From 18th to 24th February 2018, teachers from 7 kindergartens in Europe took part in the first transnational learning, teaching and training activity within the Erasmus + KA219 Small Scientists Across Europe Project (2017-1-FR01-KA219-037465) which took place in the wonderful city of Coimbra, located on the banks of the River Mondego in the center of Portugal. The host school Agrupamento de Escolas Rainha Santa Isabel in Coimbra, Portugal, welcomed teachers from partner countries: Ecole Maternelle Tordo Kindergarten, France - project coordinator and 5 pre-school level institutions in Europe such as Lasteaed Põngerjas in Narva - Estonia, Kauno lopselis-darzelis "Giliukas" in Kaunas - Lithuania, Kindergarten No. 3 Bistrita and Kindergarten Scornicesti - Romania and Huma Hatun Ozel Egitim Anaokulu from Yildirim - Turkey.
The opening ceremony of the learning, teaching, training event took place in the host school and began with a warm welcome from the children who sang and danced for their guests. Mrs. Filipe Laura from the eTwinning National Agency Portugal – Educational Ministry, a special guest of the hosts, promoted eTwinning among the participants and the director of the host school, Mr. Nuno Dias detailed the specifics of the Portuguese education system. In the following moments, the guests visited the secondary school and art studio for children with special educational needs, and then the teachers, divided into working teams, visited the kindergartens that are part of the project: Eiras, Loreto, Brasfemes, Stª Apolónia, Trouxemil, Larça, Ingote and Souselas to interact with Portuguese preschool and their parents.
The workshops in this mobility focused in particular on discussing the experiments to be applied to pre-school groups included in the project as well as on the creation of evaluation sheets to be applied after the completion of the first project theme: the Earth, but also the way to create stories and puzzles on this theme. The project site was presented, the appropriate web tools for the proposed activities were exemplified and details were set for the use of the eTwinning platform within the Erasmus + project. The project coordinators set out details of the next project mobility to be held in Kaunas, Lithuania in April and discussed organizational details for the project.
The workshops also included a presentation on the importance of science supported by Maria Filomena Gaspar, professor at the University of Coimbra, a conference on science in pre-school education by Carlos Fiolhais, PhD in Theoretical Physics of the University of Coimbra, presentation about childhood nutrition supported by Maria Joao Campos, and workshops at Exploratório - Centro Ciência Viva de Coimbra. The visit at the Children’s Library at Ferrer Correia Space and the Special Needs School (http://www.apc-coimbra.org.pt/), have completed the experiences of the project that the coordinator in Portugal, teacher Maria Francisca Pessoa prepared for the guests in great detail.
The warm welcome prepared by our hosts also expanded in the preparation of a wide range of visits: the Republic Square, the University of Coimbra dating from 1290 and one of the oldest and largest universities in Portugal, the Joanina Library in Coimbra, a national monument, with its undeniable historical and cultural value, the Machado de Castro Museum, built on the ruins of the former Aeminium Roman Forum (Roman name of Coimbra) and Santa Clara a Nova, Monastery.