The prize ceremony, celebrating the winners and runners-up of eTwinning prizes in 6 categories, was hosted by Irene Pateraki. Cecile Le Clerq, eTwinning Senior Expert, Micheal Teutsch, Head of Unit at DG EAC and Florence Mondin, Head of Unit for DG EACEA were also present to give winners their prizes and congratulate them on their hard work. All hosts emphasised how impressed they were with how the winners put the students at the centre of the learning process.
They also noted how teachers prioritised hot topics issues, such as climate change and misinformation, as their regular project activities. When awarding the Runners-Up in the 12–15 age category, Mondin said, ‘We heard about mutual respect, understanding, teamwork; this is exactly what an eTwinning project is meant for.’
Age Category 0–6:
Winner – STEAM Preschool Academy: the winning project included teachers and students from Estonia, Greece, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey. ‘In our project, students learned how to create fairy tales with other children. We wrote the stories together and after that we programmed the robots’, explained teacher Jelena Rattik from Estonia. Students also said they were happy learning with students from other countries. A student from Estonia said he learned ‘to make friends with friends’.
Runners-Up – Engineers of the Ecosystem: involving teachers and students from Poland, Turkey and Spain, Engineers of the Ecosystem aims to raise students’ awareness about ‘engineering in harmony with nature’. Project activities included redesigning animal nests and creating students’ own ecological houses. Ayfer Ekiz, a teacher from Turkey, says the project enabled students to ‘work together for a common cause and to get to know different countries.’
Age Category 7-11:
Winner – eTwinners as Pros: this project, including teachers and students from Croatia, Greece and Spain, aimed to present students with multiple career options. Sara, an eTwinning student from Croatia, said ‘In an eTwinning class, I met new people from other countries.’ Media literacy was also a key element of the project; students prepared peer learning sessions on how to be good digital natives.
Runners-Up – Around the World with Friends: in this project, students from Poland and Spain learned about ITE and English through the use of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. While students were reading the book, they not only worked on improving their English skills, but they also learned about geography and facts about new countries. Aimar, student from Spain, said by working with students from other countries, ‘We learned from their customs, culture and we learn to respect differences.’
Age Category 12-15:
Winner – The “DISCONNECT”: the winning project included teachers and students from Georgia, Spain, Germany and Italy. Students read and analysed The Disconnect by Keren David. Students posted in forums to facilitate discussion about the events in each chapter. Students say that one of the most important things that they learned was to “be open and see the other side”.
Runners-Up – On The Edge: this project, involving teachers and students from Finland, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Romania, aimed to connect learning to the real world. The project put students in international teams where they worked on experiments and heard lectures from experts. One student said that the difference between a normal and eTwinning classroom is the ‘collaboration between students and the teacher.’
Age Category 16-19:
Winner - eTw T-R-A-I-N: students from Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Spain participated by going on an eTw-Train across Europe. Divided into international groups of 10, each group focused on a different topic. Aside from playing games, students also participated in challenges, such as creating a fake new detector. ‘It was a very cooperative project because we got to exchange opinions with other students’, said Ainara, a student from Spain
Runners-Up – A Speech Which can Reach: the project, included students from Croatia, Italy, Slovakia and Turkey, and focused on improving students’ English and debating skills. Students chose debate topics and prepared for them together. They carried out research and fact checking of sources. Students said they not only valued understanding the difference between cultures, but also ‘the common terrain between us, such as the values and ideas about democracy.’
Winner – Solutions Against Greenhouse Effect (SAGE): the two-year Erasmus+ project, including students and teachers from France and Slovenia, focused on understanding the causes and consequences of the Greenhouse Effect. For example, they explored facts about weather changes in their countries. Later, they worked in groups to research different potential solutions to global warming. The project culminated with students building their own greenhouse.
Congratulations to all prize winners: through these projects, it can be seen how eTwinning prepares students for the challenges they will face in the future.
‘You always have to keep in mind that what is more important, what is more valuable in eTwinning is the great opportunity you give to your students to meet, share European values and to collaborate and create common outcomes with their peers’, said Irene Pateraki, Pedagogical Manager.