Report Darmstadt 2022 – 2nd exchange

By , June 27, 2023 11:17

No time to Waste

Sunday, November 13

Early Sunday morning, a group of 11 students (unfortunately, one of the students became ill and could not join us) travelled by train to Germany for an international exchange. This exchange was the second meeting in a series of three and part of an internationalization project made possible by funding from the European Union and Nuffic. The first meeting was in Alkmaar. French and German students from our twin cities Darmstadt and Troyes then stayed with PCC students and their families in and around Alkmaar and participated in activities organized by teachers of PCC Het Lyceum, all related to our theme “No time to Waste”.

A few train failures caused some delay, but finally, the students were reunited with their German partners at the train station in Darmstadt. A little nervous about meeting with the families of their buddies, but also curious, they left swiftly to spend some free time at the homes of their hosts.

The next morning they met again at the Georg Büchner Schule, where the exchange was officially opened and the Dutch and French were welcomed by the school’s Head Master.

Monday, November 14

Milling around

In the first assignment of this exchange, students mingled and discussed each other’s thoughts and habits regarding their ecological footprint.

Alte Turnhalle

After a short break, all students headed for the school’s gymnasium to interact in cooperation games. They had to work together in teams and got to know each other better, but most of all they had fun!

Expertise in Plastic, part 1

For this assignment the students researched the use of plastic and it’s consequences for the environment.

Darmstadt city walk

Afterwards, they were hungry and enjoyed lunch at the school’s mensa, which was a new experience for the Dutch students as they are not used to plate service at school 😉

When lunch was finished, they took off for the City Center, where they did a photo hunt to get to know the city and they visited the Unverpackt Laden. The store employee explained to them the methods, ideas and ideals of Unverpackt Laden. The students learned how to minimize packaging and disposables, especially if they are made of plastic.

Tuesday, November 15

My life in plastic

To address the use of plastic, you must first examine how many products containing plastic you actually use. So that’s what the students did during this assignment.

With the knowledge gained, they worked together in pairs to create tutorial video’s: “My Life Without Plastic”, showing that reducing single-use and plastic products is not as difficult as it seems.

Produce food, not waste!

The next assignment involved cooking. Students were asked to prepare a meal with a minimal effect on their ecological footprint.

First they looked for recipes for which they could use local produce (to avoid the effects of transportation), and seasonal fruits and vegetables (to avoid refrigeration and storage which cause energy consumption and emissions). Then they went grocery shopping for the goods they needed to cook the meal. Naturally they paid attention to packaging materials: no plastic or as little as possible!

In the afternoon the students prepared dinner with help of a cooking instructor in the school’s kitchen and subsequently enjoyed their meal together.

Wednesday, November 16

Expertise in Plastic, part 2

What have we learned? Results and evaluation

On the last morning that the foreign students spent with their German exchange partners at the Georg Büchner Schule, they further finished their videos and prepared their presentations.

They also discussed the results of their research and evaluated the exchange. Then they showed each other the videos. All the students were inspired: simple adjustments in behavior and personal consumption can do a lot for the environment.

Thursday, November 17

Leaving Darmstadt…

The train left early this morning. A few last hugs and goodbyes and then it really was time to leave.

On the way, it was worth visiting Frankfurt: after all, this is the city where European money is kept. So we took a group photo with the symbol of the EU just before traveling back to Alkmaar. A fitting end for this exchange.

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