“EUse Science to STEAM up your school” from September 2018 until augustus 2020
General remarks: The project results correspond to a high extent to what was planned at the application stage. We have achieved all the results we aimed for. All of our activities aimed at promoting science at our schools and other institutions in the region. Each project school spent a whole week on working on science topics in theory classes but also by organizing several field trips to companies and universities. The core of these power weeks was that pupils from their own schools together with their international peers and pupils from primary schools worked together on different national topics. Beforehand we made sure that not only the boys got in contact with this project. At each science week the amount of female pupils was at least half of the group, so as to create gender equality in science. In Spain the gender equality topic even was a national priority where all of the pupils worked on. The transversal topic of the six science weeks for pupils and teachers bore a strong relation to one of the national priorities. For all the short term activities with pupils we opted for guest families to intensify the learning of foreign languages. Even if the working language in the international groups was English, our pupils had the possibility to practise their German and Spanish too. To assess the progress in learning English two tests were made, an English pre- test beforehand and a post - test at the end of the international week. Each test contained 75 questions and both of the tests were on B2 CEFRÂ level and the threshold to pass the test was 40 points out of 80. The internationally mixed groups then proceeded to actually give this lesson in a primary school during the exchange in English. The results in the report on language acquisition show an improvement in English by the students participating in one of our five Erasmus+ science weeks. Not only was an improvement in the level of English was noted, but an increase in motivation to learn English was witnessed as well. All of the secondary school pupils involved in the exchanges, obtained a participation certificate stating their CEFR level of English. All of the primary school pupils involved in the STEM lessons got an international participation certificate, designed by the entrepreneurial transnational teams of secondary pupils during the exchanges. On our website https://steamupyourschool.weebly.com/# we share the results, highlights and experiences to a wider public. By working in international groups, pupils discovered their European career possibilities, which is especially valuable for pupils with fewer opportunities, of which there are many at the partner schools involved. Also, by using EE, all of the pupils' motivation for science in the long term was stimulated. Due to the Corona crisis it was not possible to go to Split and work on the national topic digitalization. We also could not organize the stem exhibition at Insula College in June 2020 at the final teachers’ meeting, so an overview has been put on the website.
Description of the LTTA’s C1 in Germany:
During the exchange in Recklinghausen 24 students from three different schools in Croatia, Denmark and Spain visited our school. The main topics of the project week were sustainable sources of energy and integration. The goals of the exchange were to increase the students’ interest in science and in different cultures and to gain language experience All groups of the participating countries arrived on Sunday afternoon / evening and the students spent the first evening in their host families. On Monday we all met in the school building and the programme started. After being welcomed by the headmaster the group went to the school department where the refugee students have lessons and are mainly taught German to prepare them for the regular classes (VK). We did some ice-breaker games to help the students to get to know each other. After that they had the opportunity to watch a lesson in the refugee classes. After the lesson the group had a warm lunch which had been prepared by the pupils of the VK classes. In the afternoon the students did a city-rallye and visited the Christmas market. On Tuesday after the language assessment test the students worked in teams of mixed nationalities on an introduction to their topic. The topics were wind energy, fuel cells and photovoltaics. Each group presented their results to the other groups. After lunch break (national buffet prepared by the students) we all went bowling. The students were divided in two groups (group A and B) for Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday group A went to the energy lab in Gelsenkirchen where the students ran experiments related to the topics photovoltaics and wind energy. Group B stayed at school and worked on their pitches for Friday. On Thursday group B went to the energy lab and group A worked at school. On Friday the groups presented their results to younger pupils. The pitches consisted of short presentations and activities like quizzes and experiments. The younger pupils voted for the best presentation. The best team won a prize and eternal fame. After the presentations we finished the project week with an international buffet at school which was prepared by the students in their host families
C2 in the Netherlands: DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITY During 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 ACTIVITY During 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 schools. 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.
C3 in Spain: At our school in Pamplona we teach robotics. It allows our students to develop useful skills such as creative potential ,critical thinking, empowerment and organization. ItÂ allows the teachers to teach in a different way, based on experimentation, research of information and collaborative work. Nowadays one of the main concerns not only for teachers but also for society is how the scientific interest has decreased among young girls. We think it is important for both male and female students to see that women have been members of science for a long time, and even if they have not been as valued as highly as men, they have contributed to very important discoveries.
Every morning the students met their teacher and talked about the experiences and results of the day before. We divided the 48 students in two groups for the main activities, 12 Spanish students with their host students. The first group stayed at school for activities 3 and 4 on Tuesday and went to University on Wednesday and the vice versa. After some ice breaking games on the first day students researched the lives of 5 famous Spanish women in scienceÂ who made important contributions to society. Each group was allotted one topic. After that, they made a photocall, metal sheets and recorded a video.
We also organized a robotic workshop for beginners. They searchedÂ for basic information on the internet and completed a report in order to acquire basic notions about the main robotic terms and concepts (sensor, actuator, analog, digital, motherboard), and also about a block programming program (bitblock or Mblock).
After Activity 3 they acquired enough knowledge to face a challenge at school. We proposed 4 challenges, for example a self watering flowerpot or a noise pollution indicator, one challenge for each group, to be solved by programming some components we provided them in small kits: light sensors, buttons, LEDS, motors.Â We gave an exercise script to each group.
At the Public University of Navarre our students had a guided visit to its main locations such as the library and the non echo room where the engineers develop and test the antennas. After that they worked on different projects at the University. The results of the different projects were shown to other pupils in the science fair at school.
At the end of the week all students and teachers were happy and content with the results. They mainly highlighted the personal experience.They also emphasized how different ways of working they have in the different countries and how the mix of all add making a more completed result. Teachers and students collaborated very well together and learnt very fast through experimentation. Their students enjoyed the experience a lot, learned some new concepts and were very excited not just about robotics and what they could do with it, but also with the idea of being able to participate in an international project as Erasmus+.
C4 in Sweden: Fridagymnasiet was the partnerschool from Sweden, and during the project we went to the Netherlands, Spain and Denmark, with 8 pupils from Sweden travelling each time. We also hosted 24 pupils from Spain, Croatia and the Netherlands to see what it means to go to school in Sweden , what our school is like, how education works. For the science week in Vänersborg, which took place from 16th until 20th September in 2019, our national topic was Sustainability".
Our science week in Vänersborg (C4) followed the project week framework which was designed prior to applying for the Erasmus + grant in the spring of 2018. In addition to the scientific content, the aim was to give the students a taste of the different cultures involved in the exchange, to improve cooperation in international teams during the project, and to support budding contacts and making friends across borders and a greater international focus in their future education and life. The three schools arrived on Sunday at Gothenburg airport and were brought by direct bus transfer to Vänersborg. The teachers stayed in a hotel nearby school and the pupils were welcomed by their guest families and taken to their new home for the week.
During the science week we had plenty of activities planned for the partner schools. The pupils worked on different topics and presented their work to 5th graders on Friday. Apart from this, we had a field trip to Göteborg and visited the university of Göteborg where we learnt more about sustainability. We also had an excursion to the recycle and power station in Trollhättan and we visited the science center with our students. Back at school, the students had time to work on their projects in international groups. They prepared their presentations which were quite interesting and diverse.. Our programme in Sweden also included lectures and a workshop for teachers and students held by an expert in sustainable development. Furthermore we had some team building activities and physical outdoor activities for pupils and teachers. The week ended on Friday with the presentations for the younger pupils. 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 science fair for the school and an international dinner for all teachers.
C5 in Denmark: The project is a teaching-related project, which is based on pupils in primary and secondary school. 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 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.
Kildegaardskolen is a representative of Denmark, and during the project have gone to Germany, Spain and Croatia with 8 pupils each time. 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 Malmö 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.Â
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.
How did the participation in this activity benefit the involved participants? At the foundation of this project lies the strong belief that working together on a common goal is the best kind of interaction a person can experience, and it is the best environment for people to grow, personally and professionally. The science week has created a setting in which an international breeding ground for this growth is optimized. With a focus on gender equality, science weeks have promoted the concept of women in science, as more often than not, girls outnumber boys in these exchanges. Pupils have learnt about topics related to their curriculum in depth, in an international setting. Pupils have seen how different cultures in Europe tackle subject matter in a different way, on a student level and on a teacher level. Use of English throughout has not only created an immediate bond, but also an urgency to improve English language skills. Pupils have visited different companies and institutions such as universities and science centres during their stay, and have discovered opportunities to add a European angle to their future career plans. Pupils have learnt to negotiate different approaches within their international team, and have developed and grown as they translate the knowledge they have gained into teaching material for younger pupils, taking on a new role, the role of teacher, adapting vocabulary and phrasing and presenting for their (younger) audience. Furthermore, teachers and other staff have been given the opportunity to interact with peers from all over Europe during these exchanges, sharing best practices, drawing inspiration from the development that they have seen in their pupils and have experienced themselves. The science weeks have brought home a sense of Europe that breathes cooperation, common goals and common grounds in the true spirit of what Europe should be all about, and have stimulated an interest in science for all.