News . Events Discovering the natural wealth of the White Mountains using ICT

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Care: The students were engaged in recording and studying the threats and risks facing our Ecosystems and in particular the White Mountains National Park. The students who participated in the activities were 10 years old and went to Primary D. There were two sections and a total of 35 students participated in the program.

Know: The skills the students practiced was to explore the Samaria Gorge through ICT. The students initially dealt with understanding how to read, orient and process a digital map (GIS) as well as the possibilities of GPS. With the help of electronic files received from the Samaria National Forest Management Body and the use of the Google Earth computer application, they managed to see the path of the canyon but also to learn how to read and orient a map. Also through the Geogreece website they found information about the flora and fauna of our country, the National Forests and the habitats that exist. From the information they collected each group proposed 3 questions and thus each department made a Quiz.
To create the quiz they used the kahoot application. Then they visited the Spatial Information Systems laboratory of the Technical University of Crete. There they were welcomed by the professor and head of the laboratory, Mr. Partcinevelos Panagiotis, where, together with his research team, he guided them around the premises of the laboratory and together they discussed the use of IT systems in the representation of maps, as well as automatic geo-location systems (GPS ). In particular, they saw how they can use drones with built-in GPS to prevent fires and other natural disasters as well as to rescue people in the Samaria gorge. They also created a real relief map of the Samaria area using the Sandmap tool.

Do: At the end, the students prepared a model of the Samaria gorge and the Portes point in comparison. Then they built a fire alarm mechanism using the Arduino microcontroller. This mechanism was designed and programmed through the tinkercad application with the help of the students of the third grade of the school. Thus they completed the activities as a group and supported by their family and the school’s High School. The presentation of their work took place at the Connect Student Conference on May 21, 2022. Conclusions about Open Schooling:

The activity was integrated into the curriculum. It was a challenge since, on the one hand, the Informatics, Artistic and Laboratory Skills courses had to be combined and all this in
collaboration with the scientific community. Open schooling can be useful for other teachers because the pedagogical use of ICT transforms traditional teaching practices and enhances the active involvement of students in all phases of the teaching process. The participation of scientists in this process did not confuse the students but helped them to deepen the topic they studied.

The change/innovation was supported by:

[ x ] School management [ x ] school association/network
[ x ] Local government [ ] Other: ________________________________

Student results: The students saw the program positively, they were excited by the use of technological means in every phase of the program and they participated very actively in it. Concerns were raised regarding the dangers and threats facing our ecosystems, but they were particularly encouraged by both their proposal to deal with fires through an electronic self-construction and the fact that there are scientists working on their protection.

This practice contributed to the increase of:
[ x ] engaging families with sciences [ x ] involving girls in science [ x ] raising awareness among students about careers in the natural sciences

Please specify: The students interacted with technological tools and applications in order to learn and understand their usefulness.

News . Events I capture through photography the problems of my place and apply solutions

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Care: The planet is facing many problems of different kinds. But often we need to start with the simple problems of our community in order to find sustainable solutions that will last. In this way, we become familiar with the ‘culture of active citizenship’, learn to find solutions, implement them and take a keen interest in our neighbourhood. Every neighbourhood has its own problems, which often apply to the wider context of our city. Thus, the 16 pupils of E2 class of our school decided to deal with the problems of their neighbourhood.

Know: The educational scenario “I capture through photography the problems of my place and implement solutions” aimed to motivate students to connect their knowledge about light, to use the tool of photography, to depict problems of their wider neighbourhood and then, to find solutions, to implement and show them in the form of a multimodal installation.

Do: The students photographed the various problems in their neighbourhood, grouped them together and then found solutions for each one. In particular, they contacted the city’s kennel, interviewed volunteers and in consultation with them collected food for the strays. They then sent a letter to the town hall secretary citing problems with the sidewalk, trash and some large trees in the area. Finally, they made their own leaflets about illegal parking and distributed them in the area. They also made and placed recycling bins in various places (outside the school).
Conclusions on Open Schooling: This project opened the classroom to the local community. The students looked forward to doing the project at different times of the day, as everything they made, wrote and created had a direct impact on their daily lives and was characterized by an actual and concrete “meaning”.

The contact with scientists and community stakeholders was particularly helpful and gave the children added interest.

The change/innovation was supported by:

[ x ] School management [ x ] school association/network
[ x ] Local government [ ] Other: ________________________________

Student results: The students organized a multimodal installation in the classroom and presented in various forms what they did through the project. They made artworks, games, added sound and image to their thoughts and actions. The exhibition seemed “fantastic”, “special” and “interesting” as the visiting parents described it.

This practice contributed to the increase of: the Director of 41th Primary school of Heraklion [ x ] engaging families with sciences [ x ] involving girls in science [ x ] raising awareness among students about careers in the natural sciences

Please specify: All students participated and cooperated. The result was very encouraging for all of us. Girls and boys found motivation and interest in the activities. Parents were delighted with the enthusiasm of their children and worked very well together.

News . Events Landscape and Renewable Energy Sources (RES)

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Care: The students dealt with the issue of the integration of RES in the landscape, a real problem that occupied the students of Tinos in view of the massive installation of wind turbines in the landscape of Tinos. The students who participated in the activities were twenty-eight (28), 14-year-old students of the 2nd Class of the High School.

Know: The students used knowledge about the role and importance of RES considering their rational integration in landscapes and ecosystems, considering their functions and value.

The skills the students practiced were:

  • question processing,
  • data analysis,
  • discussion of claims and evidence,
  • drawing or drawing conclusions,
  • familiarity with the ways and stages of conducting a research,
  • familiarity with techniques for searching, evaluating and presenting information through a variety of sources,
  • development of collaboration, creative expression and presentation skills.

Do: At the end, students put their knowledge into practice by doing field research. A 2-day Educational Visit was made to the landscape of the paths of Andros (in collaboration with KPE Korthiou). The program of the visit included group work in and outside the field, namely: Practical-Experiential Part: hiking, information, observation, photography, exploration and activities, landscape experience with all the senses.

In detail, the practical-experiential part contained:

  • Observation and recording of field characteristics
  • Familiarity with the space through all the senses
  • Perception of space through various games
  • Identification of species of flora (mainly) and fauna
  • Map reading
  • Completing worksheets
  • Presentation of the habitats of Andros and the most important historical stations
  • Discussion about the needs of the people who created the landscape of Andros.

Creative Part: recording of valuable elements and problems of the landscape and ecosystem, discussion related to threats and proposals for better management. The result was a group presentation of the results of all work groups through a powerpoint work, which was presented by student representatives at an event organized by the High School of Tinos at the Spiritual Center of the Holy Foundation of Evangelistria on Thursday 25 May 2022 at 19.00, in which they took part and their parents/guardians. The presentation emerged from the discussions with the scientists in the context of the “learn” section and from the practical-experiential part of the training which included filling in worksheets (of the KPE), individual notes and group discussions.

The parents/guardians of the students who participated in the CONNECT program were informed about its content both in person (those who visited the school) and electronically with frequent messages describing the activities. This ensured as active an involvement as possible them in the whole project (a fact that helped to cultivate the scientific capital). The results of their program were presented extensively at a live event organized by the school.

Conclusions on Open Schooling: The action was not embedded in the curriculum, but indirectly related to it. It was useful and innovative as it related to the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes (as discussed below). Open schooling can also be useful for other teachers because it can combine knowledge and apply it in the field (eg identifying and valuing natural and cultural wealth of an area)..

The change/innovation was supported by:

[ x ] School management [ ] school association/network [ ] Local government [ ] Other: ________________________________

Student results: The students showed interest in the thematic subjects of the program, submitted questions and participated in discussions. They took into account what the scientists conveyed to them and a relationship of trust was cultivated. This was reflected in the results of the action. Notably, there were also examples of relatively weak students showing great interest in the collaborative method and field research and taking initiatives. They responded with particular enthusiasm to the educational visit (outside the island), which was an important motivation for their activation at all levels of thinking and action.

This practice contributed to the increase of:

[ ] engaging families with sciences [ x ] involving girls in science [ x ] raising awareness among students about careers in the natural sciences

Please specify: Parents participated in the collection of questionnaires for the student survey. The girls actively participated in the mapping and literature review and in general all students showed a special interest in digital maps and the contribution of geomorphological terrain to road construction.

News . Events Aerosol… hooked on! How do you control a ‘missing crown’?

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  • Care: In this phase, students’ curiosity and need to upgrade their knowledge level are stimulated, pre-existing ideas are explored and prior knowledge is activated. Interest and participation is fostered through real work based on a community problem, in this case the control of COVID-19 and ways to build a sensitive sensor device. The concerns and needs related to the problem are identified and the challenges to be investigated and the affected social actors to be involved are prioritized. To engage students by inviting them to participate in a participatory research project to develop strategies for the prevention and control of Covid-19 (and other similar infectious diseases) and also to consider how it is possible to build the study device themselves. They begin by first exploring their concerns and needs with their families and then prioritizing the challenges that need to be explored. The scenario is formed based on the need for more direct communication in the classrooms without losing the sense of security. The students who took part in the activities were 15-17 year olds who were studying at the Lyceum. A total of 35 students participated in the whole process.

 

  • Know:  This phase facilitates the acquisition of knowledge and the development of the scientific skills and attitudes required to address the issues under consideration. Students used knowledge of physics, chemistry and programming. The skills the students practiced were:
    • To understand how to deal with a topic-challenge that they find interesting.
    • To acquire research skills
    • To understand that often in a given target problem there is a conflict of interests and to realize the existence of different approaches.
    • Formulate proposals-recommendations to the citizens and agencies involved
    • Well-informed discussion, communication, writing, interpretation, drawing and presenting conclusions based on knowledge
    • Collaboration
  • Do:  In this phase, students applied the knowledge and skills acquired to develop the final product assigned to them. In this case, the final product was titled “Development of a sensitive CO2 sensor for the control and protection against viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 in closed spaces”. Studies and means of achievement were summarized and shared in an open letter. A school scientific conference was organized, where groups of students presented their work and proposals to the educational community. Representatives of policy makers and other relevant bodies were invited to the conference. The project was also presented at the 4th Panhellenic Scientific Conference P.D.E. Crete in May 2022.

 

Conclusions on Open Schooling: Community participation in the Connect-Horizon 2022 program discussed the vital role that education plays in preparing students to collaboratively address global challenges and local issues facing humanity today, such as global warming, climate change , environmental destruction, disease, inequality and violence. Students’ contact not only with teachers but also with scientists and policy makers makes them think together and learn science to address global and local problems.

 


The change/innovation was supported by: [ x ] School management [ x ] school association/network
[ x ] Local government [ ] Other: ________________________________

Student results: The purpose of this Project was to create the right conditions for the students to develop a scientific way of thinking in their daily life. Low cultural familiarity with science, lack of role models, insufficient exposure to experimental methods of inquiry, as well as limited opportunities to participate in science outside of formal education lead to a lack of “scientific capital”. The solution is to add more opportunities to the curriculum for these students to learn what scientists do, talk to their families about science, and appreciate the impact of science on the world. The satisfaction level of the children after the end of the project was great as they saw their efforts rewarded, they completed the construction successfully, they met many scientists with whom they solved several problems and they communicated their results with great joy at the CONNECT conference.

 

This practice contributed to the increase of:

[ x ] engaging families with sciences [ x ] involving girls in science [ x ] raising awareness among students about careers in the natural sciences

 

Please specify: Parents participated in the collection of questionnaires for the student survey. The girls actively participated in the mapping and literature review and in general all students showed a special interest in digital maps and the contribution of geomorphological terrain to road construction.  

News . Events Memes and cartoons: Brazilian way in the Covid-19 pandemic (Best Practice Brazil)

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CARE: The students were involved in the discussion about the COVID-19 contingency plan. The participants were 120 students, aged between 14 and 16, from the 1st grade of high school, 78 of whom completed the scientific action, with their families, a teacher, a researcher, and a scientist who shared their concerns about COVID-19 and ideas for creating memes and cartoons, to contextualize the Brazilian Federal Declaration with the pandemic, highlighting human and citizen rights and duties.

KNOW: They were developed, in an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary way, with the school curriculum integrating the disciplines of Sociology and Philosophy in the analysis of historical and scientific data. Thus, it was possible to understand the laws that ensure the right of citizens in times of COVID-19, permeated by the concepts of Citizenship, Citizen, Cultural Identity and Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, in view of the contingency plan proposed for the pandemic.

In the teaching and learning processes, the skills developed addressed the student’s ability to contextualize the rights of the citizen with the reality found in urban spaces with COVID-19, as well as the ability to interpret the laws and make them accessible to everyone who wants to know to improve their quality of life.

As for the attitudes to be developed, we sought to promote empathy to overcome the “chaos” caused by epidemics and pandemics; the appreciation of reflections on the Brazilian Federal Constitution for new approaches to knowledge, in addition to enabling new forms of learning emphasizing social relationships, ethics and respect for life.

DO: Students were involved in the following activities:

  • Bibliographic research on the subject.
  • Research in documentary sources and images.
  • Analysis of scientific articles on the relationship between the declaration of human and citizen’s rights with the actions and attitudes of the population in the pandemic.
  • Classroom debate on the Brazilian Federal Constitution.
  • Preparation of pamphlets such as memes and cartoons about “how do people act today in the pandemic?” and “How should people act on COVID-19?”
  • Socialization of visual production and reflections punctuated with an emphasis on the pandemic.

FINDINGS: The open scenario methodology used was project-based collaborative learning. Students brought their own questions, discussed with the scientists and their families. Teachers found the open teaching activity useful for the Contextualization of the Brazilian Federal Declaration with the pandemic highlighting human and citizen rights and duties. Teaching by area of knowledge facilitated the planning of actions, the applicability of learning activities, the use of technological resources and curricular interaction based on integrated projects.

OUTCOMES: The participation, engagement, and interest of students in the development of activities related to citizen rights in the COVID-19 pandemic. It was significant and surprising in the way they adhered to the proposal to know the Brazilian Federal Constitution. Most students did not know the rights of citizens. The relationship between legal laws and the pandemic was discussed with the students, arousing interest in knowing more and engaging in the activities of memes and cartoons presenting the Brazilian way in the pandemic. In a fun way, students were able to express their criticisms they felt about COVID-19.

During the learning activities, the students felt confident about their opinion on the rights of the citizen contextualized with the pandemic. Discussions about the Brazilian Federal Constitution aroused curiosity about the rights and duties of citizens defined by law. It is observed that the students were more confident in their speeches about Politics, Science and COVID-19.

However, the very social distancing generated by the pandemic period caused many disruptions in the school routine, among which they made it impossible to contact scientists or, in this case, jurists or political analysts. The return of face-to-face classes with 50% of the students, in the form of a rotation, reduced the time for carrying out the learning activities. On the other hand, some students were not included in the study for reasons.

Find out more here: Our report.

News . Events Climate change and pollution (Best Practice Greece)

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CARE: The students successfully presented key questions for the continuation of the scenario.

KNOW: The main objective of the activity was to engage in a participatory research project to develop strategies for the prevention and control of Covid-19 (and other similar infectious diseases) and also to investigate how it is possible to build themselves a sensitive device to detect and study aerosols indoors using an Arduino microprocessor.

DO: The students prepared articles and presentations related to the issue that concerned them. The success of the children was the correct scientific research through articles that they presented to scientists, as well as the completion of the practical part of the scenario that concerned the design of the carbon dioxide sensor.

Findings: This initiative had the consent of parents and opened opportunities for dialogue with the family, students, and teachers.

Outcomes:  In addition, it gave the students the opportunity to escape from sterile theoretical knowledge and to think outside the box of curriculum, which gave them confidence. The children acquired a positive attitude towards research topics. It was very important for them to realize that research starts from everyday concerns.

News . Events Creating & using maps for problem-solving: open schooling with open scenario in Greece (Best Practice Greece)

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CARE-KNOW-DO: The scenario follows the structure of Connect: CARE-KNOW-DO and the methodology of participatory science. Students & teachers are participating in all stages, scientists & parents at the stages of “Care” and “Do”, local authorities at “Do” level. The role of the scientist (University of the Aegean, Geography department) was quite critical as at the first level of “Care” he gave initiatives to students in order to start over the process of creating their digital map and at the third level of “Do” where he assisted students on how to present their results, how to make proposals, to discuss in total student’s investigations and to reply to any student’s question about this map creation. The role of teacher is to support students in all stages and motivate them for their personal growth, for further investigating, to encourage them for spatial thinking etc. The role of parents is to communicate, participate, assist, and help students with their questions/actions as they have an active role during this process.

Outcomes: The outcome of this scenario was a variety of student’s spatial questions which are forwarded to local community for further actions and investigation. For example: environmental pollution, accessibility & proximity issues, promoting local places that are not known yet, bad roads/buildings condition, lack of spatial interactions, lack of basic infrastructure etc. The initial limitation of this scenario was the reluctancy of participation as students/their parents haven’t faced something similar before; after the completion of this scenario all students requested to have similar projects for action to other study fields.

Findings: Another benefit of this scenario was that it took place during pandemic as all students were online and they could participate with scientist meetings. Scientist intrigued student’s mind and of course broaden the knowledge for cartography and the use of maps in daily life. The fulfilment of both cartography labs led students to working in teams, to resolving problems, to spatial thinking, to be more tech-savvy and generally to encourage students for improvement. Overall, there was a great cooperation among everyone, and the scenario implementation was in benefit of all the participants.

News . Events Open Schooling in Greece with “Renewable Energy Sources (Best Practice Greece)

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CARE: Students discussed with their parents in the “Care” phase about the pollution from the electric plants in Greece. In the first part of the “Know” phase students used a mobile application to compute their electric energy consumption where they were helped by their parents.

KNOW:  Students prepared the questions for the scientist in the padlet for the “know” phase.

The renewable energy resources scenario was performed as a continuity in the electric energy chapter of the Physics Greek curriculum. Students showed interest and wanted to learn what are the photovoltaic systems. They had some misunderstandings as concerns the wind generators but after finalization of the project they showed confidence in science.

DO: Students made a poster (“Do” phase) divided by smaller parts in which they show the environmental problems that arise from the conventional electric plants and what are the renewable energy resources. Also, they put in the poster two small photovoltaic panels that are connected through wires with a small fan.

Findings about open schooling: The benefits of these science actions are that students become more active, and they care about problems that exist, but they never think about them. Teacher’s role was to facilitate the process and to help the students. We faced some problems during the implementation as was for example the minor participation of parents.

Results for students: Connect gave us the opportunity to relate the curriculum with a real problem. Our students learned how is possible to be “connected” in the real problems.   Students like to work in teams and to learn about real problems concerning the environment. They also want to take actions and to give solutions, they want to be more active and not pathetic as they do unfortunately during school routine.

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