Le projet « Science in schools » – Semaine dédiée à la sécurité énergétique

Durant la semaine 24-28 novembre 2014, Katrina Adam et Jennifer Norris, chercheuses du Centre d’études doctorales sur les Technologies pauvres en carbone, au sein de la Faculté d’Ingénierie de l’Université de Leeds, ont organisé pour les élèves de 9 établissements martiniquais, dont 2 collèges et 7 lycées, des ateliers sur la thématique de l’énergie. Plus de 200 élèves ont bénéficié de ces ateliers. Leur intervention a consisté en  des exercices interactifs, en anglais, autour du thème de l’énergie : d’où elle vient, quels sont les problèmes qui entourent sa production actuelle, que peut-on faire pour en réduire sa consommation ?…

Chaque session a duré environ 3 heures et a permis aux élèves d’allier l’apprentissage scientifique lié au thème de l’énergie avec la pratique de la langue anglaise, en ayant pour objectif de les encourager  à réfléchir sur les problématiques liées à  l’énergie au regard de des actes quotidiens qu’ils posent . Les élèves se sont impliqués activement dans toutes les activités proposées :

–          Un quiz ayant pour but de les faire réfléchir sur l’utilisation de l’énergie dans leur vie quotidienne ainsi que sur les habitudes qui contribuent au réchauffement de la planète ;StJoseph3   –          Un exercice interactif sur les émanations de carbone des différents pays sur la planète;StJoseph6 StJoseph4 –          Un exercice complexe concernant les énergies renouvelables où chaque équipe représentait un pays.StJoseph7 StJoseph8 StJoseph5 Ces ateliers ont été très apprécié par les élèves et les professeurs qui ont tous plaidé en faveur de la reconduite du programme Science in Schools!StJoseph9

Interview de Katrina Adam :

1. Which are your impressions about the experience in Martinique?

It was a really valuable experience for me, and I really hope that it was as valuable for the participants in Martinique. Being on the island in schools for a week opened my eyes to a different perspective on the issues we were presenting, and I was blown away by the enthusiasm and hospitality of everybody we met, whether school children, teachers, representatives from DAREIC or the academy. I have already recommended to others that they should apply for the « Science in Schools » programme, and if they are lucky enough to be asked to go to Martinique they will have an amazing time. If I could change just one thing it would be that we were able to stay for longer and explore the island a little bit more.

2. Do you think that the pupils and/or teachers have difficulties to understand your instructions in English?

This varied. In some schools, both children and teachers had excellent English, and were able to quickly grasp instructions, and get on with the activities. In these schools the discussions prompted by the activities were extensive, and really added value to the sessions. However, even in schools where the level of English comprehension was slightly lower, we found that the activities were easily adaptable, and students were still able to grasp the key ideas. Some of the more complicated instructions needed several attempts to explain, but we usually managed to get there in the end. Translation was always a last resort, and very rarely required.

3. What do you think about the pupil’s attitude during your workshops?

Without exception the children were really enthusiastic, and after overcoming their initial shyness about conducting the session in English, they all tried really hard to communicate and complete all the activities. We had absolutely no behaviour issues during the week, with all the students getting really involved as the sessions went on. At times it was difficult to stop them!

4. What do you think about the teachers’ attitude during your workshops?

The teachers were really supportive of the activities in all the schools we visited. Some teachers observed, whereas others played a more active role. We found that sessions were enhanced where the teachers got more involved, perhaps prompting the students to think about issues in Martinique that we would not have identified otherwise. In addition, we felt that when the Science teachers were present they were able to help the students with some of the ideas we were discussing.

5. What do you think about the DAREIC team organization? Have they been helpful to you? In which terms?

We cannot fault the organisation of the DAREIC team. We had all the information we needed, and were looked after extremely well by all the representatives we met, both in schools and for other unexpected issues. We can’t thank you enough for the support you gave us, and you are a big part of why we would encourage other to apply. Specifically, the support by DAREIC in the classrooms, helping to translate and stepping in when the teachers were a little more reticent was a big part of why the sessions ran well, as well as supporting us through our nervousness in the first few sessions, and reassuring us of the culture and encouraging us to relax!!

6. Which aspects could be improved if we organize a new “Science in schools” experience next year in Martinique?

Very little could be improved upon, but perhaps once you know who is coming some direct contact in advance from DAREIC to the visitors would be valuable, and reassuring before departure. Once on the island everything was taken care of and really well organised, but we knew relatively little in advance of the trip (I think this is more to do with the British Council rather than DAREIC)! There really was very little more you could have done to help our trip go so smoothly.

Interview de Jennifer Norris :

1. Which are your impressions about the experience in Martinique?

Martinique is a beautiful island in the Caribbean, yet still feels distinctly like mainland France. I had a wonderful experience teaching our workshop over there and was very impressed by the level of both scientific and linguistic understanding of the students. Even where their English level was lower, they did not get frustrated and give up, they kept trying, it was really heart-warming. It was really interesting for me to see how the young people on an island viewed climate change and the possible solutions – some suggesting that renewable energy from wind would be of detriment to their island’s aesthetics and could hurt the economy through a lack of tourism. This is really in-depth thinking and shows a good understanding of the pros and cons of various energy generation techniques.

2. Do you think that the pupils and/or teachers have difficulties to understand your instructions in English?

I think it really varied between schools. They all tried very hard, which is all we could ask for. It just meant we had to rephrase our sentences in simpler English sometimes until it was accessible to them.

3. What do you think about the pupil’s attitude during your workshops?

Most of the time they were very well behaved and enthusiastic. I could tell that most of them were really interested and wanted to try really hard. They seemed to appreciate a bit of a shake-up in the style of teaching from us.

4. What do you think about the teachers’ attitude during your workshops?

The workshops worked best when the teachers got involved in the activities, but didn’t talk over us. Mostly they were great. The teacher’s in the Tuesday morning classes were really interested and joined in with the discussions.

5. What do you think about the DAREIC team organization? Have they been helpful to you? In which terms?

I think all the people from DAREIC that we met were amazing. I think they looked after us really well – shepherding us Brits around so that we didn’t get lost. I really appreciate all that DAREIC did for us on our trip and I hope that we will meet again soon.

6. Which aspects could be improved if we organize a new “Science in schools” experience next year in Martinique?

I think having more direct contact with DAREIC before we arrived would have been useful so that we knew more about the schools before arrival. However, I wouldn’t change anything else. It was an amazing experience and I was very sad to leave.