The project “Reach the Sky” concerned the issues of nature, ecology and the cultural heritage of Europe. We decided on such a topic after having carried out a number of observations, surveys and conversations with students, and having analyzed teaching methods and students’ results in Science subjects in partner schools.
The main objectives of the project were to encourage young people to study Science subjects and obtain higher education in this field, to develop their language competence and increase their consciousness for energy saving. All these objectives are in accordance with “Europe 2020” strategy.
The main target group was young people, willing to cooperate with their peers abroad, with good language competences but with no precise interests and motivation, unable to study systematically. Some of these students were from rural areas, from different cultural backgrounds or with financial difficulties. Another target group was teachers who wanted to develop or change their teaching methods and become more competent in using IT.
Thanks to transnational cooperation of teachers, new forms and methods of teaching were adopted, which makes teaching and learning process more effective. A guide with ‘lesson’ plans, which will enhance innovative methods in Science subjects teaching, was created. Teachers from partner schools also shared their experience – exchanged good practices.
Students, working in teams (also international teams), carried out astronomical observations outside school, took part in different workshops in scientific institutions, prepared a number of presentations connected with the topic of the project (” the Solar System”, “Great European Astronomers”, “the Moon”). Thanks to it, they broadened their knowledge and got to know the European scientific institutions. They learnt how to be independent and creative and how to deal with difficult situations and how to work as team players. While analyzing data, using particular computer programs to create project results, preparing materials for the project website or its Facebook profile, they developed their digital competence. Taking part in different campaigns (“Earth Hour”, “Turn off the Light – Save Energy”) and lectures, they became more active in saving energy. They could also develop their artistic skills (a concert “In Orbit”, a competition for the best computer graphics, the best astronomy photos). Thanks to student exchanges and regular Internet contact with their peers from partner countries, they developed their communication skills and language competence. At the same time, they learnt about other European cultures thus becoming European citizens who are open, tolerant and respectful of other cultures.
There were five partner schools in the project, from Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Turkey and Spain. They were chosen (among other things) because of their location, which made it possible to achieve proper results. Students from partner schools took part in the student exchanges together with students from the host school. However, the impact of the project was much more widespread, as project results were disseminated in the local community and by the media. The results of the project will be maintained after the end of the EU funding. Teachers are more motivated and active and students continue their education after graduating from secondary schools. Transnational cooperation became stronger and project activities enhanced the promotion of partner schools and EU programs in the local community and in the area.
The partner schools are:
Mustafa Gürbüz Necat Bayel Anadolu Lisesi, professional writers Gaziantep/ Turkey,
Franjo Malgaj Primary School, Šentjur/ Slovenia,
Liceul Teoretic Gheorghe Lazar”, Pecica/ Romania,
IES Magallanes, Granadilla de Abona/ Spain.