A Tale of Two Cities – Year 2 Spets project
27 januari, 2017
Student authors of this blog post are: Anna Winberg, Astrid Körmendi, Clara Bergström, Ellinor Myrman and Liv Havander
Every year after Christmas break VRG Djursholm has two weeks reserved from regular school work. These two weeks are often referred to as “the Project weeks”. During the Project weeks each class is given a specific and relevant subject to work with, a subject that also suits the class’ program. Together with the group from the class that one has been divided into, we students get to plan our two weeks by ourselves. The group has their own responsibility how to research within their subject and the research is commonly done by conducting interviews with the public and talking to experts within the field. This year SPSE18a (Spets class year two) worked within the Natural Science and Leadership & Organisation courses. During the second Project week the class got the opportunity to travel to London in order to compare the research made in Stockholm to research in London city.
The subject our class was given was sustainability and our task was to compare Stockholm and London from a sustainable perspective. This subject is highly relevant in today’s society. Some of the topics that the groups worked with is green commuting, urban planning and public recreational areas. The topics were to be researched through fieldwork and then presented to the class. Within Natural Science course, a report comparing the two cities will be written by each group. Within the Leadership & Organisation course we were writing everyday-reflections regarding our own and others’ leadership during the two weeks.
So, what have we practically been doing during the Project weeks? Before Christmas, the groups started researching their topics and gathering background information, in order to make the coming Project weeks as productive as possible. After one week of fieldwork in Stockholm, the week in London was introduced with a guided tour around the city showing us and explaining several sustainable buildings and projects. During the rest of the week in London the class did similar activities to the guided tour in all-class group, in all different
kinds of environments in the city. These activities were very interesting as we got to see various sides of London as well as understanding the importance of sustainability to a city. Just like in Stockholm the groups continued fieldwork-research regarding their topic and were able to decide which places to visit, when not participating in all-class activities. Another activity that was conducted was visiting the sustainable urban planning, the “Crystal Museum” where we learned more about the process of building a more sustainable city. The visit to Crystal gave us more insight about the impact of our everyday actions on the earth’s resources. Many of us went with the Emirates Airline’s air lift over The Thames – fantastic.
Not only has the experience the class received in London created a great memory for us, but it was also very educational. One of VRG’s beliefs is “learning by doing” and this is precisely what we have done during these project weeks. Traveling to London as a class has taught us more about what team building is like. In our individual groups, we got to reflect about our own leadership-style which was a practical way of understanding the material in the course. While in London, we got to practice own responsibility and independence. We had to navigate through the city on our own behalf – a practice that will benefit us all in the future.
Lastly, Spse18a are very thankful to everyone involved in planning and organizing the project and the trip. Afterwards, it has been noticeable that the week together with the class in London has brought us closer together and it has definitely affected the class spirit positively. We feel like VRG is a school which gives opportunities to its students, with engaging teachers willing to involve in these kinds of activities. We are very glad with the memories and experiences the two educational Project weeks and the trip to London has given the class.
(Special note: this class even had time to celebrate three birthdays during their trip!)