“European cooperation to foster a reduced impact on the environment and to develop sustainability”
A Mobility project involving 6 European countries which saw the Plumbing faculty from the College of West Anglia visit and host a vast number of staff and students from France, Poland, Romania, Italy, and Turkey.
Polish Mobility 1
Due to a number of different problems within the college during the run up to this first mobility, last minute arrangements were made to put together a suitable team to represent the United Kingdom for this project. Unfortunately, while there were willing and able staff and learners found, only one staff member and one learner had up to date passports. It was felt that if the UK were going to take a full and meaningful part of the project representation must be in evidence in Poland. Therefore the two eligible team members were sent armed with project work carried out by the team.
The UK team discussed what direction they felt the project should take. The country had just gone through some of the most severe weather it had experience for some years with a combination of high winds and high tides threatening both river and coastal defences. The team started to reflect on the country’s relationship – as an island – with the sea both locally within the Fens and more nationally by making comparisons with other parts of the country, namely Somerset. In so doing, the team discovered what has happened in the Fens historically and how a good relationship with the sea has been kept up to modern day.
The team also looked at what initiatives are being promoted within the college of West Anglia in order to make improvements on its carbon footprint. This involved talking to college staff members whose task it is to make decisions regarding the physical footprint of buildings, redevelopment of resources, upgrading existing buildings and designing new building with an emphasis on renewable technologies.
Two PowerPoint presentations were taken to the first mobility; the first presentation dealt with the past and existing relationship with the sea while the second discussed the teams’ investigation into what the college of West Anglia is doing in terms of becoming ecologically friendly.
School and Workshops:
Overview of the English partner’s approach Powerpoint presentation:
Presentation 1 – Campus overview:
During this second mobility the five project partners worked on an ‘Eco-Friends Charter’. Working in mixed groups, the teams were asked to think about what should be in the charter that everybody would in principle agree to. The teams were given five headings to work with, these were: Diet, Transport, Consumption, Waste management and Biodiversity. The teams worked well together and demonstrated well how they gave these topics some serious thought.
Very interesting and enjoyable visits to a nearby village that is older than Rome, Rome itself and Monte Casino were laid on for us which all took great delight.
School and workshops:
Eco Friends Charter – Student Work:
This mobility was given the theme ‘We Have a Voice’. The idea was that whether they like it or not the students were part of an age group who must initiate solutions to existing environmental problems.
All Eco-Friends partners were asked to come with some prepared work which would cover the following questions: What happens environmentally at your school at the moment? What happens environmentally in your local area at the moment? During the first workshop each of the partners gave presentations that dealt with these questions.
This mobility attempted to blur the boundaries between the project aims and cultural experiences by visiting both local and national places of interest that fed into the themes of the project. We therefore visited several locations throughout the Fens to give historical, social, economic and environmental perspectives that fed into the project but which were, hopefully, interesting in their own rite. For example, as part of the day trip to London a river boat cruise took us as far as the Thames Barrier.
Having had a little insight into what goes on around the Fens as well as further afield nationally, the partners’ teams were mixed up into a second workshop to present ideas about what we could all take home with us in regard to how we might initiate change both in our schools, locally and even nationally.
Monday – Welcome
UK Mobility Itinerary:
Tuesday – Tour of the Isle campus and workshop 1
Building for the future:
Sea and river defences:
Tour of the College of West Anglia:
Tour of Wisbech:
Workshop 1 – France:
Workshop 1 – Italy:
Workshop 1 – Poland:
Workshop 1 – UK:
Wednesday – The Fenland Mystery Tour
The Fenland Mystery Tour:
Thursday – London
Eco-Friends day trip to London
London Trip Itinerary:
Friday – Workshop 2 and farewell lunch
Farewell and entertainment:
During this mobility the partner teams were mixed up and were engaged in nine workshops that investigated the environmental impact of some products and procedures over other. For example, one workshop looked at the different power consumption of eco-friendly and non-eco-friendly light bulbs. Armed with a thermal imaging camera, another workshop looked at the impact various insulation materials had against non-insulating material. All teams were scheduled to visit all the workshops and towards the end of the week all teams presented their findings.
In addition to this a number of students were selected to travel to a nearby school that housed a greenhouse. All aspects of the maintenance of various plants, as well as the greenhouse itself, were presented by the workers in the greenhouse.
A day trip to Paris was well received by all. As well as a visit to all the usual landmarks and places of interest in Paris, a walk was taken along a relatively new initiative in the city. The ‘green walk’ took us along a redundant railway line that traversed through the city. The path is festooned with plants and shrubs, arbours and seating.
School and workshops:
Polish Mobility 2
Due to the current political situation in the Middle East it was decided, with some sadness, that it would be too risky to visit Turkey. Our Polish partner very kindly agreed to host again as a substitute. Since Italy and Turkey had by now already used their mobility’s, Poland, France and the UK were the only partners taking part in this mobility. As such it was decided that it should be used as a rounding off and review of the project as a whole. The students produced some artwork that reflected the ethos of the Eco-Friends project.
We all enjoyed a visit to a local sugar beet factory where we were shown the new ecological methods of processing the water that is constantly being used within the factory. Cultural visits to Turun and Gdansk were both interesting and very enjoyable.