Photographers Best Friend

Photographers Best Friend

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by Jakub Józefczuk
Primary School no. 1 in Bieruń (former Gimnazjum no. 2 im. św. Walentego w Bieruniu)

Coordinating teacher: Anna Wadas

Travel broadens the mind” it is usually said, when one packs his or her suitcase and hits the road, but this time we could become more open-minded people without leaving our hometown Bieruń (Poland), thanks to two guests, who visited our school in May - Kubra from Turkey and Munisch from India. They visited Poland as volunteers of AIESEC, which is the international organisation of young people, who work on global issues and focus on developing leadership skills and student exchange programmes. As one of the goals of this organisation is cross-cultural understanding, our guests’ task was to present their culture to Polish students.

      Kubra, a student of Communication Technology, came to Poland in May, which this year was exceptionally chilly, it was about 9 degrees Celsius during day, she felt really cold, it was like a middle of a winter for her. She told us that the temperature in Adana (a town in the south of the country) reaches up to 50 degrees Celsius, what is shocking to us, because when the temperature is around 30 degrees in Bieruń we’re dying and we call it a heat wave.
 Kubra showed us a multimedia presentation about her country – she talked about geography,  traditional cuisine, music, holidays and habits. What is more, she involved us in some activities, some of students put on traditional clothes, some were learning how to dance a Turkish folk dance.
Turkey is quite well-liked holiday destination for Poles, but still some customs are not so apparent to us – for example, people in Turkey celebrate Children's Day, but also Youth and Sport Day – which is rather for teenagers.  Kebab, a typical Turkish fast food is popular among young people in Poland, but menemen or köfte are practically unknown. We have learnt that Turkey is a country of cultural disparity - on one hand some people follow traditional way of life - wear hijab, celebrate traditional holidays, and on the other hand some Turkish people are more cosmopolitan and are inspired by Turkish Eurovision winner - Sertab Erener, who loves wearing low-cut dresses. The above example might be shallow, but it illustrates clearly attitude towards lifestyle. Turkey as each country is much more intricate then the stereotypes about it.

     Our second guest, Munich came to Bieruń from India, which is quite exotic and distant country for us. Munich was raised in the south of India, but now he studies in the north. He told us not only about his education, family, but also about India, its administrative division, population, famous tourist attractions, religion and some curiosities. What is quite unusual to us is the fact that Hindu people believe in a circular rather than a linear concept of time.

     The fact that Indians don’t use cutlery was astonishing for us as well, although during his visit in Europe, Munich did use them when he was eating. Next, we have learnt about Sikhs – who do not worship any god but a book. Munich told us a romantic story of Taj Mahal – which is UNESCO’s Heritage Site.
     The best part of his meetings was when he translated our names into Hindi, we found the letters peculiarly decorative. In addition, Munich taught us a few basic phrases in Hindi, for example numbers, greetings, etc. After lessons many pupils while passing by our guest in the corridor were saying NAMASTE (Indian greeting)! It was a lot of fun!
     All students (including me) were really excited and content that someone from different side of the world came, just hung out with us, and taught us in an innovative way things about their countries. We appreciate that we had such an opportunity.
A Trip into the Past: Monterozzi Necropolis

A Trip into the Past: Monterozzi Necropolis

By Miguel Núñez García, 3rd year ESO A. 
A group of students from I.E.S. de Catabois in Ferrol have travelled to Bassano Romano in Italy as part of an exchange of students during the present scholastic year 2018/2019. One of the most interesting places we visited during our stay was the town of Tarquinia and the Etrurian necropolis of Monterozzi, which is located in the town outskirts.
Monterozzi has about 6,000 tombs which are classified as: external tombs or underground chamber tombs. The external ones are more ancient and display funny shapes as if they were huge mush-rooms of the Boletus family. The corpse of the dead was incinerated and the ashes were put in clay made funerary urns which were kept inside the stoned-coffin like the one in the photograph.

The underground chamber tombs are decorated with beautiful paintings because rich or noble people were buried there. Magic or religious scenes were often depicted in the paintings of the chambers as well as representations of funerary banquets and other festive and daily scenes, using bright intense colours. Some paintings are really beautiful and they are preserved in quite good conditions.
Some of the tombs we visited were: Tomba dei giocolieri, Tomba della pulcella, Tomba delle leonesse and Tomba dei leopardi. 

                                                                             Tomba dei Giocolieri

Each of the underground chamber tombs has been covered with a hut to provide protection from the rain. The entrance to the tombs is through narrow dark corridors, sometimes with stairs. The chambers are protected from the changeable conditions outside by transparent glass panels which prevent the paintings from being spoilt. When a visitor gets to the glass panel, he must press a light switch to be able to see them and admire the decoration.


                                                        Tomba delle Leonesse, dating back to 520 B.C.

                                                                           Tomba della pulcella

Because of the narrow entrance corridors, visitors must queue and wait for the previous group to leave the corridor so that access is granted. The place has a large number of visitors, amongst them tourists and students who, like us, are interested in discovering what life was like in ancient times, several centuries before Christ. We learnt that Etrurian civilization was very evolved and they liked being buried together with their personal belongings. The fact that women played an equalitarian role to that of men caught our attention as it was the opposite to the one played in other contemporary or succeeding civilizations like the Greek or the Roman ones. They accompany their husbands in many of the paintings. 

                                                                            Tomba dei leopardi

Monterozzi necropolis was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004 so as to preserve its burial system together with the paintings and other rests. This way, in the future, people like me will be able to observe them and get information about the customs and traditions of the Etrurian society. I loved visiting both Monterozzi and the National Archaeological Museum of Tarquinia because I feel very attracted to knowing how ancient men lived.

                                                   At the National Archaeological Museum of Tarquinia

Bird Watching at Lake Vico

Bird Watching at Lake Vico

By Adrián Aneiros López, 3rd year ESO PMAR.

Lake Vico is a lake that is located near Bassano Romano (Italy), the place where we took part in an exchange of students this year. Its origin is volcanic and it is a natural reserve so it is very beautiful because there are a lot of trees and many birds of different species. 

We had lunch in a place near the lake: lasagna, beefsteaks and some cakes covered with Nellina, the Italian Nocilla produced in the area. After lunch, we had some rest and spent the afternoon playing, relaxing and having a look around.

At the lake, there was a guide who gave us a lot of information about it and we carried out some interesting activities. In one of them, we entered the forest and they gave us some mirrors to place them under our noses. Then we had to look down and it looked like you were 10 meters above the trees. The aim was that we experienced what a bird feels when it is flying over or amongst the trees. We could feel ourselves like birds! And it was a lot of fun!

When we went to look out for birds on the lake, we were given some binoculars to look at the types of birds that we had in the area and to finish we got deeper into the forest and we all sat quietly to hear all the animals that were in it.

The lake is surrounded by plantations of hazelnut. Nellina comes from them. You get a lot of money from these plantations because the hazelnuts grown here are excellent and most of them are bought by the famous Ferrero Rocher chocolate company.

Palazzo Farnese Gardens

Palazzo Farnese Gardens

By Nerea Lago Gerpe, 2nd year ESO A
Come and visit the beautiful gardens which surround the Farnese Palace in Caprarola! I visited them last May as part of the exchange of students I took part in and thought they were wonderful.

Here is a short presentation in the form of a magazine. Enjoy it!

Exchange of students IIS A. Meucci (Bassano Romano) and I.E.S. de Catabois (Ferrol)

Exchange of students IIS A. Meucci (Bassano Romano) and I.E.S. de Catabois (Ferrol)

Along the present scholastic year, students from I.E.S. de Catabois in Ferrol (Spain) and IIS A. Meucci in Bassano Romano (Italy) have been participating in an exchange of students and have been getting to know each other via Whatsapp, email and other digital media while having met in two occassions.
                                      Visit to Santiago de Compostela
The first one took part in Ferrol in February 2019. We visited places like Santiago de Compostela and A Coruña to find out about the beautiful monuments in both cities, paying special attention to the old town in Santiago and the Tower of Hercules in Santiago de Compostela, which are both World  Heritage Sites by UNESCO. As well, the group visited Ferrol, which is in the tentative list for such a recognition:

                                      After visiting The Tower of Hercules 

The second meeting, which has recently been carried out in May, took place between the 4th and 11th when the Galician students travelled to Lazio to meet their partners and stay at their homes. The youngersters from both countries have improved their knowledge of both cultures: Italian and Spanish and have raised their interest towards Europe and the use of foreign languages.
                                                        At school

During the visit to Italy, the group had the opportunity of discovering the ancient Etrurian civilization which inhabited this area of Italy (together with a few others). The region is known today as Lazio and is home to many rich remains, both Etrurian and Roman. It also includes places and celebrations which hold the recognition of World Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO, both tangible and intangible, such as The Macchina of Santa Rosa as well as other remarkable places like the Farnese Palace in Caprarola or Bomarzo Park to name but a few.
Click to watch a short video of the Farnese Palace during our visit: Palazzo Farnese
Through several articles and presentations you will be able to find out more about this enriching and interesting exchange of students.

Consumópolis at I.E.S de Catabois: recycling and reusing to make new products.

Consumópolis at I.E.S de Catabois: recycling and reusing to make new products.

Through the present year, our school, I.E.S. de Catabois in Ferrol, Spain, has been taking part in a project called ‘Consumópolis’. We consider it a preparation for an Erasmu+ KA we have applied for, which is called ‘Recyclart’.
This project was born to make the students aware of the importance of recycling, reducing and reusing so that they realize how our lives can change for the better and how we can keep sustainability at acceptable levels thanks to recyclage.

Here is how it worked:
It consisted in creating some products from waste or unused materials. 
As the project was really engaging to students, three groups out of four in total at schooldesigned and built products. All of them were presented to the “Consumópolis” contest and two of them won second prizes.
1st year ESO: Rubber trainers
3th year ESO: USB fan
4th year ESO: Solar oven


Choosing the product
There were three suggested types of products to choose from: clothes, electronic devices or sports clothing. Each of the three participating levels had to select one of them. The students in this year chose sports clothing. After brainstorming, the group decided to make a pair of trainers especially designed for running using recycled rubber from bicycle tyres.

Required materials
It was agreed that the trainers would be tied with laces and would be adorned with designs made of foamy, would be painted in red and adorned with silver-coloured foamy. In addition, they would display the name of the group, RINAK, on both sides. Most materials like foamy, both red and silver spray-on acrylic paint, glue, silicone, staples, cutter, scissors, silicone gun and stapler were available at school. We got the bicycle tyre from a scrapyard, the mentor of the group lent us a belt drill and the laces were a pair of spare ones which hadn’t been used.
Manufacturing process
The cover was cut into four pieces. It was analysed how the trainers could be made by folding the material and studying what the best shape could be. When it was clear enough, we measured the size from a fellow student foot. One of the trainers was formed by shaping it to the foot, then closing and stapling it. The spare parts of the cover were cut.
When the student who was acting as a model tried the design, we found out that the staples got caught up and we had to undo everything and staple it again but this time from the inside to the outside. It was agreed that the staples had to be covered so we designed foamy shapes to do so. Once the trainers had been finished, we had to make the lace holes. By using a belt drill, we could make them with effort.
The next step consisted in colouring the trainers in red with the spray-on acrylic paint. While a few students were colouring them, some others were cutting and painting in silver the shapes of foamy.

    3RD year ESO: USB fan
Choosing the product
In the first session of work, this group decided to choose an electronic device amongst the proposed fields. After carrying out a little brainstorming it was agreed that the product to be made would be a USB fan. It made sense as it would refresh the ICT classrooms which gave off a lot of heat due to the simultaneous use of lots of computers. 
Required materials
The students suggested ideas about the design of the device and the materials were selected accordingly. The fan would be built entirely with recycled materials: the base and the screws would be made from waste cardboard, the stand would come from a cylindrical roll of aluminium foil, which had been finished, the USB cable belonged to the mouse of a computer which didn’t work as well as the engine was got from a toy which wasn’t used any more. All was painted in silver and black. All the materials like cardboard, silver and black spray-on acrylic paint, silicone, cutter, scissors, compass, silicone gun, USB cable and engine were available at school.
Manufacturing process
1. In pairs, the plug on the opposite side of the one which must be connected to the computer was cut from the cable. The plastic cover which protects the wire was removed with the help of the technology teacher. Then four wires in different colours showed up: white, green, red and black. The green and white wires were cancelled with the use of some tape while the ones remaining (red and black) were peeled as they would be the ones to establish the connection and transmit electricity.
2. The other members of the team drew a circle with the compass and cut (as symmetrically as possible) 8 sections which would form the screws to provide wind.
3. Afterwards, the silicone gun was used to separate the screws permanently and to tilt them so as to provide the fan with a suitable propeller.
4. Once we had got the propeller, a new circle which would serve as the base was cut. It was attached to the cylindrical roll of aluminium foil which would hold the screw engine. 
5. Then we made a hole, which would allow to insert and keep the USB cable inside the cylindre, in the lower part of the stand. This cable would provide the connection between the engine and the USB port. The next step consisted in fixing the engine to the upper part of the stand.
6. The red and black cables were fastened to the DCengine with the use of a soldering tin and the help of the technology teacher, strengthening the corresponding connections.
7. The propeller was attached to the engine by means of the silicone gun again.
8. In the end, the propeller was painted in silver and black.


4TH year ESO: Solar oven
Choosing the product
After carrying out a hard procedure to decide the product to ellaborate, it was eventually agreed that a solar oven would be the most convenient one for three main reasons:
  • We are very involved in the fight against climate change and feel a great interest towards renewable energies. At the same time, we thought that using a new source of energy, in this case solar energy, to build a product created by the students at school could be useful to raise their families and fellows awareness towards ecological matters.
  • We liked to create an object which could be used immediately and in daily affairs.
  • We wanted to work with materials at hand in order to encourage their families and partners at school to build more solar ovens.

Required materials
Materials which were quite easy to get were used to make the oven:
  • Cardboard boxes.
  • The recycled glass was the material most difficult to get, mainly because we needed to cut it so as to be adapted to the size of the final product. The Mathematics Department played an important part here and made the procedure easier to carry out.
  • Black foamy.
  • Aluminium foil to cover the interior of the box.
  • Poster board.
  • Sheets of newspaper to cover the sides.
  • White glue.

    Manufacturing process
    These steps were followed to build the solar oven:
  • The first one consisted in detailing the use of the product. We thought it could be used to cook food when going camping or in rural homes with little electric or electronic facilities.
  • Then the design of our product was drawn in order to establish both its dimensions and the materials which would be used for construction.
  • Later, we arranged the work in a suitable way.

    • We chose two cardboard boxes with different size, one bigger than the other, and we put one into the other.
    • The division sides between both boxes was wrapped with newspaper sheets, which would serve as thermal insulation between the boxes (as paper has a high thermal tolerance and it is a very cheap and easy to get material).
    • The cooking area inside was covered with a reflective material completely. It would allow the redirection of the solar rays. In this case we selected aluminium foil because, even though we were aware that it is spoilt quickly after continuous use, it is very affordable and it served our needs at that time perfectly well.
    • The recycled window glass, which had been previously cut to adapt to the precise dimensions needed, was put on top of the cooking area, leaving a wide space inside to put the food.
    • The product was embellished with poster board and foamy. The foamy protected people from being injured by the sharp sides of the glass at the same time that it served for decoration. It was fixed with silicone to one of the long sides of the outter box and covered with foamy too. This design allowed users to open and close the oven easily.
    • In the end, the commercial name for our product was chosen and we designed a slogan to foster its merchandising.

    The products have taken part in a contest and they have won two awards which will be presented in a ceremony at Santiago de Compostela on 14th June 2019.