News . Events CONNECT with LVM

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Care: Students have been actively involved in scientific and educational activities on plastic pollution, a real-life problem that has a significant impact on quality of life. The students who participated in the activities were from grades IX-XI, aged between 15-18 years, being approximately 85 students participating.

Know: Students used knowledge about plastics discovered in the discipline of chemistry – phases of biodegradation of plastics, chemical composition of plastic, stages of making biodegradable plastic, results obtained by researchers on the period of decomposition of biodegradable plastic in nature, etc. (describe scientific topics).  The competences that the students practiced were:

  • Brainstorming debates;
  • Carrying out individual or team projects through the aspects subject to research;
  • Involvement in volunteering and greening activities;
  • Discussions on the use of biodegradable materials and their decomposition in nature; 
  • Analysis of plastics (PET bottle, plastic bags, household bags, etc.);
  • Documentation to identify the real situation in the field;
  • Conducting information campaigns on the risks of White Pollution;
  • Explanation of symbols on packaging labels;

Do: At the end, students prepared posters, posters, thematic drawings, questionnaires, information campaign, research projects. They carried out the activities individually and in teams, being supported by their families, but also by volunteers from non-governmental organizations. 

Findings related to the Open Schooling approach: The activities carried out during the implementation of the Connect project were included in the curriculum. We can also mention that the materials provided were useful in preparing and implementing lessons with students. The topic addressed in Year 3 was also relevant and innovative from a scientific and educational point of view, being debated globally. Thus, students had the opportunity to know and experience individually the ways in which they can get involved in preventing and combating environmental pollution.  Open schooling could also be useful for other teachers because we can focus on transdisciplinarity and an exchange of good practices can be made between teachers who have implemented in year 2 and 3 and teachers who want to join us.

Student achievements: Students were enthusiastic to participate in volunteering and greening activities where they could observe, for example, the phases of biodegradation, but also connected with nature, helping to protect the environment and improve quality of life. 

The students involved have formed their scientific research skills, actively participating in the realization of projects and studies on White Pollution, being able to apply the knowledge learned after going through the support materials.

News . Events Environmental education – monitoring of protected natural areas in Prahova County

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Care: Students were involved, interested or concerned about monitoring the state of forests Protected Natural Area – Plopeni Forest and Glodeasa Forest, a real-life problem, the vegetation state of the forest, the age of trees, the diameter of trees, their height.  Students who participated in the activities were 17-19 years old, eleventh and twelfth grades, forestry and natural sciences.

Know: Students used knowledge about forestry, environment, ecology.  The competences that students practiced were the ability to use measuring instruments, to correctly determine diameters, tree heights and appreciation of their ages, students’ questions were related to the composition of the forest and the presence of dead wood fallen to the ground that has not been extracted, maintenance of forest roads, information and clarifications that were presented and explained by both guiding teachers and partner representatives,  all of which can be found in individual student portfolios.  

Do: At the end, students prepared posters, campaign, infographic, video, interviews. They made PPT presentations, portfolios and were supported by families and representatives of the above-mentioned partners, former students of the college.

Findings related to the Open Schooling approach: The activity was framed in C.D.L., in the curriculum. It was useful, relevant, challenging, innovative, interesting and appealing, as evidenced by the attached photos. Open schooling could be useful for other teachers because it has an inter and transdisciplinary character – practical applications, worksheets from the work for obtaining the first didactic degree of Professor Ifrimu Iulia – Apprendre et developper le lexique du domaine forestier: approches didactiques en classe de FLE.

Results obtained  by students: Students were curious, pleasantly impressed, attracted by field trips, whose memory created confidence that they will become students of forestry and biology faculties in the future. As an example, one student mentioned: “it is much easier to determine the height of trees with state-of-the-art devices – vertices than with old dendrometers in the school’s equipment” which is relevant and related to their achievements.

News . Events Involvement saves the planet

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Care: Students were interested in learning about the negative environmental effects of plastic waste currently choking the planet, plastics disposal scenarios, and the advantages of using bioplastics over conventional plastics.  Students who participated in the activities are aged 17-18, twelfth grade, 26 in number, basic field: natural resources and environmental protection. 

Know: Based on the knowledge gained and by solving the tasks in the worksheets presented in the project, students developed skills of analysis and awareness of the negative effects of plastic on the environment and offered the opportunity to propose ways to reduce pollution with this type of waste. 

Do: In the end, students made informative leaflets about the negative effects of plastics, drawings and models about the need to reduce plastic use, thematic articles in the school magazine. Family members were also involved in the activities, together carrying out activities to reduce pollution and raise awareness of the transition from linear plastic consumption to circular consumption. 

Findings related to the Open Schooling approach: The activity is framed in the curriculum, within the environmental protection module, according to the qualification of the class that participated in the project. It was a challenging activity, which managed to actively involve students, families and members of the local community in collecting a large amount of plastics at school level, and from its capitalization was purchased planting material for the green space of the school. Open schooling could be challenging for other teachers as it provides opportunities to raise awareness of the need to reduce plastic use and build an environmental awareness that it passes on to students.

Student results: Students were actively involved and challenged in obtaining bioplastics from corn starch, acetic acid and glycerine and in selectively collecting a large amount of plastic mass. As an example, one student mentioned, “If we all use so much plastic and don’t stop, then we’re going to suffocate the Earth as fast as possible.” 

News . Events Actions to reduce the carbon footprint

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Care: Students were interested in finding out new information about pollution, they actively participated in the lessons on Carbon neutral proposed by the CONNECT project, a real-life problem “carbon footprint” was highlighted, each student made their own calculation and realized the importance of reducing it. The students who participated in the activities were in the eleventh grade the branch: technological, profile: technical, basic field: natural resources and environmental  protection, qualification: ecological technician and environmental quality protection, 18 in number. 

Know: Students used knowledge about environmental pollution through combustion reactions, identified where carbon dioxide emissions  come from, from different activities: transport, energy production, agriculture and different industries. The competences that students practiced were: identified problems, applied knowledge about Earth’s atmosphere and global warming, developed teamwork skills, played the role of journalist, politician, architect or construction engineer, developed calculation skills, considered different perspectives for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and proposed solutions through the role they played,  have developed skills to consider the economic and social consequences of environmental pollution.

Do: At the end, the students prepared different materials: posters, drawing – green house, report made by the journalist, article proposed by the researcher (scientist), article proposed by the politician regarding laws that will be applied to reduce pollution. They carried out the activities in groups of 3 to 4 and were supported by families. 

Findings related to the Open Schooling approach: The activity is framed in the curriculum to the qualification of the class that participated in the project. 

It was very useful, the lessons were held during the green school week, students received rich and useful information through this project, they were also put in the situation to look for information and propose solutions to reduce the carbon footprint, to be involved and useful to society.

Open schooling could be useful and challenging for other teachers because each of us carries a carbon footprint and we need to act to reduce it. The teacher must be a positive role model for the students.

The results obtained by the students: Students were happily involved in activities, developed different skills, confidence in science, sought solutions to problems related to environmental pollution with carbon dioxide, provided positive feedback at the end of the activities. As an example, one student mentioned the following conclusion: “the carbon neutral approach is essential in combating climate change, it is important to recognize examples that demonstrate genuine commitment and concrete actions in reducing greenhouse gases.”

News . Events STOP – FOOD WASTE!

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Care: The students were interested in a real-life issue related to responsible food consumption that represents a conscious food choice, taking into account aspects related to our decisions regarding health, environment, economy, culture, etc. Carrying out social responsibility activities plays an important role in how participants will understand why making any decision about personal food can have negative consequences /  irreversible on an important part of our planet. .  The students who participated in the activities were students aged 3-18, from preschool, primary, secondary and high school. A total of 825 students participated in these activities.

Know: Students used knowledge about food waste by watching documentaries on the effects of food waste, conducting a case study at economic agents in the city – 3 restaurants, by visiting the bread factory in the city, making leaflets with information through which we can reduce food waste, making a trophic pyramid, healthy breakfast and making figurines of fruits and vegetables,  drawing up posters.  

The competences that the students practiced were:

  • Motivating students to adopt a balanced and economical lifestyle;
  • Encouraging students to find practical and effective ways to reduce food waste;
  • Developing interdisciplinary connections to draw public attention to food waste;
  • Changing the attitude of students, their families, school teachers towards food waste.  

Do: At the end, students prepared posters, leaflets, posters, interview, video. They carried out the activities in groups but also individually, being supported by family and community members.

Findings related to the Open Schooling approach: The activity was framed in the curriculum. It was challenging and useful because students’ confidence and self-esteem increased as a result of participating in complex activities that highlighted their abilities and required them to make decisions. The improvement of social skills was reflected through cooperation at the level of working groups and students’ roles in this context, through the relationship with colleagues in school. Open schooling could be challenging for other teachers because it increases creativity levels among both teachers and students. 

Results obtained by students: Students were interested in the topic proposed for research and showed interest in participating in other activities aimed at the practical and applicative character of the given topic

News . Events SUSTAINABILITY – Citizenship and partnership for a better city

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“CARE” Phase: Students brought up themes such as combating COVID; recycling; conservation of city gardens; care for local squares, and the most popular topic was the Lago de Olarias, a public park recently inaugurated in the city, which has brought much development to the lake area. It is a project still in development and has caught the children’s attention for the care and development of the city. Real-life problems were discussed in groups, where students could contribute ideas and knowledge they brought from home, through the discussions they had with their families. They contributed historical facts, family memories, and many different knowledges. This caught the attention of students who brought other subjects. The fact that the lake is a new place in the city and is still in development, drew even more attention from the students. They were interested in understanding how they could contribute to the care of the place. The students who participated in the activities were from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades of the early years of Elementary Education. Approximately 230 students.

“KNOW” Phase: Students used their knowledge about pollution, watersheds, groundwater, riparian forests, relief, sustainability, recycling, citizenship, among others. The most interesting stages were the initial discussion; preparing questions for the specialists and for a lecture with the former mayor who inaugurated the place; visiting the site and developing hypotheses to solve the problem of stream pollution.

“DO” Phase: In the end, students prepared a community awareness campaign about the source of the waters feeding the city’s main lake. They developed pamphlets and videos with messages of care and social responsibility. The activities were completed in groups and supported by the school and social community, such as local volunteers, politicians, among others.

Findings related to the Open Schooling approach: The activity used the open scenario method, conducted according to the responses that came from the participants. The curriculum was relevant and engaging, and teachers felt challenged, as they needed to acquire knowledge as doubts and questions arose. Open schooling can be very useful for other teachers because it expands the school curriculum, brings lightness and reality to the presented content, brings information and support for the continuous training of teachers, and makes 21st Century Education happen in the classroom.

Students’ outcomes: The students’ results showed involvement and interest throughout the project, including proposing new problems and developing projects that will become annual projects in our school environment. Talking about pollution and water distribution brought an interest in energy consumption, renewable and non-renewable sources, and a general sense of responsibility for the school community. For example, one student mentioned, “how good it is to be in a school that cares and helps us make a difference in our local community.”

News . Events Investigation of potential sources of pollution on Lefkada by students of the 2nd Experimental Lyceum

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Care: Students were interested in and investigated the special characteristics of the island through the online collection of data on the natural & technical environment of Lefkada’s island. The pollution of the natural environment, especially the coastal shores is a real-life problem where in many cases, the natural environment can be turned into an unjustified receiver of pollutants by local and tourist activities. This could negatively affect the island’s natural environment in the future. The students who participated in the activities were twenty-one (21), male and female students of the A and B Grades of the 2nd Experimental Lyceum of Lefkada, aged 16-17.

 

Know: Students used knowledge about of Natural Sciences such as Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Biology was used as a basis for understanding ecology and ecotoxicology. The skills that the students practiced were multiple such as:

  • Investigative method (inquiry-based learning) with question definition, research design, research conduct, results, resulting in the strengthening of students’ scientific thinking.
  • Application of scientific methodology and utilization of environmental science elements.
  • Cooperation with the scientific and local organizations of the island related to the environment.
  • Collaboration with universities and research institutions for information exchange.
  • Use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) to visualize the natural environment of Lefkada through the Google map and FILOTIS – Greek Nature Database, using the iNaturalistGR database.
  • Investigation and presentation of the work plan (development of critical thinking, creativity, communication).

 

Do: At the end, the students prepared an electronic informational material which they posted on the school’s website. This was after a metacognitive evaluation of the data on Lefkada’s geophysical characteristics and the potential areas of pollution on the island. They also published an article in the school newspaper about the natural environment of the island. In the article, the students proposed ways to protect the environment, especially in the summer months when tourism increases. With the help of the Biology teacher in charge, the

students created a poster that refers to their actions in relation to the study of biodiversity and the study of potential pollution areas on the island of Lefkada. In addition, the students’ work was presented at the annual event of the Excellence and Creativity Clubs and activities of the current school year 2023, at the 2nd Experimental Lyceum of Leukada. The President of the Governing Committee of the Model Experimental Schools, Mr. Tombras, the mayor of the city, teachers, representatives of local agencies, and students of the school were invited to the event. They completed the activities as a group and were supported by their family, and their classmates by sharing good practices and ideas. The parents were especially supportive of the students as they helped them search and record reports on the pollution phenomenon, twenty years ago on the island.

 

Findings related to Open Schooling approach: The activity was fitted and adapted to the curriculum as it combined chapters from Natural Science courses including Biology, Physics and Chemistry. The activity is an innovation in education because through it students can use scientific data and elements to solve problems in their daily life, such as issues of ecological balance and environmental pollution (decision-making ability). The purpose of this activity is the cultivation of citizenship, where students, as tomorrow’s citizens and/or bioscientists, are called upon to make decisions about the environment, health, safety, and, in general, about any category of challenge that will arise from the applications of Biology/Ecology in our society. Open schooling might be both useful and challenging for teachers because it promotes students’ active participation by creating learning environments that will be governed by the principles of modern teaching methodology, such as inquiry learning and experiential and communicative approaches, encouraging critical thinking and creativity.

 

Change/innovation supported by: [X] schoolhead  [X] school association/network    [X] local government

[ ] Other:   

 

Students’ Outcomes: The students initially showed a great interest in getting to know the natural and artificial environment of their island. In the Informatics laboratory, they watched a video showing the natural environment of Lefkada such as habitats, lagoons, and mountains combined with the human-made environment i.e. houses and tourist accommodations. The online Webex communication with the scinetist Dr.Vasilios Drosos, professor of the Department of Forestry and Environmental and Natural Resources Management of the Democritus University of Thrace, excited the students because they were given the opportunity to answer their key questions about pollution and the environment and to participate in a discussion as responsible and active members of an action. Students, as the most dynamic part of society, were receptive to learning during the seminar. This created a climate of mutual trust and interaction between the scientist and students. Furthermore, the students were excited about the use of google map, iNaturalist database and Filotis database for mapping and locating cities of Lefkada with a greater percentage of pollution with the use of software even though they were initially cautious. Some of the students mentioned “Is it possible that the software we find very easily on the internet can provide us with such a large amount of information?”, “Can we also map the other islands in the Ionian Sea?”.

 

This practice contributed to increasing:

[X] families’ engagement in science   [X] girls’ participation in science.  [X] students’ science careers awareness

 

Please justify: The contribution of the students’ families was decisive in the success of the activity. This is because they helped the students search and record reports on the phenomenon of pollution twenty years ago on the island and compare them with today’s data. The participation rate of female students in the total number of students who participated in the activity was expected to be 52.4% (11/21). A large percentage of students expressed an interest in the following professions related to the Schools of Health Sciences (Medicine, Biosciences, Nursing) and Positive Sciences (Physics, Chemistry).

News . Events SUNBORN

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Care: Students were involved in  designing and developing a video game that promoted the importance of digital skills  for a real-life problem. The creators of the game aimed to raise children’s awareness about the usefulness of solar energy and solar panels.  Students who participated in the activities were from all grades 9,10,11 and 12. The creators of the game were Hanc Ionuț Cristian – class 12 A and Bunea Nicolae – class 12 A. 

Know: Students used knowledge about using green energy in planet exploration.  The competences that the students practiced were: reasoned decision-making, teamwork on multidisciplinary topics, programming and implementation of software applications.  

Do: At the end, the students prepared the video HERE, which they presented in school. They carried out the activities in teams and their families were involved in purchasing the necessary equipment for building the game and with technical consultancy for using free software for creating games.

Findings related to the Open Schooling approach: The activity can be included in the curriculum in science, geography, physics, chemistry, biology classes and less in computer science classes, because the computer science curriculum does not address the topic of creating video games.  But it was very attractive to students who were curious about the secret of building a video game. Open schooling could be the future of education for other teachers because it would empathize with students, motivating them in creating and using video games as a method of creative and digital development.

The results obtained by the students: The student Hanc Ionuț Cristian, managed to get the first place, at the regional phase Made for Europe and to present the game in the UK and Greece within the project Eramsus+ – Games Jam, which had as theme the creation of video games. And because within the college we set up an excellent robotics group,  which includes the creators of the game, following the visit of European Commissioner Ferreira, we were invited to the World Bank headquarters and the Ministry of Digitalization to present our projects. There I was able to talk to Ion, Mr. President’s AI assistant. We presented the project online at GUESS Indonesia and physically at the Science on Stage Festival!

News . Events Open Schooling for mental health promotion

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Taking care of young people’s mental health is a necessity. Schools are a fundamental part of their lives, so we could promote their emotional well-being. This year, we have implemented Healthy Minds, an Open Schooling project within the framework of the European project CONNECT, which aims to promote the mental health of students through a participatory research process. Another objective is to raise awareness that science and the scientific method can be useful in solving the challenges we face as a society and to abandon the idea “I’m not into science” that we often hear in the classrooms.

At the Caterina Albert High School in Barcelona, we have implemented Healthy Minds with a group of first-year baccalaureate students in the context of the subject of Scientific Challenges. During 2 sessions, we have conducted an analysis of the group members’ needs regarding mental health and prioritized them through a consultation process. We have designed and implemented an action plan based on various activities that address the prioritized needs, and we have evaluated the process and the learnings acquired regarding mental health and everything related to participatory research methodology. During the process, we had planned to involve families, but motivating them to participate has been a challenging task.

The results of implementing Healthy Minds in our school are still in a very early phase, although they reflect an increased awareness among students about the importance of promoting mental health. They have begun to integrate participatory research as a process to solve problems that affect them in collaboration with other stakeholders, and they have designed an action plan for the promotion of mental health. The activities that have been carried out are few, and we will evaluate how to implement it further in the coming school year by involving more stakeholders and incorporating it into the Educational Project of the school.

News . Events Participatory Research to improve mental health at the Vázquez Montalban Secondary School

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Care: Students were worried about how to take care of their mental health.  In total, 108 students who were 16-17 years old and were studying 1st year of Baccalaureate participated.

Know:  The students learned about using the scientific method to solve real-life problems, biology concepts on mental health, and participation and communication skills. Other skills that the students put into practice were debating, asking questions, voting and consensus, co-creating recommendations and presenting results.

Do: In the end, the students participated in the Final Congress of Sentinel Schools presenting the recommendations for improvement agreed by the educational community. They completed the activities in groups and with the support of families, although not in full.

Findings related to Open Schooling approach:  The activity includes aspects from the curriculum, but it is necessary to consider the time to spend on the activities to match them in the schedule.  It was challenging to implement it because it was new to teachers, but very relevant and innovative.  Open Schooling can be useful for other teachers because it allows them to work on any topic of interest with a very interesting collaborative approach

Change/innovation supported by:

[ ] schoolhead  [  ] school association/network    [  ] local government [X] Other:  Living Lab for Health

Students’ Outcomes: The students fulfilled the task, but without too much motivation since it was not a topic that they had chosen. However, in the end they ended up happy with the results obtained.

This practice contributed to increasing: 

[  x ] families’ engagement in science   [X]  girls’ participation in science.  [   ] students’ science careers awareness

News . Events Students of Olivar Gran High Schools committed to mental health

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Care: Students were interested in how they could improve their mental health by doing activities at their high school.  In total, 78 students from the first year of Baccalaureate (16-17 years old) participated.

Know:  The students improved their knowledge about mental health and explored the problems and opportunities that exist in their promotion. They put into practice skills such as debate, collaborative work, argumentation, voting and consensus and co-creation of recommendations for improvement.

Do: In the end, the students participated in the Final Congress of Sentinel Schools presenting the recommendations for improvement agreed by the educational community and the mental health promotion interventions that they had planned for that academic year. They completed the activities in groups and with the support of families, although not in full.

Findings related to Open Schooling approach:  the activity includes concepts and competences included in the curriculum. Although it was a challenging proposal for teachers and students, it has been a very good experience that we recommend to other teachers to work innovatively in solving problems contextualized in their subjects.

Change/innovation supported by:

[x] schoolhead  [   ] school association/network    [  ] local government [X] Other:  Living Lab for Health

Students’ Outcomes: The results were good, the students did a search for information about mental health and from there they detected the problems and opportunities for improvement in each category. In general, knowledge and skills increased.

News . Events The “cycle” of plastic

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Care: The students addressed a real problem, which is the impact of plastics on the food they come into contact with and thus on our health, and their presence as microplastics in the food chain. They were concerned about the amount of plastic they use at individual and family level in terms of food and recorded it in a shared document. The labelling of plastics was another interesting element to investigate. They were interested in the fate of plastics after use, both in the disposal sites and in the recycling sites. Also, the possibility of replacing them with other less harmful materials.The students who participated in the activities belonged to a class of 22 students in the second grade of high school, aged 16-17 years old.

Know: Students used chemistry knowledge about polymers, both artificial and natural. The technology of plastics is not taught in school and so students are not aware of the problems associated with their safe use. Thus, through the project, they investigated the safety of plastics in terms of their use in food packaging and storage (the material to be studied accompanying the scenario was posted on eclass).

They produced a bioplastic from a potato (following research) and investigated the role of the plasticiser. They filmed the experiment and entered it into an official competition of video experiments (PANECFE). They also tried to produce bioplastic from milk. They simulated a plastic recycling plant (sorting by type of plastic using special labelling). They proposed an experimental test to determine the type of unlabelled plastic, following research.

They worked in groups to investigate microplastics (sources, shape, size, airborne dispersion) using an online activity and a prototype worksheet. They studied recent articles on the detection of microplastics in the human body. To resolve questions and obtain additional information they contacted research scientists via videoconferencing.

The skills the students practiced were:

  1. searching, evaluating and using information from the internet
  2. scientific methodology (hypothesis, experiment, conclusion) – design and implementation of an experiment
  3. critical thinking
  4. decision-making after discussion
  5. cooperation with peers within the programme and other European school programmes (Erasmus+ , European Parliament Ambassador School Programme)
  6. communication with scientists
  7. synthesis of opinions and formulation of proposals
  8. digital creation
  9. the use of collaborative digital tools
  10. linking academic knowledge to everyday life.

Do: In the end, the students prepared

  1. a podcast on the European School Radio platform about the project (in cooperation with our school’s Erasmus+ programme)
  2. a proposal which they submitted to the Future of Europe Conference (Objective: Sustainable Development – Health and Well-being) and to the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs’ conference simulation platform (in cooperation with the European EPAS programme)
  3. an information leaflet on the correct use and disposal of plastics, for distribution to families and schools
  4. poster on the creation and impact of microplastics, to be displayed in schools
  5. presentation for participation in the National Student Conference CONNECT 2022.

Note: all relevant documents and links are posted on the CONNECT platform Completed the activities as a team and supported by the families, the school’s management and the Teachers’ Association

Conclusions on Open Schooling: The activity was integrated into the curriculum. The proposed scenario was enriched with additional activities following the students’ interests and current events (see microplastics). It was extremely useful and innovative, combining research – communication with scientists – collaboration with European school projects – creation, highlighting a problem of everyday life that is not directly perceived and quite prominent (creation and presence of microplastics). Open schooling can be useful for other teachers because it enables them to open up educational horizons. They do not remain attached to the textbook and curriculum but are able to explore topics of everyday interest developing scientific thinking in students.

The change/innovation was supported by:

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

Student results: The students were very pleased with the opportunity to meet scientists and get information from them. Their participation in every kind of creation (experiment, poster, podcast…) excited them. By the end of the project they were more confident in presenting and scientifically supporting their knowledge. As an example, a student with a low communication profile claimed his participation in the CONNECT Student Conference, worked diligently to prepare for it and represented our team deservedly.

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: Families were actively involved in the first stage, helping to identify the link between plastics and food and the problem they pose. The children’s mothers and their brothers and sisters were mainly involved. The girls made up the vast majority of the class and were very enthusiastic during the project. Of these, most will pursue Science Studies.

News . Events In the steps of a lynx

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Care: The students studied a real problem concerning the reintroduction of the lynx that has disappeared from the Greek area. The students who participated in the activities were 12, aged 17, from the 3rd grade of EPAL.

Know: Students used knowledge of food chains and food webs. Students practiced being able to describe the effects of ecological restoration on an ecosystem. They also learned to weigh evidence to support or refute a claim.

Do: At the end, the students, with the help of the teacher, prepared a map using the ArcGIS program showing the lynx population by country, as well as the project poster. They completed the activities as a group, supported by their families.

Conclusions on Open Schooling: The activity was integrated into the curriculum. It was innovative because the general knowledge they had about food chains was applied to a real problem. Open schooling can be useful for other teachers because it helps students learn experientially and develop metacognitive skills..

The change/innovation was supported by:

[ x ] School management [] school association/network [] Local government [ x ] Other: Regional Directorate of Education, Natural Hostory Museum

Student results: The students were happy with the app as they were able to apply their knowledge to solve a real problem. As an example, one student mentioned “it’s nice to learn in a different way what we do in class”.

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: Student participation was universal regardless of gender, performance, presence or absence of learning disabilities.

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 Open schooling resource about Energy Savers helped students increase their confidence in science

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CARE: students were very involved with the activity and I would have liked to have had more time.  It worked well for sowing the seeds of curiosity, they were very engaged

KNOW: The activity helped to increase their confidence in science; however the challenge was the  time limit. To help teaching the lesson can be delivered in 3-4 lessons and students can do task 1 of the DO stage at home.

DO: The activity asked students to:

Task 1: Calculate the efficiency of three different solar panels.

Task 2: Design a fundraising page for an energy-saving device

It was noticed the importance of having the required level of skill to adequately access the outcome task. Some suggestions for helping students are to:

Model how to calculate the efficiency of one solar panel, that they can do the others.

Make sure this Science Action is used after teaching about energy transfers and efficiency so students have required background knowledge.

Findings: The activity support students learning and it fit well with the curriculum. The topics related to the curriculum are energy transfers and wasted energy.

Outcomes: Meaningful discussions about Energy savers and research skills developed.

Teachers can further expand student outcomes by getting students to find out about real engineers who have designed energy saving devices. Students can also design their own devices.

Fifty students contributed to the open schooling research questionnaires. They mentioned that they would like to do more activities like this one. Most students practiced  various skills including discussions and asking questions. They liked to work in groups with friends, practical activities, doing experiments and becoming more confident.

More details of our report: on this link

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