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many international reports (e.g. Science Education in Europe: National Policies, Practices and Research – Eurydice – 2011) identify the potential shortage of human resources in key scientific professions and call for modernising science teaching in school. There is a generalized need for modern societies to have more and more people specialized in scientific subjects, and  on the contrary a little number of students who choose scientific subjects in secondary school or at university, together with a high number of students who have difficulties in scientific subjects and drop them in the course of their studies. How is it possible to raise the motivation of pupils, to increase their interest in science, and at the same time, to increase attainment levels? This is the common objective that the schools of our project have set for themselves. Then, of course, every school has different specific needs and also different skills that can be used to tackle the problem, so we can learn from each other. Due to different school- systems, we focus on different ways of learning. The aim is to find out, by comparing and evaluating the methods of the other schools, a new and better way to motivate the students especially for natural sciences and to enhance the knowledge of basic skills. The objective of our project is to increase interest in natural science among students of secondary schools, so that we can ultimately achieve for them a high degree of independence in learning it. Our target groups are mainly students aged 13-18, and specifically those aged 15-16.

The project should be carried out transnationally firstly because secondary schools in different countries have various ways of fostering the study of science, therefore every country can learn from other countries and find new ways to reach the final objective; then because trying to achieve this objective through  the cooperation  with other European countries will imply the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), and the use of Foreign Languages and CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) methodology, therefore reinforcing also these other fundamental key competences.

In practice we want to focus on the one hand on observation and analysis first concerning the teaching methods, but on the other hand we already have ideas for pratical work with students. Through the different tasks they will be asked to achieve, the students will take initiative, develop an enterprising mind, and learn to work with European partners. The teachers will analyse their own teaching methods and they will be in contact with other science-teachers and have the possibility to learn from each other.

Our project is divided in four parts. Two parts address mainly students (No 1 & 3), one part addresses teachers (No 4) and one part addresses students and teachers  (No 2). We focus on activating students and on leading teachers to review their teaching methods.

1. science fair project

1.1. national part I: The students find a subject of research, invent an experiment, realize it, evaluate it and present it on a poster

1.2. national part II: The best students take part in the “google Science Fair” on the Internet.

1.3. international part I: The students adapt the poster into English and make of it a presentation for the other schools

1.4. international part II: The students present their posters to the other nations of the project and a winner is selected.

2. flipped classroom

2.1 in every partner school, the students make videos to explain something they have been  working on

2.2 these videos are used by the students in the partners schools to work on something new. In other words, the students teach their partners (simple) things they have just been taught .

3. Students-Workshops

3.1 During the meetings and also during the exchanges the students follow workshops with a scientific subject. The workshop should be done in a specific place and concerning a specific subject what would not be possible in the mother-country.
Visits of companies/enterprises/laboratories that are typical in the area but not common for the other countries are arranged. The aim is  to open the mind for new ideas of application of science in the professions.

3.2 students visit companies in their own country to have an idea of using science-knowldge in professions (all countries)

4. Job shadowing

4.1 Questionnaires are formulated and given to the students to evaluate their motivation in science at the beginning of the project and to understand about their difficulties in the subject from their point of view;

4.2 During the meetings or during the exchanges teachers of the different countries participate in science lessons with the aim to compare, discuss and evaluate the different teaching methods.  For a better evaluation we use an evaluation sheet created during the first meeting.

4.3 Questionnaires are given to the students again, to verify the effectiveness of the activities on students' motivation and their attainment levels;

4.4 Videos of the most effective activities and methods are collected in teaching kits for further use and dissemination.

 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commision. This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author, and the Commision cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

 

About Us

The coordinator teams

The task of the coordinator-teams is to keep the countries connected and to give main bases for working together and planning the projects. They consist of representatives of all the students and teachers participating from each school.

France

About the school

Montélimar is located in the southern part of The “Rhône-Alpes” region, which means it does not benefit from the multicultural influence of the university centres of Grenoble and Lyon. However, economic activity is highly developed around Montélimar, along the river Rhône; this means economic development, management of technical risks –with its nuclear plant in Cruas- and preservation of natural areas (Natura 2000) have to be juggled..
Alain Borne sixth-form college is located at the town-centre of Montélimar ; it welcomes students living in Montélimar as well as  students from sixty  surrounding villages , mainly  located in rural areas and spreading on eight hundred square kilometres. About 1300 students attend our school.
Our school has trained new teachers in different departments for several years, which means we are developing new teaching methods. It is also involved in an English immersion class for sciences .Besides, we have a “Club Citoyen”  where students launch campaigns at school to help other students become aware of what being a European citizen means. This year, several teachers have set up a transversal project -involving geography, economics and  science teachers- related to climate change , to help students understand what was at stake at the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015. From 2009 to 2011, we led a Comenius project “Sustainable Management of One’s Territory: a step toward European eco-friendly citizenship.”This project involved sciences, geography, history,modern languages and art. For the new project, the actions will be led by the teachers involved in the Comenius project as well as well as by other teachers who were interested in the results of the Comenius.
Some teachers of our school followed a vocational training concerning “flipped classroom” and they are enthusiastic trying this new methods.

Germany

About the school

The Ostendorf-Gymnasium is a school of secondary education.
Our students are between 10 and 18 years old. We have about 800 students in our school. The school is located in the mid-west of Germany near Dortmund or Paderborn.
The school provides general education in a local area and is in competition with three schools of the same kind. Since August 2009 the school has been awarded the title of “Europaschule”, which shows its commitment to the European idea. There are some pupils with specific needs like pupils at risk of social exclusion, migrants and refugees. Integration is one of the basic aims of our school, due to the fact that we are facing an increasing number of refugees in 2015. From this it follows that language skills are getting more and more important even in daily school-life. Furthermore, inclusion of pupils with special needs  is an important and growing topic at our school.  All these pupils are supported by special staff –  e.g. social worker, external teachers, language teachers , students and parents supporting social integration.
The school has bilingual classes which could be helpful for the other schools to foster language skills (exchange of teaching methods , job shadowing).
Throughout our school’s history, natural sciences have always been a subject of significant importance. Starting with Hermann Müller, a teacher for biology and friend of Charles Darwin, who prepared the basis for our school’s reputation in the field. Nevertheless, the interest of todays students in the natural sciences is (slowly) decreasing, a phenomena which can be observed in Germany as well as in other European countries.
That is reason why we introduced the “Science fair”-project for students in Year 8 (students’ age: 13-14) several years ago and furthermore a group of students that cooperates regularly with the Natural Science Musuem of the University of Münster.
In addition, there is also an optional course dealing with the development of science. The students learn how scientists developed and discoverd natural scientific laws in the course of time and within their historical context.
In addition, we also propose  a course for senior students (age 16-17) to participate in a youth science competition (‘Jugend forscht’) but still the students’ enthusiasm could be improved. As our practice leads not to the result expected we like to get other examples for teaching methods which could be helpful to reach our aim that more students are interested in sciences.

Italy

About the school

Il Pontormo is a school of general secondary education situated in Central Italy, between Florence and Pisa, in an area which is economically developed, but with an increasing percentage of pupils with special needs and a certain number of migrants from non-European countries, who are still integrating.
The school has about 1400 students aged 14-19 and it is composed of two main branches: one (of about 1000 pupils) which is vocated to scientific subjects (science, mathematics, physics, information technology), the other (of about 400 pupils) which is vocated to social studies (psychology, pedagogics, economics). The school also gives the students the possibility to add the learning of French and German language to their curriculum, together with the traditional learning of English.
Within the Scientific branch, five years ago the school opened a new curriculum called „Applied Sciences“, with additional classes of science and information technology, to which several students enrolled, reaching now the number of about 250. Notwithistanding the initial interest of the students in scientific subjects, and the need of a scientific and technological education in the area, quite a few students seem to lose their interest during the years and some of them have difficulties reaching the expected results, so that they have to do additional studying to pass to the following year in September, and sometimes they even decide to leave the school. That is why the school is trying to develop a teaching methodology for scientific subjects which is more motivating and inclusive.
Throughout our school’s history, teachers have been engaged in projects with the laboratories and museums of the area (Leonardo da Vinci museum, Museum of Paleontology in Empoli, Galileo Galilei Museum in Florence etc.), but recently some teachers have started a work-group aimed at developing alternative teaching methods and materials in specific subjects like physics which can be more motivating, involving and inclusive, while another work group is engaged in planning and designing experimental learning paths aimed at the attainment of transversal skills.
There are a few teachers who have been recently involved in CLIL teaching methodologies and several teachers that have participated in international projects.
Projects for students with special needs have been going on for some years.
The key persons involved in this project are part of the above-mentioned work-group reasearching on teaching methodologies, they have experiences of research in different scientific fields, creative use of ICT technologies, language competences of various levels, educational experiences with teenagers living in a disadvantaged context, communicative and group-work skills.

Netherlands

About the school

Uden is a small town in an agrarian countryside, although most people work in industries and services. The region of Noord-Brabant is the front runner in high-tech-industry in the Netherlands. Generally the level of schooling is quite high and the region has a low unemployment rate.
Udens College offers all sorts of secondary education, theoretical as well as vocational (VWO, HAVO, VMBO). We have 1520 students in the VMBO-sector. In the sector there are 100 pupils with specific needs.
Udens College has a long history in international activities and in integrating the European dimension in school curriculum. The school is one of 37 ELOS-schools (Europe as a learning Environment in Schools) in the Netherlands, promoting European citizenship.
Taking part in this project is a sign of the further implementation of  international activities in the VMBO-sector.We have a special science-class for our students. This class works with science themes and has a specific teaching method. The students have to work together on a theme. Now at the moment we are integrating new teaching methods in the curriculum. More ICT and bring your own device (BYOD) stimulate students for more independent learning and teachers for more changes in differentiation. We organize various activities to increase interest in technology among girls (Girls day, visit companies, speed dating with woman working in technology companies).  We have partnership called ‘Toptechniek’. In this program education, business and government work together with the aim of educating sufficiently skilled technical VMBO and MBO skilled workers now and in the future. Top technology in business chooses a practical approach with attention to the power of regions. Science and Technology Platform facilitates the implementation of regional plans. (www.toptechniekinbedrijf.nl)

Sweden

About the school

Almunge school is a small school situated in the countryside near the city of Uppsala in the mid-east of Sweden. We have about 400 students from the age of 6-16 years old. Language studies, mathematics and natural science are important parts of the education. The students learn English from the age of 7. Furthermore they can choose between German, Spanish and French from the age of 11. To improve the language skills of our students even more we have developed a student exchange project with a school in Belgium for the senior students (age 14-16).
We also provide computer classes, sports and esthetic subjects every week in addition to the regular curriculum.
There are quite a few students with special needs at the school as well as students placed in foster homes.   A small percentage of the parents have got a university education. Inclusion of students with special needs and integration of immigrants are important issues for us. This semester we have started two new classes, a language class for students with difficulties in speaking, reading and writing and also an immigrant class for students who recently arrived in Sweden. The district has been facing an increasing number of immigrants during the autumn of 2015 and Almunge school is one of the schools in the region who are helping in organizing classes for refugee students.
At Almunge school all teachers are very committed. We are sharing and developing new methods of teaching and we also use new material such as web based books and flipped classrooms. On Thursday afternoons we have pedagogic meetings where we discuss methods of teaching. Our science- and mathematic teachers have started to use ICT more to increase the students´ motivation of learning natural science   and to improve the students´results. We have international networks and an exchange program with a Belgian school. This is an important part of the education as a large percentage of the students have never been abroad and have a very limited experience of other European countries.  Since 2014 we have got four head teachers in charge of the pedagogical discussions. To support the students with special needs we have three remedial teachers, one for the age 6-9, one for the age 10-12 and one for the age 13-16.

Blog

Exkursion zum KKW Emsland in Lingen

Am Dienstag, dem 08. Mai 2018, trafen wir uns um 08.00 Uhr am Stadttheater und starteten bei bestem Sommerwetter zu einer gemeinsamen Exkursion des GK-PH2 der Q2 und des GK-PH1 der Q1. Dabei fuhren die Abiturienten mit, die ihren letzten Schultag vor den Osterferien schon lange hinter sich gelassen hatten.

Water rocket competition

Die Schülerinnen und Schüler des Q1 Astromonie-Zusatzkurses 2017/18 der Europaschule Ostendorf-Gymnasium Lippstadt arbeiten seit vielen Wochen an eigenen Wasserraketen, um sie am Schuljahresende in einem kleinen Wettbewerb starten zu lassen.

Contact

You can contact our project coordinators per e-mail:

France:
Lycée général et technologique Alain Borne:
www.citescolairealainborne.fr
Coordinator: Armelle  Mercoyrol (Armelle.Mercoyrol@ac-grenoble.fr)

Germany:
Europaschule Ostendorf-Gymnasium:
www.ostendorf-gymnasium.de
Coordinator: Ulrike Bleidick (ulrike@bleidick.de)

Italy:
Istituto Statale di Istruzione Superiore “Il Pontormo”:
www.ilpontormoempoli.gov.it
Coordinator: Cinzia Becca (cinziecca@hotmail.it)

Netherlands:
Stichting voor Voortgezet Onderwijs Uden:
www.udenscollege.nl
Coordinator: Jean-Louis van der Veen (j.vanderveen@udenscollege.nl)

Sweden:
Almunge skola:
www.almungeskola.uppsala.se
Coordinator: Sofia Kållström (sofia.kallstrom@uppsala.se)