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Discussing Science
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

ASTRO-CLUB Malta is a Maltese organisation that brings together individuals (mostly young people) interested in science. Its members seek to come up with events that will encourage more people to learn more about science. By virtue of this application, ASTRO-CLUB Malta has teamed up with a Dutch organisation (The University of Leiden) to organise a youth exchange project in Leiden. Our youth exchange activity will be spread over 5 days and 2 travel days and it will involve the participation of 14 Maltese young people and 14 Dutch youths. The group will also involve 6 leaders that will be responsible for the implementation of this project. Our youth exchange project will have a number of non-informal learning activities such as discussions, talks, cultural outings and a practical project session which will involve directly the participating youths. Through these discussions the Maltese and Dutch youths will discuss their interest in science, most notably physics, and what job opportunities exist in this field both in the European Union and in their respective countries. We want our youths to speak up and discuss about study and job possibilities that are available to them beyond the limitations of their country. Employability is one of the European Union's main goals, and we believe that by virtue of this project we will provide our youth with a spectrum of ideas about what they can do with a qualification in a science subject. In fact one of the objectives of this project is to provide to our young people a clear picture of the opportunities they can benefit from abroad. Moreover our youths will have the opportunity to meet the European Commission Representative and the contact point of Horizon 2020. The two talks will be of great interest for the youths as they will help them gain a clearer picture about what it involves to be a Representative of the European Commission and on the other hand what funding opportunities exist under the Horizon 2020 Programme. Our youths will also participate in practical project/research sessions. This will be an activity which will allow the youths from the two different countries to work together and carry out an experiment that will yield results that will be presented to the rest of the group. This session is a practical one, and therefore the participating youth will get a first hand experience of what is involved when carrying out an experiment but it will also bring the youth closer to each other because they have to work together in teams of 4 or 5. This session will also target another important objective of this project, that is the exchange of good practices. Moreover by virtie of this activity our youth will work in teams and thus improve their communication skills and understand better the significance of cooperating with others. They have to discuss the method together and consult each other to solve the problems that may arise during the process. Therefore this activity will bring out their team work skills and their ability to cooperate with other individuals to obtain the desired result. Moreover the Activity Programme of this project also contains a number of cultural activities that will give the youths a better understanding of the cultures of Malta and The Netherlands. Through these activities the youths will learn about the culture, language and lifestyle of both countries and by virtue of the cultural outings, the Maltese participants in particular will discover the beauty of our host country. Eventually, our youth exchange project will also have a number of evaluation sessions in which the participating youths can express their opinion about the organisation of this youth exchange and about what they liked from this experience and what could have been done better. This exercise is regarded as highly beneficial to the two organisations because it will give us a practical insight about the whole project, and it can help them make things better in other future projects together. In fact we hope that this youth exchange project will aid us to establish a better relationship with our Dutch partners so that we will be able to implement more ambitious projects in the future.
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