Archive of European Projects

Helping each other: sustainability in a longterm partnership
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Helping each other: sustainability in a long term partnership The title of our project reflects our both schools' effort, to keep a partnership between Barendrecht (NL) and Louny (CZ) alive. Although the bond between the two cities still exists, it seems to be threatened by the ageing of their members. In mutual visits, both schools found similarities in their teaching methods, as well in their desire to revitalize the bonds between the intertwined cities with a schooling project. We hope that younger generations will have the opportunity to make the relationship between the cities sustainable. That is also the link to environmental sustainability. We believe that topics of common interest, like a healthy living space, will trigger an attitude that combines self awareness with the ability to take responsibility. For your own life, but also for the life and well-being of others. In our project, we want to address the topic of 'sustainability' on various levels, such as: 1. enlarging self awareness regarding one's role as consumer 2. stimulating the ability to see the impact of your consumption pattern on the environment 3. seeing the similarities in the different countries of the EU regarding the problems with our energy households 4. translating self awareness in responsibility for the self and for others 5. working together with partnered countries to solve risen problems in a mutual effort 6. being able to see the link between a micro, meso- and macro-level concerning environmental issues Our learning strategies revolve around the principle of enforcing self-reliant learning strategies. Learning about yourself will awake self-confidence and the ability to plan and organize set goals within a given time schedule. The monitoring of achieved results in this project are entirely linked to their dissemination: by the use of a so-called 'wikigreen', a freely accessible database for environmental issues, all stakeholders will be immediately informed about the results in the various stages of the project. The first year of the project is dedicated to the micro-level, one's personal choices and awareness about products and services. The second year will focus on the meso-level, on sustainable entrepreneurship. In the last year, finally all results come together in describing the countries national energy supplies. In the first two years, we will use surveys to get grip on the status quo of both countries and in the last year we will visit national energy suppliers in order to describe and judge the impact of our engineering techniques. Although in both schools, a lot of lessons with more participants will address these topics in special lessons about the meaning of internationalization, the number in the actual project meetings will be reduced to 10 pupils from each country a year, together with two teachers (for both countries 36 participants throughout the project). In all meetings representatives of the local/national authorities are invited, as well as other stakeholders (for example the "Stedenband"). What we want to achieve with the project: - enhancing foreign language skills (English and during the project also other languages); - enhancing self-reliant learning strategies; - developing self-awareness of environmental issues; - creating awareness about the topics of environment and sustainability in a region/country; - stimulating active citizenship by showing that younger people's opinion does count; - emphasizing the importance of European cooperation on transnational issues; - developing useful ICT-skills for maintenance of a user portal; - developing lesson material for future generations of pupils; - securing and continuing the work on the partnership between Barendrecht and Louny, and 'refreshing' the contacts by a younger generation; - as a side-effect of the last point: stimulating the cooperation between younger and older generations, so that sharing experiences and ideals can lead to new outlooks on a subject of shared interest; - a lasting impact of the project by the wikigreen, by allowing other users from all over the world to share their information on the topic of sustainability In general, we intend to address the problem of what could result from not taking care of our environment as a whole. We are, after all, a biological species which relies like all other biological species on this planet for our continuing survival. In order to achieve our objectives of awareness, we will be concentrating on self awareness skills within our students, honing their abilities to make conscious choices as consumers when buying and using products, let them see the importance of recycling certain products, and over all let them experience that self-awareness involves responsibility for the self and for others.
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