The 10th Helioupolis Primary School won 1st place in the 4-11 age group of the European Competition eTwinning 2017 for their project ‘In Darwin’s Steps’. The project was put together by the two classes of year six 2015-2016. The environmental project ‘In Darwin’s Steps’ made use of material which is available through the National Documentation Centre’s (EKT) online platform MITIDA and the eTwinning programme.
Darwin’s evolution of the species theory is considered by many scientists to be the cornerstone of modern biology and understanding it is believed to be particularly important for pupils who are trying to understand the connection between diverse biological concepts. According to the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould “learning about biology without the concept of evolution is like studying chemistry without the periodic table.”
Through the environmental programme ‘In Darwin’s Steps’, pupils of year six, at the 10th Helioupolis Primary School had the chance to discover many interesting facts about Darwin and his theory. The programme involved the pupils first studying species adaptation and evolution, then, using audiovisual media the pupils became producers of their own learning as opposed to passive users. This was beneficial not only for the pupils participating in the project, but also the wider European educational community. They found out about classification of animals and plants, how they adapt to environmental conditions, as well as how animals develop physical features and abilities in order to survive.
With the support of and guidance from their teachers, the pupils formed teams, took on specific roles, collaborated with pupils from other Greek schools (10th Primary School of Peristeri ) and schools from abroad (Lithuania and Turkey), took part in training workshops with representatives of environmental organisations, visited museums and used digital material from EKT’s MITIDA platform, took part in training workshops, visited museums and collected information about basic biological questions addressed by Darwin’s theory of the evolution of the species.
Experts from the field of environmental education such as Eleni Svoronou. Environmental Education Leader for WWF and Lydia Maniati, biologist and WWF volunteer visited the 10th Helioupolis Primary School to give an enjoyable and comprehensible presentation of the theory of evolution. Pupils used the information and knowledge they had acquired, combined this with digital material available through the National Documentation Centre’s (EKT) online platform MITIDA, and working with English and physics teachers, created a game using Socrative software to share knowledge with their eTwinning partners in Lithuania and Turkey in a fun way.
The pupils efforts received positive feedback from the European educational community and earned them 1st place in the 4-11 age group of the European eTwinning Competition 2017.
On Friday 19th May at 11am, at the Multipurpose Hall ( 38, Mykono Street), a representative of the European Commission and the town mayor V.Valasopoulou will hold an event with the Central and National Service eTwinning to congratulate the head of the project Natalia Tzitzi and the pupils who participated in it on their excellent work and co-operation with their eTwinning partners.
The ‘In Darwin’s Steps’ project gave pupils a chance to learn how to make use of new technology in education and create their own digital content. The tools and open access sources for the Greek educational community - available on the MITIDA platform - were presented to the participating teachers by a team of experts from EKT ( teachers of environmental education, music professors, librarians, historians, philologists, archaeologists, scientists and information experts).
MITIDA is an innovative and friendly online environment, especially designed to assist collaboration between educators in the development of digital educational content and the promotion of active pupil participation.
Using an array of the latest tools and quality content hosted by EKT infrastructure, teachers can collaborate on, experiment with and create educational content for the following three subject areas: Modern Greek History and Culture, Ancient and Byzantine History and Natural and Urban Environment.
eTwinning is a European activity through which schools from different countries can use ICT tools to collaborate so as to reap educational, social and cultural benefits. It enables schools to learn together, share their views and develop new friendships. More than 170,000 schools and 460,000 educators from 32 European countries work together in international school activities. The eTwinning programme developed from a partner-finding tool for educators into a rich, pan European teaching and learning community. Today, eTwinning is probably the largest educational network in the history of education.