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Nature@work - Bioplastics - New Research and Learning Methods
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context and goals Bernardusscholen 2 in Oudenaarde is a school with a lot of students who go to university or higher educational institutions afterwards. In this context, an important issue is that government pays a lot more attention than before to research competencies (RC). The report of the latest audit, however, showed that there were still shortcomings in terms of putting that into practice. To reach a higher level of quality and to evolve along with these new tendencies in the field of education, we want to innovate at different levels, and with this project more specifically in the section of sciences. On one hand there’s the need for a new, innovating approach in the field of RC and tools for self-regulating, entrepreneurial learning and co teaching in the science section. On the other hand there’s the need to implement a new topic in the chemistry curriculum for the third grade (year 5 and 6) about polymer plastics. Above all this we want to implement in the science section the school strategy to explore on RC, introduce and broaden internationalization in all sections and raise awareness amongst teachers and pupils about environment ( education) in the school context. For this reason we developed the project "Nature@work - Bioplastics - New Research and New Teaching Methods" with teachers from the science section and colleagues from the IT-section . We also took into account the focus in the ‘Horizon 2020’ strategy from the European Commission : “Bio-based products can make the economy more sustainable and lower its dependence on fossil fuels. For this reason, the EU has declared the bio-based products sector to be a priority area with high potential for future growth, reindustrialisation, and addressing societal challenges. An assessment done by the European Commission has indicated that bio-based products and biofuels represent approximately EUR 57 billion in annual revenue and involve 300 000 jobs. According to forecasts, the bio-based share of all chemical sales will rise to 12.3% by 2015 and to 22% by 2020, with a compounded annual growth rate of close to 20%. ( Goals and participants: Thus, our goals are: develop and raise skills concerning research competencies (RC) from pupils and teachers in specific and on bioplastics and bio degradable plastics in particular. Next to this we want to make lessons and learning more interactive by means of the integration of knowledge and skills on the topic in an interactive app, to be used in traditional class teaching and/or independent self guided learning. Twelve participants have been selected amongst science teachers and IT support staff. In each activity four participants co-operate and afterwards share their expertise with the whole group by means of GoogleDocs and (the teachers’ room) in eTwinning. With this project we also want to broaden internationalization in school by introducing teachers who until now didn’t have the opportunity to participate in our international projects. Activities: Every participant takes an eTwinning training at school or in an external workshop in Flanders. Mixed teams take a 3day training ‘Bioplastics’ in Wageningen (Netherlands) and take part in one of the bioplastic conferences either in Cologne or in Berlin. To consolidate this theoretical knowledge concerning RC, plastics and bioplastics, there will be a two-day visit to a French company where bioplastics are processed. Afterwards a number of science teachers and IT colleagues who already are acquainted with programming and encoding are going to take a course to create apps : ‘Java fundamentals for android development’ in the Czech Republic (because there we found the fairest price/quality ratio). Output: Developing of research competencies Improvement of vertical curricular strategy Enhancing IT skills, more specifically app creation Enforce foreign language skills Raising intercultural awareness

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