Right before Christmas Mazsalaca secondary school students and teachers had a chance not only to learn more about local entrepreneurship and making wax candles but also to try their hand at the craft. The task required certain skills and technical precision so there would be no leak. Under the guidance of Dace Stepanova and students from grade 7: Mārcis Stepanovs and Matīss Meinards Puķulauks the result was worth the effort and we could share the joy with 35 retired former teachers and employees who received the wax candles as a Christmas gift.
Erasmus+ project “Young Entrepreneurs – Learning from Experience”.
This time the Learning visit took place in sunny Portugal. The way to get there was long but no wonder as it has the ancient ‘end of the world’. While waiting for the flights we managed to get to know Frankfurt better and visited the panorama platform of a sky-scraper.
Moimenta da Beira is a small town about 160km from Porto. During our stay we saw the area with spectacular famous Duoro region, mountains, caves, Nazare on the Atlantic Ocean, which holds world records for the highest waves surfed. And it is by far not everything.
To learn about the regional entrepreneurship, we visited one of the main granite factories in Portugal, local vineyard-farm-cooperative where they produce wine, apple processing cooperative. In Duoro region we visited a vineyard farm that Forbes announced to be the best. In addition, we could also learn the local craft by picking grapes alongside other workers in a local teacher Torcato’s vineyard. It was an amazing chance and experience. We had to admit that the grapes there outside in the sun tasted better than the grapes in our shops. During the visit we also saw a former hydro power plant, nature centre and a museum of bread. We got to know their study process and organisation better. Now we wish we had as much fruit for lunch as in our partnerschool. There were also 2 concerts by their student bands and we spent an evening on school grounds watching stars with the school’s telescope.
During the week in Moimenta da Beira, students also worked on the project themes: presented their homework, presentations, discussed about social inclusion and what is done in each partnerschool. There were interesting ideas to listen to and think how they could be implemented also in ours. On the last day students drew kerchiefs and brought them to an organisation that helps people with mental disabilities. Portuguese school also demonstrated some technical projects what their students are working on. The result can help children with special needs.
The week was full of exciting activities and we did not even notice how it was over. We are grateful to our Portuguese hosts, both school and families for their warm hospitality and the chance to learn about their country.
As part of our school’s Erasmus+ project “Young Entrepreneurs – Learning by Experience” on 29th June - 4th July our teachers Zane Luste and Vineta Tiltiņa as well as two teachers from each of the participating countries - Greece, Estonia, Belgium, Portugal - attended the 2nd TPM in Tamsalu in Estonia.
The goal of the teachers’ meeting was to evaluate the previous two learning visits to Greece and to Mazsalaca, analyzing the questionnaires completed by teachers, students and host families. The teachers from all partner countries planned the next 3 student learning visits in 2018/19 school year to Portugal, Estonia and Belgium. They also reviewed the goals of the project, what has been achieved so far and planned the work on themes and upcoming project activities.
Estonian colleagues had planned not only meeting sessions but also a school tour and a meeting with the principal. The teachers also managed to see the recently built modern school near Tamsalu for children with special needs. To make sure that the students’ learning visit in January would be successful, the participants were brought to evaluate some of the planned places and activities. In Forest school teachers had to recognize animals by their fur, in Rakvere castle they made gunpowder, visited torture chambers and even hell. The Captain village surprised with its story about its former courage and wealth: 17 steamships. That's why we already know that our students will visit these places.
Erasmus+ project’s “Young Entrepreneuers – Learning by Experience” 2nd study visit took place in Mazsalaca’s Secondary school from 3rd to 11th May. Mazsalaca Secondary school hosted guests from partner schools in Tamsalu in Estonia, Volos in Greece, Mechelen in Belgium and Moimenta da Beira in Portugal.
The visit started with an introduction to Riga. On the 4th May guests had a chance to learn about Latvian history and the meaning of independence by visiting “The corner house” (KGB) and different events in Riga. After that followed a day dedicated to entrepreneurship around Valmiera. In the time of the visit guests got to know our school, went to some classes. One day was devoted to the homework presentations which helped us to learn what each school has done for the project. The schools had organised different workshops for the students, one of which sold the self-made items and spent the money on paints so they could improve their school’s rooms.
The guests at our school and the participants of the project had a chance to try making soap and wax candles, which they kept as souvenirs. Workshops were splendidly held by student entrepreneuers Diāna Varga, Aleksandra Kauliņa, Mārcis Stepanovs and Matīss Puķulauks, thanks to their teacher Kaspars Vāle. The participants were just as happy about the chance to make their own silver jewellery at Baltu Rotas and a cane at a cane workshop in Sigulda. Thanks to Staicele weaver house for the opportunity to try weaving and the chance to see their ‘artwork’.
Participants of the project went on learning trips to get to know the local entrepreneuers, get some ideas that they can give further in their own schools. Thanks to Maer Ltd in Mazsalaca, Aloja-Starkelsen Ltd, “Lielkalni” farm in Ungurpils, captain Vairis in Staicele and Helmuts Bondars for the video stories.
On the last day of the visit participants were working on presentations and watched a mother’s day concert. In the evening participants shared their experience and impressions: food and eating habits are different; Latvia has nature; people take care of the environment, it is very neat. Students said that they liked the classes as well as just spending time together, both – by the sea, and in Mazsalaca. Locals admitted that the little town seemed more lively with 17 foreign students.
Thank you very much to host families and the employees of school for the co-operation both – getting ready for the project and hosting the guests.
As part of our school’s Erasmus+ project “Young Entrepreneurs – Learning by Experience” (23rd - 27th October) our teachers Zane Luste and Vineta Tiltiņa attended the 1st TPM in Moimenta da Beira in Portugal.
The goal of the teachers’ meeting was to plan the work on themes and upcoming project activities, where the 1st learning visit will take place in Volos, Greece from 20th – 26th February, 2018.
The teachers from all partner countries discussed also the 2nd learning visit which will take place in Latvia in May 2018. Mazsalaca Secondary school will be the host then.
Apart from the upcoming activites, teachers worked on the assesment tools which will help evaluate our project activities.
Erasmus+ “Young Entrepreneurs –Learning by Experience”
Hurray! 01.09.2017 -31.08.2019 with the help of Erasmus+ our school will have an opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship, social entreprenurship, social inclusion and integration as well as practice English and learn about the cultures and languages of our new Erasmus+ partnerschools: from Volos in Greece, Moimenta da Beira in Portugal, Mechelen in Belgium and Tamsalu in Estonia.
See you soon in Greece!!!
From 20th to 26th February, 2018 our students and accompanying teachers are going to meet the partnerschools at the 1st learning visit in Volos, Greece.