I am sure we are all sick and tired of stories of Corona woe. I could lament that our trip to French Guiana (March 2020) with Erasmus+ was cancelled, and that 2 years of hard work by students and staff went up in smoke. Or instead we can celebrate, look back on our exchange trips to Copenhagen, Kos, Madrid, and here in London – and appreciate the masterful journey our latest Erasmus+ cohort took together.
Three years ago whilst ‘networking’ in a Danish ‘food and drink’ establishment, myself and our Copenhagen colleague, the eponymous ‘Mikkel Max’, hatched a daring plan. Surely in the days of modern computing students can build and program a small device to measure the effects of climate change? Surely in the time of Space X we can build a small rocket to launch this device as high as we can? And surely, in the time of countries withdrawing from international climate accords, we can bring together a rich and diverse group of global students to explore the science behind measuring climate change?
These were our goals, and we had such a success on the journey. In the most recent exchange in London the Erasmus+ students designed, created, and tested (by dropping from a drone), a device which successfully measured various aspects of atmospheric pollution. And whilst there is now a large lone rocket sitting in the science department, bereft of its opportunity to soar over the jungles of French Guiana, we know that in the future this rocket will carry a payload – hopefully in co-operation with other countries in a future Erasmus+ program.
So rather than going out with a bang – the project ends with the official, rubber stamped, signed in triplicate, slightly erroneously translated, ‘project feedback’ email from the EU. During the initial scramble of the first lockdown everything was tidied away, but not forgotten, and as we find balance in the ‘new normal’ we can think positively about the future again. Find below some quotes from the project summary and pictures of our two-year journey.
The innovative character of the project is considered high within High Schools. It is an ambitious project between very different partners geographically and academically.
Covid-19 is responsible for the project's abrupt ending, but the partners managed to finalize… when schools were closed all over the world.
The project must be considered a success, with evaluations from school partners, students and parents all highlighting the students' intercultural and professional benefits.
Three of the partners have already started a new Erasmus project from the experiences with coding and STEM from this project.