What is the added value of Eratosthenes project for your classes? What about the curricular intergration, collaboration and communication with the partners...
What about your experience in the project (difficulties, happy momments etc)...
It is the most valuable project I have participated in, even if I have been running my own project on the eTwinning platform for more than 12 years. Both I and my students participated with great interest, being a project that perfectly combines the scientific discoveries before Christ with all the modern applications that the Eratosthenes experiment implies. This is due to the fact that the founders of the project are very well trained professionally, very involved and very generous in sharing with us, the collaborators, all their useful knowledge in all fields. This makes the project that would seem trivial "with the many practical applications it has! Congratulations to both the founders!
Aspasia Dilalou, Aigio
Measurements, calculations, theoretical and practical work as well as numerous collaborative activities, in various subjects, have formed the Eratosthenes 2021 project.
This year, the Aigio team consisted of 10 students. The smaller team proved more flexible, students were more active and Aigio participated in the majority of the activities that were organized this year.
The structure of the project enabled us to work efficiently both at school and remotely, during the lockdown period.
I teach ICT in High School. The activities of the project were perfectly combined with a lot of subjects in the ICT curriculum, for example: word processing, creative writing, email, forum, videoconferencing, image and video processing, google docs, netiquette, copyright issues, etc. The project activities are also combined with the curriculum of other school subjects such as history, geography, physics, mathematics, art, etc.
The Eratosthenes project is based on collaboration: we made measurements on the same day with other schools, uploaded our results in the twinspace and in shared google spreadsheets and used geogebra figures to calculate the best result of a day. Measurements were only a small part of our collaborative activities. We participated in videoconferences, in forum in twinspace, in padlet activities, jamboard work sheets, presentations, contests, etc. Communicating with students from other parts of the world was one of the most important benefits of the project.
The best moments of Eratosthenes 2021 were the video conferences, especially the last ones, which proved very enjoyable and useful for our students. During the lockdown period there were some netiquette problems in an earlier video conference, which gave us the opportunity to discuss and realize our mistakes.
The willingness of some of our students to participate in the collaborative activities was remarkable. They were always available for our project and they had genuine interest in everything: home or school measurements, mathematical calculations, forum work scratch work, posters etc.
This project’s wealth of interesting collaborative educational activities exceeded our expectations and I am very happy that we managed to complete the whole process of the project with success. I am really proud of my students and I am sure that the project offered a lot to them.
A warm thank you to all partners. Bye Bye Eratosthenes 2021!
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The pedagogical value of Eratosthenes' method in measuring the circumference of the Earth has been repeatedly highlighted in the bibliography as a popular collaborative school project during the equinoxes and solstices. The eTwinning project "Eratosthenes 2021", innovates and makes the difference in the following points: a) it highlights in practice the value of collaboration, b)it combines one of the oldest scientific experiments with state-of-the-art technologies, c) it is easily integrated into the syllabus of many school subjects and d) it offers an organized environment for the communication among schools around the globe making possible and immediate their coordination so that they can repeat the experiment whenever it serves the curriculum and the educational needs of each class and not only at equinoxes and solstices.
The project lasts a calendar year (January to December) and does not have astronomical phenomena as reference points, ie the equinoxes and solstices. On the dates of the equinoxes and the solstices, the experiment could be done by a single school alone without the need for cooperation with another school. However, in this "eTwinning version of Eratosthenes", the experiment can take place on any sunny day of the year, as long as the collaboration of another school is ensured, meaning that there will be at least two measurements of a gnomon-stick vertical to the ground during their own solar noon to calculate the angle of the sun's rays in at two different locations on the Earth surface. So, this is a project that BY DEFAULT is collaborative!
The teacher from Ilion participates in the eTwinning Eratosthenes projects since 2014 with one or two schools per year. So…one more Eratosthenes? NO, not at all! Each year, Eratosthenes is a brand new project because of the new students and the new transdisciplinary collaborative activities that we organize.
In 2021, Ilion has registered two ICT classes (A1a and A1b -January to June 2021- and they are the B1 class since September 2021). The students from B1a had participated in Eratosthenes 2020 successfully so they were ready to move on with the new project and have extra work in the transdisciplinary, collaborative activities -most of them were students’ inspiration-. B1b class was introduced in the project and in eTwinning for the first time and they were very excited to learn more and understand Eratosthenes method through the experimental activities. Due to the dissemination of the project at school the previous years they were soon ready to conduct the experiment and approach it creatively in a different context. Both classes had worked on the project fully embedded in the ICT curriculum ("Students’ real-life projects" and "Internet Applications"). The students have worked a) in groups during the experiment with specific tasks, having been divided into international groups (task forces) but also in pairs or individually depending on the project’s needs (in twinspace and in shared google drive, in web search, in extra productions, etc) and c) alone at home during the quarantine period
The students of Ilion were very active, they proved to be very creative and participated with enthusiasm. In addition to the shared to the project’s partners google drive, Ilion's students had also used a google account to work collaboratively on their own drive (firstname.lastname@example.org), as well as the eclass platform and webex while the schools were in lockdown and many padlets. The students have worked on -spreadsheets, -presentations, -videos (adobe spark), -creating games in learning apps,kahoot, quizziz, - image processing (photofiltre), photocollage, postermywall, canva, autodraw, -maps (my map , google maps) -geogebra and are familiar with the use of twinspace. They are very capable of effective use of web search and collaborative use of documents (working in shared google slides was a usual task). Adobe Connect was used for video conferences among our schools. Youtube was used for video posting and ISSUU for the creation of the monthly e-magazines (newsletters) and for the productions of collaborative activities dedicated to a special theme. The students had also worked extensively on netiquette issues (collaboration with Aigio team on a shared Google Jamboard) and a parental consent document was requested for the students' participation and use of their data (photos-videos).
The students participated in all the video conferences and during the quarantine period, they participated with measurements from their homes and with work that we had on the platforms (eclass / webex) available to the schools by the Greek Ministry of Education. The students, really excited after the video conference of December 2020 with the partner classes, continued their work the following year in the Eratosthenes 2021 project.
Through the project, in addition to computer literacy, the skills of 4Cs and the active citizenship competencies were cultivated and the students felt part of a global community that collaborates in a scientific experiment, an experience extremely important for the students. The students had also discovered experientially cultural elements of the collaborating countries but also gained knowledge of physics and geography since their work is interdisciplinary based on project-based learning
Collaboration between partner schools?
Of course, we have kept the very successful process of the previous years about the core activities:
In the pages of our schools, we presented our teams and our schools. On the same pages, there are our measurements with links to the pages of daily results. In a Google drive shared for the participating schools and in a specific folder for each school, photos of the measurements are posted and are "evidence" that supports the reliability of the experiment. In addition, studying the photos can give some information about possible errors in the measurement process. Students were encouraged to observe the photographs posted on the project journal and detect possible sources of errors in the experimental process, but also to get ideas by the practices of the partners. The measurements were registered not only in the Twinspace but also in a shared to the partners' Google drive, where a data sheet was used by the students to enter the data of their measurement and in the sheet, the angle of the sun rays at the place of the measurement was automatically calculated by a formula. The datasheet was linked in the same file to a calculation sheet; on the calculation sheet the distance between two of the schools, that have entered data of their measurements in the datasheet, and their resulting circumference of the Earth, were calculated automatically, using appropriate formulas. Geogebra was used to create the relevant geometric shape that is embedded as an image in the daily results page.
The students worked in a common padlet for their self-presentations and in another padlet teachers had presented themselves. Moreover, students have really enjoyed the Forums this year, creating threads about their hobbies and topics that they had chosen eg their activities during the schools’ lockdown. Students have enjoyed the games contest very much -congratulations to the team of Jordan that was the winner according to the students' votes- and all the activities that had to do with collaborative productions among partners -eg women in astronomy, code week activities with the coded messages, Earth day, safer internet day and working on media literacy. Students were very excited to work online in real-time with the Aigio team on the “Eratosthenes' interview” activity -very happy moment to be simultaneously on the shared google document filling questions and answers. More happy moments? Meeting Aigio and Lafrancaise students at the shared google sheet during the registration of our measurements, the video conferences with the students' excitement, and the special cookies that we had received from our French partners.
About the impact-Added value? It needs efforts to be short for a project that has become a lifestyle... It is more than obvious that the project supports extremely well the competencies and the learning aims in the ICT class but also in other fields (Physics, Geography, Mathematics, Communication in Foreign Language, Mathematics). The added value in the ICT class is offering meaningful activities in the parts of the Curriculum related to the collaborative use of web tools since the students do not face these activities assignments just for testing their competencies but they have feedback for the importance of their contribution. They feel that they add their part to a “puzzle” and they receive immediate feedback, from the results of the measurements and from the comments of the partner students and teachers. In addition to the cognitive goals, the social skills competencies are also served in a great way as it is clear that ALL the work is based on collaboration: the measurements of another school are necessary to calculate the final result AND the “quality” of the final result is based on the quality of the measurements of both schools. Working in international students’ teams has made the students more responsible and helped them drive their work alone and manage all the processes of the measurements. Also, an important impact of this project is that the students realized in a natural, experiential way that scientific progress requires collaborative work, sharing, and communication. The feedback from the students for their experience in the project was from the discussions that took place per class but also from what they mentioned in the video conferences with the partner schools and in the evaluations. The statistics and the active participation of the students with measurements from home during the quarantine prove the success of the project in cultivating the autonomy of the students. Dissemination took place through collaborations with institutes, with participation in international events (eg World Space Week) with posts on the school website and in the local community (measurements of students from home to quarantine). Also, the teacher was very honored to share the projects’ activities on Media Literacy in the 7th Creative Classroom Unconference nin March 2021 and the activities of the project for the Code Week on the workshop she held during the Hellenic eTwinning National Conference in November 2021.
The teacher's participation in a dedicated way in the Eratosthenes projects since December 2014 is proof that the project is an amazing tool to support her work, an inspiration to work in different activities each year, and a unique opportunity to join a network of creative teachers and to be supported by their practices. This year, she has also faced the honorable challenge to be the co-founder of the project and she needs to express her apologies for the possible difficulties or disappointments she has created for some of the partners and in the end to thank all for sharing our noons all these years
Wishes for many sunny bright days in the years to come
and teacher's last words borrowed by L.R. Knost
"Leave a trail of light behind you
Everywhere you go.
Whose darkness you'll illuminate
You may never know..."
Artist Ed Sandoval
Mariapia Borghesan "D. Alighieri" Lower secondary school, MERLARA (ITALY)
Eratosthenes project is a great opportunity for my students:
-they can learn about Eratosthenes experiment and repeat it with simple instruments;
-they can discuss about measurements and errors connected to the measurements;
-they can collaborate with other students from all over the World;
-they can perform other experimental activities (for example to calculate the value of π or the local noon);
-they can make research about women in astronomy;
- they can find several connections with other disciplines like Geography, History, Astronomy, etc.;
-they can improve their ICT and foreign languages skills;
-they can learn a lot in an innovative and collaboratively way.
The project is also strictly connected with the Italian Maths, Science and Geography curriculum for the third class of the lower secondary school, that’s why I choose to participate with my third class students.
Collaboration with the partners is really good and inspires me a lot of ideas and activities. We have almost daily contact between the partners.
I already participated in previous editions of the project and I decide to repeat this experience for its great value.
I like the on line meeting and our best result obtained on 17 May 2021 with 39987 Km.
A very big thanks to all the partners for their friutfull collaboration!
Eric Vayssié, Collège Antonin Perbosc, Lafrançaise, France
This year 2021 marks the last participation of my middle school students. The first of these recurring projects was created in 2005.
I will continue my participation as a teacher without students at the invitation of the project administrators.
See you in 2022!