From June 26 to July 7, 2017, the Net Medial Lab of the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications organized a Summer e-Challenge School for young people aged 13 to 16 years. The Summer School was organized under the Erasmus+ Project “SeC: Summer eChallenge: Acquiring Soft & Digital Skills Through Non-formal Free-Time Practices”.
Four organizations from four European countries participated in the “SeC: Summer eChallenge” project, namely:
– Make it Better (MiB) – Portugal
– National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos” – Greece
– Euni Partners – Bulgaria
– Emphasys Centre – Cyprus
The main purpose of this program was to plan, implement and evaluate a summer program for young people aged 13 to 16 years, utilizing the long summer vacation period in order to lead to the acquisition, recognition and validation of skills acquired through non-formal learning. The skills acquired are useful for the future adult and academic lives of the participants. Through their participation in this summer program, students had the opportunity to gain a combination of soft skills, abilities, knowledge and attitudes that are considered necessary for their personal integration and development, active participation and inclusion in society and their future employment.
The “SeC: Summer eChallenge” program is in fact a non-competitive, voluntary, flexible, non-formal educational program, oriented to the personal development of young people (13 to 16 years). The activities provided by the program, through the summer school organized within it, are holistic and IT-oriented, in order for participants to recognize and validate their core competencies and skills and develop personal qualities that are not highlighted in formal education. This way, young people will be guided in an effective and constructive way towards a better career choice by bridging the gap between their knowledge and skills and the demands of the labor market.
Three (3) teachers and nineteen (19) pupils aged between 13 and 16 participated in the SeC: Summer eChallenge School. The lessons were held daily from 10:00-17:00 at the Teaching Room of the Educational Building of NCSR “Demokritos”. Within the courses various fields were approached such as Entrepreneurship, Programming and Robotics. Special emphasis was placed on the development of students’ soft skills. Students were able to work on both practical and more theoretical subjects, cooperate in groups and participate in various educational activities. In addition, within the framework of the Summer School, discussions and activities related to Vocational Guidance were held to help students in the future choice of studies and career.
An e-platform (http://summerchallenge.iit.demokritos.gr/) was developed to support the Summer School. The platform was used as an e-class, in order to organize and make course material available and to facilitate communication between participants.
Finally, within the framework of the Summer School, some additional Educational Activities were organized. The first concerned a speech about the Demokritos’ Research Nuclear Reactor by one of its operators, Mr. Yannis Tsourounakis, and aimed at bringing students in contact with the concept of Nuclear Physics, Chemistry and Energy in general, to inform them and maybe attract their attention to these fields. The second concerned a teleconference that took place between the students and the teachers of Greece and Cyprus. Through the videoconference, Greek and Cypriot participants had the opportunity to get to know each other and exchange experiences about the Summer Program and the Summer School.
SeC: Summer eChallenge Project Websitehttp://summerchallenge.eu/SeC: Summer eChallenge on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Summer.e.Challenge/