Description of the project
Modern science – especially natural science are a very interesting and important topic for the future of Europe. For the employees of the future, for pupils and for teachers, influencer and trainer this subject and the social skills will be also most important.
But we see that science mainly is teached to young people in schools using the methods of formal education. On the other hand pupils, trainers, influencers and teachers come to outdoor centres and looking for active-oriented methods. Companies are looking for workers with social skills and knowledge in natural science. Young people want to increase their knowledge of the culture of other European nations and want to travel and see pupils from other states.
Because of this we made a exchange program by using intercultural, outdoor, environmental and experience education and active-oriented methods. The innovative idea is that not only whole school classes will take part in this project, but 5-6 pupils from different schools from Germany, the U.K., Croatia (as a new member of the EU) and France. Germany and France are used in partnership activities for many years, the partnership with Croatia and the U.K. are new.
There is a teach the teacher program so that teachers from different schools and nations come together, learning active-oriented methods, use a common language (english) and get knowing a lot of the different cultures and of new teaching methods. They also get knowledge to improve their own competences.
The most important step are the student exchanges – for three years – so there is a lot of sustainability. The network and partnership between the partners will be strengthened. The students increase their knowledge of the culture of other nations – so they can easily travel to other countries, also as an employee. The students increase their own competences for natural science and social skills, so they will be interesting for employers.
The students and all participants will find out the European ideas and will be interested for the E.U. and for political activities and engagement. So there is a big value for Europe. Because more than 300 participants will take part in the project.
To realize this aims formal (school) and non-formal partners will work together for three years. Most of the pupils use a foreign language and all participants will meet others from a different cultural background. So the participants will be sensible European citizens.
Aims of the project
- The MINT project aims to ‘increase the motivation to study the natural sciences and apply the natural science to addressing Europe’s key challenges.’ Meeting Europe’s demand for a low carbon future will be a truly collaborative effort. MINT is not only about science but also how nations can work together as European citizens. MINT will combine natural sciences with citizenship, culture knowledge and languages, providing a holistic approach to the skills, understanding and attitudes young people need to contribute to this key challenge. Thus MINT supports the European Framework for Key Competencies basic skills of science and communication of foreign languages priorities. Additional the social and civic competencies are highlighted.
- All four partner regions share the educational challenge of teaching diverse communities with areas of deprivation. At the same time we share the objective to provide the best possible education for all pupils, whatever their socio economic background. As with many areas some schools struggle to meet the national standards for educational achievement, but through investing in excellent teaching and collaborating through school partnership and cooperation with other non-formal organizations, all schools are aiming to provide the very best levels of attainment.
- This project seeks to focus and encourage teachers and schools to look at the natural outdoor learning environment in all four regions as an imperative dimension for teaching. We aim to use it to share expertise between teachers within all participating schools and the non-formal experts and focus on a new ‘outdoor approach’ for our regions.
- Science and the world of work: the MINT exchange and school2school linking will focus on the scientific needs for the 21st century workplace. Topics such as green chemistry and physics will be applied to addressing issues of key European importance such as biofuels and alternative energy sources. The result will be the development of critical thinking and scientific skills suitable for employment in the 21st century
- MINT will combine science, culture knowledge, languages and citizenship into an effective whole; thus providing skills to young people to thrive in a collaborative economy and society.
- Outdoor learning has been shown to engage pupils and staff in a way which improves outcomes. A significant body of evidence proves that teaching children outside the classroom learning environment positively impacts everything from behaviour to pupil confidence to academic results
- Improving the attainment of young people with low basic skills
- Stimulating active participation of young people in democratic life
- EU Citizenship, EU awareness and Democracy, open and distance learning and Natural sciences are the most relevant topics.
- The overall aim of MINT is to ‘increase the motivation to study the natural sciences and apply the natural science to addressing Europe’s key challenges.’ We will achieve this through the following specific objectives:
- Increasing understanding of natural sciences and their study supports employability within the European economy by using non-formal methods like “Erlebnispädagogik”.
- This will result in more pupils able to link their school based learning to the skills required for employment, and increased motivation to study science and view science based careers positively. So increases the motivation of pupils to learn and beware them for the risk of early school leaving.
- Improving the development of practical language skills an increase pupil motivation to learn languages.
- This will result in pupils understanding the importance of language learning to their future within the European Union. Also the motivation increases to take part to exchange programmes. There is also an interest for the culture of other citizens in the EU.
- Stimulating cooperation, shared learning and active citizenship between pupils, teachers and education organisations in Europe through the methods of “Erlebnispädagogik” and outdoor learning.
- This will result in an increased sense of being a European citizen and increased commitment to the shared values of the European Union.
- We will deliver the specific objectives through the activities of:
Transnational Teacher Training: we will train teachers from all the project schools together each year, providing a joint opportunity to share good practice from across Europe and to learn new approaches to teaching science outside. The training will be documented and made available for others.
Pupil Exchange: we will deliver one exchange each year with pupils from each school coming together in a shared location to explore key environmental and science issues of European importance.
School2School Projects: as a result of each exchange pupils from paired schools will decide on a joint project they will carry out. This will be continued through ICT and online communications, culminating with a shared presentation to each other’s school including recommendations on how they can address the issues studied.
Sharing Pupils Views: each school will share their results within their own and the partner’s countries. These will act as a young person’s guide to tackling European environmental issues. Produced by young people for young people these guides will inspire other young people.