Our project entitled "Energy and Food - challenges for young people in Europe in the 21st century" examined this topic from various angles using new technologies and the media to retrieve information. Project work was divided into several phases: in each country, students focused on specific topics of their choice and brought their results in the form of posters, videos or powerpoint presentations to the four plenary meetings where all of the partners had the chance to gain a wider European perspective, also thanks to the comparison of the results of surveys conducted in each country.
Two aspects were predominant during the project work: First, paying attention to the regional aspects of the topics energy and food and second, making the students aware of their individual responsibility in the fields of food and energy as active European citizens.
The workshops in Norway and Italy familiarized the students with the different national views of the topic, whereas the youth meetings in France and Germany concentrated on the presentation and discussion of the work results achieved in the partner schools during the school years and on local field studies concerning alternative ways of energy and food production.
At the workshop in Nordfjordeid in Norway in February 2010, the students studied the system of using "Fjord warmth" and how public buildings ( e.g. the partners' school building) are heated with this alternative form of energy.
After comparing the different sources of energy in their home countries, the students jointly worked on the publication of a journal in which they speculated on the ways of energy consumption in the year 2050.
The youth meeting in Beaupréau, France, in April 2010 deepened the findings by means of local and regional field studies. The students visited a regional wind park and interviewed the person in charge of it, they focused their attention on the local and regional production and marketing of food and what it meant in terms of reducing energy costs.
On the Isle of Noirmoutiers the students discussed the findings of the field studies carried out in multi-national groups and reflected the results as potential part of their daily life. In addition, the students were given a lecture by a school canteen cook on the requirements of a healthy meal and the consequences for French school canteens.
During the workshop entitled "Fast food - slow food" which took place in Matera, Italy, in February 2011, the students began by comparing the results of the surveys on the amount of the family income spent on food, on basic food stuff and nutrition, which they had conducted in their home countries. They became familiar with their regional, geographical, climatic and religious origins.
The visit of an agro-industrial company led to discussion on mass production, international distribution of agricultural products and the advantage of regional products.
The final youth meeting in Tübingen, Germany, in May 2011 familiarized the students with local and regional conditions of the production of alternative energy and food production. Field studies enabled the students to recognize the advantages and also the limits of wind energy and hydro power, organic food production and its regional distribution, energy saving concepts in buildings and urban planning.
A lecture on sustainability in the fields of energy and food production initiated a discussion on how to apply the findings to everyone's daily life.
At the end of the meeting the students formulated a charter which is in effect a "catalogue" of behaviour, priorities, political requirements and political aims.
In the course of the two school years work on the project was complemented by additional activities in each of the partner schools: visits to a river power station, interviews with architects about energy-saving buildings and urban planning, talks and lectures by experts at a nearby university of applies forest sciences.
The students of Kepler-Gymnasium Tübingen went to the European parliaments at Strasbourg and Brussels in order to discuss their project with the regional deputy and to find out about European legislation in the fields of energy and food production.
The teachers involved in the project kept regular email contact with their colleagues about the situation of the project work. Two teachers' meetings in Matera in November 2009 and in Opole in October 2010 served to plan the continuation of the project and the evaluation of the accomplished project work. The teachers got to know the partners' school systems, the respective national curriculum and what importance the topic had in it.
The students' strong interest in the project was demonstrated by their idea of creating activities to enforce the aims of the charter on the school level and thus to continue the project.
Last but not least, lot of students made friends with their partners and were invited to their homes for the holidays after the project.
European Added Value
The participating students and staff developed a feeling of understanding, respect and tolerance towards the economic, social, religious and cultural differences of the five partner countries and thus reflected on their own attitudes and behaviour.
By developing a more considerate way of using food and energy inside school and in their personal everyday life the students became more respectful towards the environment. When they drew up a charter of behaviour and political aims they learned how to make decisions within an multinational group of young people as a basis for efforts to bring about changes in their home countries and on a European level.
The students became aware of the need for sustainable food production, the use of natural resources and the need to further alternative forms of energy within European countries.
In the meetings with local experts and deputies of the European Parliament they saw that they could influence long-term decisions and futures challenges by getting involved and by cooperating with local, national and European authorities and institutions. (1118 Zeichen)
Objectives and results of the Partnership
The students developed awareness of the enormous problems of food and energy in our present-day society and recognized their share of responsibility to bring about changes.
Work on the project enabled the students to understand the international dimension of the topics and the chance to exert influence through their personal behaviour. ( "Think globally - act locally"). The students also realized the importance of European cooperation in these fields.
In their work on the project the students learned to use and apply various approaches and forms of scientific research and investigation. They learned how to compare and discuss their findings in English, their common language of communication.
They began to understand that a European way of tackling problems was more productive than only focusing on national perspectives. When they worked together in multinational groups in the workshops and youth meetings, the students learned to accept the different national views on the topic in order to bring about a result.
Comenius Project Results 2009-2011
- Energy sources
- Renewable energy
- Fuels for cars
- Alternative ways of energy production
- Saving energy and food
- Opole Power Plant
- Eating habits of Polish Students
- Agriculture yestarday and today
- Eating habits now and in the past
- Genetically modified food
- The food of our grandparents
- Agriculture in Poland now and 50 years ago
- Religious and cultural eating habits
- Cuisines of the world
- Religious and cultural eating habits
- Eating habits and budget
- European cuisine