From 21st to 25th May 2018, Hüma Hatun Özel Eğitim Anaokulu in Bursa, Turkey welcomed a group of 13 European teachers (headmasters, coordinators or teachers) who are partners in the Erasmus+ KA2 project “Small Scientists Across Europe”. Mr. Ümit Yenisoy, headmaster and Mr. Ibrahim Onur Gökdoğan, project coordinator along with a group of 5 teachers and children from the special education kindergarten welcomed the partners of the project: from France Andrio Herve and Elisabeth Élisabeth Gustovic - project coordinator, from Estonia Natalja Varkki and Anzela Yahiaoui, from Lithuania Jolanta Gaučienė and Daiva Ramanauskienė, from Portugal Maria Francisca Pessoa and Joana Minderico, from Romania-Bistrita Muscari Carmen, Ionela Camelia Lazea and Telcean Ana-Maria, from Romania-Scornicesti Sitaru Loredana Mihaela Cringus and Marian Patru.
All the guests participated at the opening ceremony at the warm welcome of the host teachers and children and visited the school and classrooms. The children along with the teaching staff sang for the guests and prepared small handmade surprises for the visitors. Because we wanted to always remember this meeting, a symbol of this partnership was immortalized in a giant banner with the handprints of the entire group. After a presentation of the Turkish educational system, the program continued with a visit at the Bursa City Museum, the Koza Han, the Ulu Mosque, the Imperial Gate and of the beautiful city of Bursa followed by a spectacular view of the valley from the Tophane.
In the second day of the meeting, in the morning the group was divided in two: coordinators had a working session while headmasters and teachers visited Bala Hatun Kindergarten in Bursa. At the kindergarten, the visitors were impressed by the traditional dances performed by the children who were dressed in spectacular traditional clothes. Here, they visited the kindergarten and were introduced to a variety of mental games.
In the afternoon, the hosts organized a workshop in the Bursa Science and Technology Center and a short trip to Gölyazi a Turkish town founded on a small peninsula on Lake Uluabat.
On the last day of the meeting, the coordinators had another working meeting. During the visit in Bursa, the coordinators working sessions included subjects such as presentations by each partners of the tasks and responsibilities they done during this first year, establishing the tasks to finish until the end of the first year of the project, creation of questionnaires for children, parents and teachers, discussing the writing of the intermediary report and also setting specific deadlines for the projects’ activities. Also, in this meeting, the first book with experiments about Earth was presented to the partners and preparations for the second book were made.
Other visits also included the old Cumalıızık Village and Saitabat waterfall and the Sipping Tea under the Īnkaya Çınar to see the 610 years of plate tree. In the afternoon the visit to the Bursa Botanical Park gave us the opportunity to see diverse trees and flowers, ponds, bikes for rent and exercise paths.
We want to thank Ümit Yenisoy, and Onur Gökdoğan, but also to Meryem Yiğit, Kübra Özkan, Aysun Varol, Merve Celikkollu, Emine Eminoglu from the Turkish teaching staff, for their warm welcome and for making the stay in Turkey so lovely! We will always remember our visit to beautiful Bursa and meeting you!