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Posted on: 30/03/2016

STEM Erasmus Spanish Exchange – March 2016

Loreto Grammar School (and IES David Bujan Galicia, Spain) were awarded an Erasmus + Grant to enable student mobility between the 2 schools. Under Key Action 2 schools can apply for funding to work in partnership with organisations from other participating countries to focus on sharing, developing and transferring innovative practices in education between participating countries. Both schools were extremely proud to be awarded the grant to work on projects to engage the brightest young minds.
 
Brilliant young Loreto girls have won major categories in the last three years in the National Teen Tech Awards awards for some ingenious STEM projects, conceived, researched and brought to prototype under the guidance of National (Expert STEM Teacher) Elaine Manton, who is Loreto's STEM Coordinator and won Teen Tech Teacher of the Year in 2014.
 
Last year winning in the Digital Skills category were Lucy O’Donnell and Josie Woolham both 15 from Timperley, who designed an online chemistry experiment website and in the Wearable Technology category 13-year-old Emma Doherty, who designed a set of photosensitive glasses to minimise the susceptibility epileptics have to seizure in bright light.
 
Now 25 students from IES David Bujan, Cambre Galicia in North-West Spain have come as part of a European funded project Erasmus + KA2 to see the Altrincham schools STEM Club at work. Then over Easter the Loreto girls will go to Spain to learn from the Spanish approach and take in the culture and customs of north-west Spain, while learning the benefits of Citizen Science as a way to contribute to a community and engage more students in STEM subjects.
 
Gloria Guindos, 16, from the David Bujan School in Galicia said: “In Spain we spend more time on theory but here there is much more practical work and I really enjoy that. It's more exciting and engaging than just theory. Plus we wish to learn from the Loreto Grammar School students about their innovative STEM projects and how this has impacted uptake of STEM for careers”.
 
Spanish science teacher Jose Vinas said: “Even in Spain we have heard about Mrs Manton’s STEM success and how she goes about teaching STEM so it is a pleasure to come and sit in on her lessons and lunchtime STEM Clubs. We will be seeking to introduce the best practice we have witnessed here in Altrincham as soon as possible.”
 
Mrs Manton said: “It's very much a two way relationship with the British learning from the Spanish and vice versa. What is important is that we are encouraging more and more young women to look at careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Currently only 10% of senior positions in STEM related industries are held by women and that means that not only are young women missing out, but the country is all the poorer for under-using this fabulous talent pool.”
 
Loreto pupil Jiya Jiyo, 14, who wants to be an air traffic controller, said: “I am really looking forward to seeing how science is taught in Spain and the importance of Citizen Science projects and have enjoyed making new friends from another country this week.”
Pictured from left to right are Mrs Manton, Jiya Jiyo, Gloria Guindos and Jose Vinas.  
 
Spanish science
 

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