News

Successful Comenius school partnership

Selection of the school partnership "In orbit with Europa"

 The school partnership "In orbit with Europa" coordinated by André Debackère and his  pluridisciplinar team in the French middle school "Le Monteil"  at Monistrol-sur-Loire has been selected by the Comenius national agencies.

This projet, gathering partners from 5 different countries (England, France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal) propose a multidisciplinar and multilateral approach of the study of asteroids.It plans to study collectively orbits, rotation and shapes of asteroids with high quality robotic telescopes, accessible through the partnerships. This initiative aims at interesting and exciting children to do science on our Solar System but also science in general and to establish a link with languages, literature, theater and art. It has obtained a very good score (96/100) and appreciation:

"An excellent project with a very well shared thematic. Very strong motivation and approach highly realistic. The impact to make science more attractive for girls is particulary important. Project extremely clear and convincing. All schools have developed experiences in the partnership with astronomical institutions. Links will be established between science and literature. Works with professionals will be conducted in each country (specify the impact of Comenius project on these organisms). The project is very ambitious. European added value is obvious. This project should be a priority."


Read hereafter some more details kindly provided by the coordinator André Debackère about the preparation of this project gathering active EU-HOU members.

A Comenius school partnership

lead by André Debackère at the middle school « Le Monteil » (Monistrol-sur-Loire, France)


flag.jpg

« In orbit with Europa »

 

photo.jpg

The birth of this project goes back to a meeting with Anne-Laure Melchior at Paris Observatory. Anne-Laure has motivated me to propose a Comenius project with a strong scientific content based on observations performed with the robotic telescopes Faulkes.

I have to convince my colleagues at Monistrol-sur-Loire to embark in such an adventure; the friendship and  conviviality of our meeting have enabled to prepare the outline of our project. 

In the meantime, Anne-Laure has found European partners who have followed a EUHOU training session:  Leonor Cabral in Portugal, John Murphy in Irland, Richard Singleton and Conrad Stevens in England as well as Sebastian Sobersky in Poland.

After different interaction between all the partners by email, the project was building up.

We have then organised a preparatory visit in France, where all our partners have joined us to fill the application form, which was a tricky step of the project. This visit was organised on 25-30 October 2010 à Monistrol-sur-Loire (France). Here are the main highlights of this meeting: 

  • 26 October: presentation of our Comenius projet on the high school TV  (éonard de Vinci at Monistrol-sur-Loire). Dissemination of a video presenting the EU-HOU project, prepared by Anne-Laure Melchior.
  • 27 October, visit of Vulcania near Clermont-Ferrand, an amusement park on volcanoes, mixing ludic aspects, scientific outreach and pedagogy. Very complete guided tour of high quality by Saïd Mourtada scientific mediator at Vulcania. A splendid meteorit was exposed there.
  • 28 October, presentation by Cyril Fernandez, scientific mediator (astonef planetarium of Saint-Etienne), of the key role of the planetarium in the scientific culture development among young people. Reception in the Saint-Etienne train station of Anne-Laure Melchior.
  • Visit of the Optic Institute of Saint-Etienne, presentation of the upper level teaching system (universities...) in France and of the research by Thierry Lépine. Reception of Raoul Behrend (University of Geneva).
  • First workshop: Presentation of the SalsaJ software, then assistance in writing the application with Anne-Laure Melchior (EUHOU, UPMC).
  • Second workshop:building up our project with Raoul Behrend, asteroids and light curves.

Of course, a large fraction of the time and our evening have been dedicated to the writing of the proposal.

http://dbrastronomie.free.fr/doc/projet_comenius.html

In order to improve our application, we have then participated to a very useful one-day training with personal accounts and sharing of experiences given by coordinators of supported projects, organised by  Blandine Coront-Ducluzeau at Clermont-Ferrand on 12th January 2011. This day was aiming at promoting and supporting Comenius and Leonardo projects. The DAREIC (Délégation Académique aux Relations Européennes Internationales et à la Coopération), in partnership with the national Agency (Agence Europe-Éducation-Formation France, 2e2f), and the GIP CARIF OREF Auvergne, have offered this information and training day at the high school La Fayette at Clermont-Ferrand, organised by the DELFOR and animated by Patrice Delègue (responsible of the Development and Dissemination at the 2e2f Agency), with the participations of various actors of Europe in the Auvergne area. These Comenius and Leonardo writing workshops were targeting the teams who get involved in a new project, which was quite helpful for our project.

http://www.ac-clermont.fr/international/

In February 2011, our application was completed and has been sent to the national Agency in Bordeaux and to the different partners, who then sent their copies to their respective national agencies.

 

Here are the main highlights of our project:

We propose a multidisciplinary and multilateral approach of the study of asteroids. We wish to enable a collective study of the orbit, rotation and shape of asteroids with high quality robotic telescopes, accessible to our partnership. This initiative aims at interesting and exciting children to do science on our Solar System, but also to science in general and to establish a link with languages, literature, theater and art.

The shape of our project will be an opportunity for young people to get a new view of science teaching, but also to understand the networking between different disciplinaries.

Numerous European students are not motivated by sciences. In addition, girls are under-represented in physical sciences. For various reasons, people in the various regions of the European Union do not have the opportunity to communicate with other countries. This could be understand by the remoteness of rural areas, poverty or other aspects. 

This project will enable pupils to get involve in a real scientific project, but also to learn the culture and language of other European countries. The association of science with other topics will provide different means to pupils to communicate and to develop team work through a set of common goals to reach.

The collaborative work addresses a need of complementary competence, which can be established through such a multidisciplinary project.

Working together could reawaken the interest of pupils for scientific practices, creating an interest for sciences. This project should also enable to answer to the opening and autonomy needs for English teaching. Last, it should reinforce the perseverance of pupils to succeed to produce a real project.

It will be the opportunity for pupils and their teachers to share ideas, experiences and scientific competences with European colleagues. Teachers will also be able to get introduce to teaching methods using in other European countries and to share the best practices.

The development of competences in languages of both pupils and teachers  is also foreseen through visits and exchanges using a common language: English.

Most of our pupils originate from a less-favoured area, and the project will provide them with an access to culture to practices, which would have escape them certainly. Without these exchanges, less contacts, no study tours, less travels of pupils, lesser knowledge of European partners and their cultures.

On 28th June, we received the approval of our application, with an excellent score (96/100) and with the following appreciations:

"An excellent project with a very well shared thematic. Very strong motivation and approach highly realistic. The impact to make science more attractive for girls is particulary important. Project extremely clear and convincing. All schools have developed experiences in the partnership with astronomical institutions. Links will be established between science and literature. Works with professionals will be conducted in each country (specify the impact of Comenius project on these organisms). The project is very ambitious. European added value is obvious. This project should be a priority."

Then, in the following days, the project partners also received their approval.
Our whole team, very pleased that his work and the originality of the project have been acknowledged, is now ready to pursue this adventure...

 

The French team at the middle school « Le Monteil » :

Agnès BLACHON, Maths

Elisabeth BOUVET, English

Sébastien CONDEMINE, Sciences and Life of the Earth

André DEBACKERE, Physical Sciences 

Annie FALCON, Modern Literature

Fabienne LAFFIN, English

Alexandre SARTRE, Maths