“There is no life without water. Water is a valuable resource that is essential for all human activity. Water knows no frontiers. It is a common asset that requires international cooperation." (European Water Charter of 1968)
The rivers that flow through our cities connect us in Europe. Therefore, one goal of our project is to provide water as a connecting element (Water connects!), which is equally essential for all people around the world and throughout Europe. We need to value our water and protect it, we must not waste water. We want to use this project in order to increase awareness of the participating students and teachers, and to make aware the importance of water to the public.
Our project extends over three years and includes 36 students and 6 teachers (per year) from Augsburg (Germany), Wageningen (NL) and Gödöllő (HU). The pupils are in grade 7 to 10 (13 to 16 years old), so they are at an age at which they are reflecting more and more about their future careers.
In the first year of the project we consider the cultural and historical role of water for our cities. Participants explore the role of water and waterways in the development of cities. Have the rivers changed geographically? Have the rivers been regulated? How was the water supply and the quality of drinking water in the past? How much water did the citizens need on the average?
During the second year of the project we want to emphasize to the participants the importance of adequate hydration and to react to specific problems in our partner schools. We have found out that most of us think about a healthy diet, but rarely, we think about our drinking habits. We want to encourage students to critically examine the "water situation" in their schools. Is water wasted at our schools, for example, in the toilet rooms or in the course of preparing food? Do the schools support their students to drink enough, preferably water and not unhealthy drinks? How is the water quality in our schools? Is there a problem with garbage or plastic bottles that could be fixed?
On the basis of the acquired knowledge, students are encouraged to design a recyclable and durable water bottle in the third project year. This bottle can be purchased at the end of the project by all students of the three participating schools, thereby emphasizing the connection of our schools. In addition, this water bottle might help people to drink more healthy water, both in and out of school. For this purpose, project participants should develop concepts (bottle shape, material), get and compare offers, place orders and customize the product. This practical part will provide an important experience for the project participants, as they can put teaching skills into practice. At the end of the process, they can hold a product in their hands, which is their result of innovation and creativity, including entrepreneurship.
The desired results are achieved by means of group work, independent student work under the guidance of experts, practical experimental learning, out-of-school learning, and through the work on multimedia presentations. The numerous presentations and continuous cooperation with partner schools help improving and intensifying language skills. We will ensure that all project results are available on the e-twinning platform. Our main product (water bottle with information sheet) and a summary of individual project results will also be published on the schools’ websites. Stands, posters, flyers, etc., will find a place in the schools after the public final exhibitions. The project material is adapted for use in the classrooms.
Our project hopefully leads to encourage high-quality learning, which is needed to change students’ attitude towards water and to help them to become healthy responsible European citizens.
We will deal with the following questions during our 3-year project:
What is the cultural and historical role of water for our cities?
How is the water quality in our schools and in our cities?
Do we have problems with garbage, especially plastic bottles?
Do we drink enough?
What are the best drinks for us?
How can we help to protect our water?
In the last year of our project we want to design and produce our own water bottles!
During the first project year, the participants took a glance at the cultural and historical role of water for their cities. The pupils from Wageningen, Gödöllö and Augsburg explored the role of water and waterways for the development of their cities. During the project week in spring 2016, every school gave a presentation on the specific role of water in their city. Furthermore, with the help of natural science teachers, the participants in the program researched the water quality of different water sources (Gödöllö, Wageningen, different spots in Augsburg). Also, the drinking habits of pupils at the project schools and other people were examined by means of surveys. Furthermore, during the project week in Augsburg the pupils took a tour through the Augsburg water towers, which are subject of Augsburg’s UNESCO World Heritage application, and explored many historical water sites in an international water rally.
The second year of our project started in September 2016. The topic of this second year is based on chemistry and biology.
First of all the students get the job to create a logo for the project and make "kahoots!" on the topic of water. The winner of the logo contest will be elected during the project week in May 2017.
The students from each school explore the role of water in a building in their country. Which building has a good water efficiency? The three groups make films
about it and show them in the project week. Furthermore we deal on the water quality again with different water tests.
During our project week we discuss the question of what kind of water bottle we like to work on in year3.
The 3rd and last year of our project started in September 2017. The year was based on the design and production of our water bottle. The project members met in Wageningen to complete the project. Presentations were prepared and finally we agreed on a suitable water bottle which really fits in most components of our three year research. The bottles were ordered and we presented our project results in a public exhibition in Augsburg's public library. Later this year there are exhibitions in Wageningen and Gödöllö as well.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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