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IES Kista hosted a Six Country STEAM Project for Learning Through Technology

Vincent Villanueva and classmates working with robots during the STEAM project

Students from six European countries came to Internationella Engelska Skolan Kista for a week of learning through technology.

IES Kista is part of the Erasmus STEAM Embassies project and welcomed teachers and children from Turkey, Ireland, Romania, Latvia and Italy, who are collaborating to share their technology curriculum as the students all learn together.

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths, with the six schools taking part are focussing on the different areas.

The focus during the week at IES Kista was on technology, with students taking part in workshops and a science fair. Students also learnt about Scratch and Microbit programming as well as 3D printing.

Vincent Villanueva of class 7C at IES Kista said: “I am very glad that I took part in this project, it has been beneficial. Meeting people from other countries is interesting because they have a different way of learning. You get to teach them about your country and they teach you about theirs, it is an exchange of knowledge. The most interesting thing about any country is how it differs from yours.

“I have done a lot of coding and 3D printing. 3D printing is fun, it looks like the shapes will only exist in your computer, but when you print it out it is real and tangible.”

Carl-Johan Agebratt (pictured right, third from left) of class 8C at IES Kista also took part in the project. He said: “I have learnt a lot of things, with different points of view. I thought it would be about chemistry labs and white coats and not necessarily that I would meet a lot of interesting new people.

“When we went to Turkey we had a language barrier, because not many people knew English, so we had a barrier to cross or go around by pointing at things and using Google translate and having faith in each other.”

Students from other countries who came to visit IES Kista enjoyed their stay at the school and the chance to learn more about technology, as well as about life in Sweden.

Andreea Mogosanu from Romania said: “It is great here, they have a lot of new things that we don’t have in Romania. I like to see other countries, I can make new friends and try my English with others. I can explore the culture of other countries, how everything works in schools.

“I learned how to make programmes and how to work with new inventions, it could be good for a future career, I would like to do something that involves technology and maths.”

IES Kista welcomed visitors from five other international schools during the STEAM project
 

Curtis Nolan (above, second from right), 11, visited IES Kista from Ireland.  He said: “Everybody is so different, but also the same, everyone has their own cultural and religious ways.  I enjoyed 3D printing, I like maths and code.  Making new things and having them appear in front of your eyes is rewarding.”

IES Kista’s Head of Science, Mr Joshua Houpt, said: “The visiting kids learned more about science and technology, and also have lived in another country for a week.

“When IES Kista visited the school taking part from Turkey the students stayed with host families, so they got to experience what life and education are like in that country, and to get a different perspective on the world. By the end of the week they were drinking Turkish tea with the family and communicating in English.”

Students from the various countries, including those from IES Kista, will meet again in Ireland in June for the next stage of the project.

IES Students Excel in Language Contest

Winners: (L-R) Marc Tudosiou, Linus Widell and teacher Ms Dykes of IES Lund, following their victory in the IL Competition Spanish Contest.

Students from IES schools have shown that they can command more than the English and Swedish languages.

During the Swedish final of the International Language Competition, students from IES Karlstad took the first prize in French for those under 16 while the team from IES Lund performed best in Spanish.

The contest was held at the end of March at Malmö Latinskola and students were tested on their vocabulary, grammar and cultural understanding during the contest.  

Linus Widell, of grade eight at IES Lund, is one of the students who won the Spanish contest.  He said: “Speaking other languages is important because you learn about different cultures and you can communicate with people from around the world. Spanish is spoken by almost 500 million people so it’s a big advantage to be able to speak this language.  We are looking forward to the language trip to Spain that we won."

His team-mate Marc Tudosiou of grade nine said: “Our teacher said that we should enter the contest. We prepared at lessons during fall and then in week six we did the first try-outs.

“We all had to answer 80 questions online and we were the top two students in our class. We qualified for the regional finals and won and then went for the nationals.

"There were a lot of different questions and we had only 12 seconds to think about the answer so it was a bit stressful but also fun.”

The team from IES Karlstad took first place in the French contest.

Winner Adam Höög said: “Our biggest challenge by far was competing against Franska Skolan in the national finals. In the qualification tests that took place before the regional finals, Franska Skolan had an average score that was around 10 points higher than ours, so our hopes of defeating them and winning were low.

“To overcome this challenge, I made sure to study every piece of trivia I could think of in order to stand any kind of chance against them.”

His team-mate Isak Wikström had advice for anyone thinking of taking part. He said: “Focus a lot on the general trivia about French-speaking countries. A third of the questions are about trivia. Also be careful about trick questions where similar words are used, for example the French words for advocate and avocado - avocat and avocad. 

“Languages provide you with opportunities for future work in other countries and they open new doors to different kinds of knowledge. It is also really fun to learn other languages. ”

A student from IES Umeå, Michael Yates of class 8B, also took first prize in the contest for those with English as their home language (Modersmål). 

He said: "I speak English at home and it seemed only natural that I would take part. I thought it would be interesting to enter the competition and have a go, and it seemed like a fun challenge. I was very surprised when it turned out I had won, at first I didn't believe it. My family were very pleased with me, and quite proud."

Other IES schools performed well in the contest including a second place in German from IES Umeå, third in English from IES Linköping, and third and fourth places in Swedish from IES Hässleholm and IES Johanneberg.  IES Sundsvall came third in French, while IES Hässleholm came seventh.  The Spanish contest saw IES Gävle in third place and IES Hässleholm in fifth place.

Teachers Appreciated at IES Uppsala

(L-R: Hilde Allen, Johanna Sundqvist, Meena Strömqvist and Cecilia Marlow at a breakfast in honour of teachers)

Teacher Appreciation Week at IES Uppsala began with a luxurious breakfast in honour of teachers, arranged by the PTA.

The annual event was started at IES Uppsala by parent Meena Strömqvist, and is now in its fifth year.

Ms Strömqvist said: “Both my children have been students here, with one graduating last year.  When they were both here at the same time, I thought it would be fun to initiate Teacher Appreciation Week as a new tradition.

“We have different themes each year, with this year being ‘Around the World’. With all the fun things that happen during the week, the teachers, I am told, feel uplifted and appreciated.”

Teachers at IES Uppsala enjoy their breakfast

Science teacher Johanna Sundqvist enjoyed the breakfast with her colleagues. She said: “It’s special, it really makes us feel that the parents appreciate us and see what we do. It’s a reminder that we do something good. If other teachers saw what was happening they might want to come and work here because the parents appreciate us.”

Teacher Appreciation Week is full of activities, including a dress-up day, a basketball game between teachers and students, and a day for students to show their appreciation by bringing in flowers, cards, and home-made treats.

Students also decorate their mentors' classroom doors with posters they have designed, reflecting the contribution of the teacher to their lives.

At the end of the week there will be a fruit and chocolate event, where teachers can sample chocolate from around the world.

Speaking to the teachers as they enjoyed their breakfast, the school’s principal Hilde Allen said: “Events like this are just one of the ways that families show their appreciation.  I hear from parents all the time who want to tell me how much they appreciate everything that you do.

"I received an email before sportlov from a parent, about her girl who graduated last year, and how well prepared she feels for gymnasiet. We hear this often from students who come back and say: ‘it was tough but you prepared us so well’.

"I had another email over sportlov from one of our junior school parents who was also very appreciative of the work that you all do. You are doing an absolutely fantastic job. You are the ones who make this school such a fantastic place to learn.”

Cecilia Marlow, acting CEO of IES, also addressed the teachers.  She said: “I was so happy when I heard about this wonderful initiative, to celebrate our fantastic teachers, and I certainly hope we will see this in more of our schools. Our teachers are the ones that make a difference to our students, every single day, every single hour. I would really like to thank everyone involved in this week- the teachers for their dedication to learning, and the parents for recognising those efforts."

Maths Gold for IES Uppsala Student

An IES Uppsala student has been crowned Sweden’s best mathematician after victory in a national contest.

Year nine student David Mörtberg recorded a near perfect score in the Högstadiets Matematiktävling, when he dropped only one point out of 42.  Three other IES students were also in the top 20. Erik Bryland of IES Lund came joint eighth, Kian Esfandiari of IES Uppsala came 13th and Vidar Gustafsson of IES Nacka came joint 17th.

The competition is open to anyone attending compulsory school and tests students’ logical thinking, problem solving, and ability to express themselves in mathematical language.

Speaking after his victory, David said: “This was my third time in the contest.  In year seven I reached the finals, in year eight I came fourth, and now in year nine I won. In earlier years I found algebra and geometry hard, but this time I was only one point away from a full score.

"I was so happy to have won, they list the winners from the bottom to the top, so I realised I had probably won when they gave the award to the person who came second, but I didn’t know for sure.  My mother was the happiest person, maybe even happier than me, because she has been the person really pushing me to do maths, which is a positive thing.”

David has enjoyed mathematics ever since he was a small child and has always been keen to see how far he could go.

He said:  "I have been interested in maths for a very long time. In kindergarten I liked counting, and in year one, two and three I always wanted an extra challenge; so in year three I could go up to year four and do their maths.

“This year, so far, I have taken one gymnasiet maths course and I am now taking the next one. So I can start with maths 3C right away when I get to gymnasiet. Maybe I can do university mathematics during year three of gymnasiet, and maybe I can take other courses at gymnasiet as well."

“Competitions like this provide a challenge for the better students. For students who need the challenge it is great that this exists.  It shows the top students that they can compete with others, you can show that you are really at the top.  It can give an extra motivation to do maths. Maybe I don’t need more motivation, but it is still fun to know that this competition exists.”

The head of maths for IES Uppsala, Mr Hedgepeth, added: “I think that David is a prime example of perseverance, work ethic and growth mindset.  He has become more confident and more humble with his mathematics, he understands he has a real skill. If he fails he looks at it is a need to find another way, so he views failure as one step closer to the solution.

"He is good, he keeps you on your toes as a teacher. It might sound odd to say, but I like it on the rare occasions he makes a mistake because then I get to teach him something. He watches me in class as well, he is always quick to point out any small mistakes especially with the lengths of my triangles."

David and other mathematicians at IES Uppsala are now preparing for their next challenge, the Pythagoras Quest competition, which will run during the spring term.

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