The 2nd transnational learning and training meeting took place in Estonia from 5th to 12th May 2018. Five students from the robotics team of our school accompanied by three teachers travelled to Europe’s most digitally advanced country. It is also a country with a very fruitful educational system. Estonia holds the 3rd place in PISA ranking, which is an international programme for the evaluation of students conducted every three years. In fact Estonia is higher than Finland, which appears in the 5th place.
Our students were taught from the Estonian friends about how to use robotics in various subjects (music, geography, maths) and how to even use robotics outside the school classroom: during a trip by the lake, in nature! From our part we taught the Estonians how to programme robots in the Lego Mindstorms ev3 platform.
We visited Tartu University, dating back to 1632, and we got informed about the technological developments and achievements of students and researchers in the field of Internet of Things. Another interesting visit was the one in the Centre for Biorobotics. We saw robots inspired from animals not only in terms of appearance but also of functionality. They look like fish or turtles and they are used in the study of natural phenomena lik whirlpools, in the exploration of the sea bed as well as shipwrecks. We played and we experimented in Science Centre AHHAA located in Tartu and Energy Discovery Centre in Tallinn.
Apart from our partner school we visited two more: Tamme Gymnasium and Lähte Gümnaasium where we created electrical circuits and printed 3d objects. Last but not least we toured Tartu, Estonia’s cultural centre, and Tallinn, the capital, whose Old Town is one of the best preserved in Europe and therefore is protected as part of our heritage by UNESCO.
This proved a lifetime experience for our students: they came back full of knowledge on robots, knowledge on a different culture, with broader horizons and stronger bonds of friendship with their Estonian friends. What really struck them was how peaceful life in Estonia is: everything seems to work perfectly, in order, in a clean and tidy school which is fully equipped.