Erasmus+ Youth Exchange “SCIENCIVICUS” – testimonials

A group of people posing for a photo

Description automatically generated

From 03.04.2022 to 08.04.2022, the Romanian Secular-Humanist Association has organised the Erasmus+ Youth exchange “SCIENCIVICUS – Active citizenship through science education” to which 30 young people from Romania, Turkey, Italy and Malta have attended.

The participants worked together on improving their science understanding and discovered how scientific issues can be related to social issues and politics. Through debates, group discussions, trial court simulation and other non-formal activities, they created a narrative for the younger generation promoting science as a model of rational democratic deliberation and as a tool to defend human rights. 

Here we share their experience by writing some TESTIMONIALS that could inspire other peers of their generation.

~~~~~~~~~~~

LAURIAN DUMITRACHE

A group of people walking on a street

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
A group of people sitting at desks in a room with a projector screen

Description automatically generated with low confidence

The experience offered by this exchange was eye-opening for me. The activities were engaging and informative, but they were at the end of the day just an excuse to communicate and to try to form some friendships. To become more aware about other European cultures and even more, to become aware of our own culture compared to the other ones. 

It helped me to connect with people that also work in my field of study and I made some very good friends along the way.

~~~~~~~~~~~

MICHAEL VELLA ZARB

A person standing in front of a group of people sitting in chairs

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

I loved the presentation on digital citizenship /makerspace. I loved how the facilitator started immediately by including each and every one of us (asking us our name, and a simple 1-10 rating of knowledge of the field + a keyword). I loved how she took notes of what we were saying on a big sheet of paper in this. It automatically engaged everybody. (…) It felt REAL – being let in on the world of a researcher.

A group of people standing on a street

Description automatically generated with low confidence

I really loved the communism/monarchy tour. The activities gave the confidence and skill to be a good public speaker/debate.

On the whole, a really fun experience. 

~~~~~~~~~~~

Rosa DeGiorgio

A group of people in a room

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

To describe it in a few words, to me this experience meant friendship, socializing, and meetings. I liked the topics covered on astrology and the internet, the city tour and also the games organised by the Romanian participants. Loooove it!  

A group of people posing for a photo

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Just one of the many pictures taken during the city tours.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Ahmet Kerem Bilgi

A group of people posing for a photo

Description automatically generated

The team building activities played throughout the project were very beneficial. During the biology workshop, we practiced how the information we learned in schools appeared in real life. The interactive activities were helpful to reinforce the information we learned. In the comparative session of astronomy and astrology, everyone was divided into two groups and everyone defended their own topic (…). It was environment where we could freely express our ideas. (…) 

We gained information on how to distinguish scientific and non-scientific content, and on which paths we should follow when conducting scientific research and when using the scientific method in general.

~~~~~~~~~~~

END

As you can see, our young people had many things to learn about the relation between science, human rights and democracy. They had fun, made new friendships, and discovered new cultures while also increasing their scientific knowledge and critical thinking skills. They’ve also learnt how science can be used as a tool for the protection of human rights, and for increasing civic engagement of youth in their communities.

We are convinced that Erasmus + projects such as this youth exchange are a great opportunity for young people as they don’t only add to their personal development, but also contribute to the creation of a democratic, inclusive, fair and sustainable European society.