used in the Dordrecht area. The result of this research was presented on the last day via pitches to each other, teachers and pupils of two local primary schools. Description of the content, methodology and results of this activityDuring the introduction day (the first day of the project), the different groups could choose on which topic they wanted to work that week. Topics included wind power, solar power, hydrogen fuel, energy transition and zero energy building. Documentation on the subject was provided. In addition, for each group there was a company or organization in the neighborhood that matched the subject to be visited and interviewed. Pupils gained research experience in the Discovery bus of the University of Groningen which stood on the school grounds during the science week. In order to be better prepared for an interview, they followed at school a workshop about interviewing. With all the information gathered, pitches were created in groups. Each pitch had to last 8 minutes. During the pitch there had to be an educational part and an activity to do. The whole had to be made attractive to keep primary school pupils captivated. The pitches were assessed by the pupils of the primary school. Who were the participants in the activity (including local participants)?During the science week in Dordrecht there were students and teachers from Germany, Sweden and Croatia. All these students were guests of Dutch host families. Various activities were organized during the week for students from the host school, so that each student could be involved in the project if desired. Our pupils arranged visits to local companies in international groups for interviews and research. Competitions were held during the lessons to win a visit to the Discovery truck. Staff joined in too. Scientific tests were also carried out in the auditorium of the building during breaks. Pupils from two local primary school were involved on the last day of the project during the pitches of the groups. The evening before, the pitches had been made accessible to all host families to be admired. How was this activity related to or integrated with the normal activities of the involved schools?During the lessons, various teachers in different subject areas paid attention to the theme of the science week. In addition, the pupils of the school could partly participate in the project themselves through the competitions and the break tasting sessions. Pupils from the junior class evaluated the pitches prior to the visit of the primary school students. In this way, they became directly acquainted with the content of the project.
How did the participation in this activity benefit the involved participants?Pupils who participated in this project learned a lot more about renewable energy in the first place. Because they actually visited a company for the research, the subject came to life more than if it had only been a theoretical research. In addition, dealing with students from another country with a different culture was an experience that left a deep impression. Because of this project pupils were able to learn much more from other cultures and languages than usually happens when you go on holiday in another country. Friendships have been made and the world view has changed a bit. Pupils have discovered that there are many differences within Europe, but also very beautiful and valuable similarities. As a result of this intensive acquaintance, these pupils will look differently at problems that occur at a European level, such as discrimination and integration.