Learning about energy and environmental affairs, awakening the interest of students (and especially girls) in STEM subjects and careers, collaborative work and even learning basic Dutch by watching the Energy Future videos! Read in this interview with science teacher Mr Georgios Roungos, how Music school of Mytilene (Greece) took part and won the Energy future competition, organised by inGenious and Shell.
- Mr Roungos, how did you and your school find out about the Energy Future competition?
I participated in the other inGenious competitions 1 and 2 as well and when I read on the website about the Energy Future competition and presented the idea to the students, aged between 15 and 16 years old, they were very enthusiastic about it.
- What made the students interested in taking part in the Energy Future competition?
As finalist of the inGenious competition 1 I attended the STEM Educator Academy in Warsaw and took pictures of the Copernicus Science Centre. When I showed them the pictures, the idea of visiting a science museum was very appealing to my students and they became interested in taking part in the competition.
- What did the students like the most about the process of participating in the competition?
My students got interested in renewable sources of energy in response to environmental issues while working on the competition. Watching the videos and discussing the topic in the classroom has encouraged pupils to exchange ideas on environmental problems. It has given them a sense of responsibility and the wish to take action. The most amusing experience for the group was the moment of taking the tests, while the class was sharing the answers with the assigned student who undertook the role of submitting them online. I must admit that especially girls took the process more seriously and carried out the "tough job". No one expected to win, but they enjoyed the team work!
- Has the Energy Future competition sparked the interest of your students in STEM?
Yes, since this is a music school, the majority of the students are dedicated to music. They spend most of their day until say 5:00 PM to study music and practice their instruments and most of the students dream of a career in the music industry. In their curriculum they have about 15 hours per week dedicated to STEM subjects and they literally study STEM with a piano inside the classroom! But this competition has attracted their interest in the topic of energy and STEM in general and we are all looking forward to visit a science museum!
- Has the Energy Future competition benefited the students in any other way?
Well, a funny anecdote is that we sometimes had problems with the automatic subtitles of the videos, so the students tried to understand the narration in Dutch instead, combining their knowledge of English and German. So, you could say that the students had their first contact with the Dutch language too and gained some basic language skills (laughter)! This competition was also a way for me to get to know the students and come closer to them, since I am new in this school. I believe this activity has brought me together with them. But most important, since this school, like most European schools, lacks financial resources and we wouldn't be able afford an educational excursion otherwise, this prize will really make the difference for the students and give them new opportunities.
- Which science museum does the school plan to visit?
We are still undecided, but we want to consider all possibilities and see how we can make the most out of this visit for the school and involve as many students as possible. We will keep you posted and share our experiences with inGenious and Shell!
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