eCity Final Event in Volos, Greece (October 2015)
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Final eCity Project Event 

Volos, October 1 and 2, 2015

The final project eCity event was organized on October 1 and 2 by the University of Thessaly in collaboration with all partners. The purpose of the event was to expose the target group of higher education learners, teachers, and policy makers to the project objectives, rationale, and activities as well as to an almost finished version of the eCity serious game for building STEM skills.

The event activities were organized around 2 tangents. On the one hand, the activities targeted high schools, including learners and teachers, who took part in a games-fest during which participants actively used the eCity serious game. The games-fest took place on October 1st and 2nd. A number of schools participated from the town on Volos, where the event was organized, as well as the towns of Trikala and Karditsa in western Thessaly. The participation of learners from several towns ensured the exposure of a wide audience to project outcomes. In addition, it is worth noting that some of the schools were general high schools while other were vocational high schools thus exposing learners with different interests and prospective career orientations to the eCity serious game and other outcomes.

The schools that participated in the games-fest were the Vocational High School of Agria (a small town outside of Volos), the 1st Lower High School of Volos, the 3rd Lower High school o Trikala, the 3rd Upper High School of Trikala, the 4th Lower High School of Karditsa, the 5th Upper High School of Karditsa, and the 8th Upper High School of Trikala. The total number of learners that participated in the games-fest on the 2 days of the games-fest was approximately 125. The learners were accompanied by their teachers. The total number of teachers that participated in the activities was 8. It is important to note that the schools received permission by the Educational Authorities of the area of Thessaly to participate in the event as an extra-curricular educational activity, which demonstrates the acceptance of the eCity serious game and other outcomes by educational policy makers.

During the games-fest the learners practiced with the eCity game. With the support of 10 of University of Thessaly students the learners explored game activities, including the energy activity and the earthquake protection activity. Learners had the opportunity to be exposed to physics education concepts from an engineering point of view assuming roles such as urban designer, electrical engineer, and others. Learners developed insight on how electricity is distributed to a town buildings taking into account capacity, different voltages required for different types of public services, unexpected events that render electricity production units out of order thus introducing the need of redundancy in power supply grid design, and more. They further had the opportunity to think about physical phenomena such as fault lines and to explore the role of an engineer that designs building for maximizing protection of residents from earthquakes.

Both learners and teachers were particularly engaged by the eCity serious game. They commented on the direct relevance of the game to school activities on STEM as well as the high degree of correlation of game activities to local community interests that revolve around game scenarios.

Once the games-fest was completed, a second event took place on the evening of October 2nd. The event was a 2 hour seminar targeting teachers and policy makers directly promoting the eCity project and its outcomes. During the event the audience had the opportunity to be exposed to the rationale of the project and the activities that took place for addressing STEM needs in secondary education, to explore design aspects of the game, to experience a live demo of the serious game, and to participate in a conversation among the eCity consortium members and participants on how to enhance STEM education through serious games. The event was supported by the Educational Authorities of the area of Thessaly, demonstrating the acceptance of the eCity project. The authorities promoted the event through their portal and sent invitations to schools in the towns of Thessaly to participate. The event was very well attended by approximately 150 individuals and generated genuine interest in project outcomes and potential continuation post project completion. The audience participants expressed interest not only on the eCity serious game but on the proposed problem-and game-based learning design in general. Audience members commented on the applicability of the proposed methodology not only in secondary education but also in engineering higher education and beyond.

Due to the actual interest generated, the event will be followed by a teacher training seminar that is to take place on December 7, 2015 at the University of Thessaly under the auspices of the Secondary Education Administration of the area of Magnesia, Thessaly for further training teachers on game deployment in classroom settings.


eCity Presentation at Scientix-Meeting

eCity was also presented in Madrid in Congreso Nacional Scientix on the 24th and 25th October in Alcobendas (Madrid) del Museo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología.  Around 200 participants attended the Meeting that was followed by members of other European Scientix groups.

eCity was presented by members of DICEMA-UAM that are collaborating with UV in the dissemination of eCity. 

Members of DICEMA. (Didactic of Experimental Science and Mathematics)
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Copyright © 2015 Virtual Campus Lda., All rights reserved.

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