Instituto Cervantes in Bucharest organized the kick-off meeting over three days in January of 2015. The meeting welcomed all project partners, including one person from each partner school. Each partner reconfirmed their specific role, expectations, deadlines, milestones and progress indicators (i.e. training, piloting, evaluation, and communication). Additionally, Institute Cervantes presented a communication plan with emphasis on implementation rules to increase visibility of the “Erasmus+” funding program. Finally, the school directors compared the STEM curricula and practical teaching methods in each country, presented the rough outlines of our methodology, and chose the science labs for each country. The subjects already defined are: Physics for Greece and Romania, Chemistry for Bulgaria, and Biology for Poland.
In February of 2015, the Goethe-Institute organized a one week joint training event during which an initial training methodology was taught to one trainer from each Cultural Institute office from each country. The trainers support the implementation of the project in primary schools at the national level. They also act as mentors to teachers throughout the project pilot phase.
The event organized by the Goethe-Institute Athens addressed:
- Action research methodology
- CLIL/STEM tandem teaching
- Development of lesson plan templates (lesson flow + accompanying worksheets) to be used in conjunction with the mobile labs as well as “sample lessons” for each STEM subject area. (These templates will also be available in English).
Teacher training occurs in the first two years of the project, through a mix of local meetings, on-line mentoring, and transnational joint trainings. It accompanies implementation of the project in schools. The training sessions aim to support teachers throughout the implementation process, facilitate the sharing of results, and establish an environment where teachers may learn from one another’s experiences.
Instituto Cervantes is responsible for coordinating the teacher training and local debriefing meetings hosted at the Instituto Cervantes. The trainers will work together to not only begin instruction, but also to provide mentoring via the on-line platform provided by Goethe-Institute Athens.
The second partner meeting took place in Warsaw in MSCDN. We reviewed the first year´s project outcomes and established the next steps for the second pilot phase.
It is important that some of the training and production seminars involve all participating teachers from each of the four project countries (BG, EL, PL, RO). Through joint meetings so we may verify whether the Schools: Future Labs methodology is indeed “plug and play” for any language or country as we intend it to be. Through collaborative communication, we can make helpful adjustments as necessary. Thus, two of the five Continuing Training and Production Seminars are held jointly and are attended by all participating teachers and their trainers.
The joint Training and Production Seminars will:
- allow us to pilot the draft Teacher Training Course on all teachers together, thereby testing the international “workability” of this Intellectual Output;
- allow all teachers to review and practice the lesson plans that have been finalized by SHUMEN. This tests their international “workability” and feeds back into the process of creating new outputs through the exchange of ideas and experiences between all participating teachers;
- allow all participating teachers to share their experience and results, enriching the perspective of other teachers for their project outputs. The Teacher Training works efficiently as a joint activity because trainees learn simultaneously; thus they benefit from hearing each person’s ideas and experience. The development of initial structure of lesson plans during these trainings will add to the international workability of this project output.
At the end of the 2016/2017 school year, each country’s participating schools will organize a joint Science Fair during which students will demonstrate the results of their efforts. The fair will hold a competition resulting in the selection of a winning science project. The winner will be invited to present his/her project at the Closing Conference. We anticipate that these science fairs will attract the entire school community (all students, their parents, teachers and staff) as well as local community members.
In each country, students and teachers from one school will travel to the other school in order to participate in this joint event.
Info coming soon for this event
The team will invite all participating partner schools for a closing conference at the Instituto Cervantes in Bucharest in 16- 17 June 2017. The winners of the science fairs in the three other countries, foreign language and STEM Teachers’ associations and Teacher Training Centers and Education Ministries from all project countries and beyond will attend.
The purpose of the closing conference is to present the results of the project, through the exhibition of research projects and scientific results of evaluation. All collaborating partners will also discuss how the School Future Labs Methodology could be taught to more teachers through continuing education, and ultimately incorporated in the practice of a broader number of schools.
We estimate the participation of 100 persons: 50 local and 50 international.