Output Title: The Learn4Earth Mobile Lab Wagon

Output Type: Learning / teaching / training material – Manual / handbook / guidance material

Start Date: 2020-10-01

End Date: 2023-05-31

Activity Leading Organisation: Arden Skole

Description:According to research, children in our globalised consumer system have difficulties identifying different foods, which is affecting their health and well-being (Carlsen 2011). Several studies worldwide concerning children and health have focused their research on specifically new learning and pedagogical methods. These studies conclude that alternative methods to regular teaching methods increase the understanding of a given subject, empowers the pupils and can create a sense of ownership on materials developed through these methods. Providing pupils with hands-on activities is one of these methods that can create more sustainable learning, providing the children with new action competencies and empowerment to act more sustainable now and in the long term as future consumers and citizens.

By allowing children to learn with their senses, touching, seeing, tasting, smelling and hearing about different crops, it is known, through several research projects concerning children and health, that this can increase their motivation and empowering the children to learn more about a given subject (Carlsen 2011) (Smag for livet 2020) (Learn4Health 2019).
The main target group for the Learn4Earth Mobile Lab Wagon IO is pupils in lower secondary education, as several calculations and learning goals are centred on the learning skills for this specific age group. But, as this also contains the development of a Teaching Manual and the final Learn4Earth Handbook, the levels for up- or downscaling the project will be articulated.

Throughout the project period, Arden School will develop and test the Learn4Earth Mobile Lab Wagon, based on the overall questions:” How can Technology affect human health and conditions of life” and “How is it possible to eat a variated, healthy and sustainable diet?”. The elements of innovation will be the development of the new Learn4Earth Mobile Lab Wagon, but also, importantly, the new innovative Teacher Manuals. Both elements will enhance teachers’ guidance to new and innovative learning for pupils in lower secondary education.

It is the ambition to develop a Learn4Earth Mobile Lab Wagon, equipped with materials for conducting experiments and models to subjects within natural science. The materials should cover tools to calculate the nutritional value in a meal, assessment of meal composition, including distribution of nutrient in a diet, nutrient molecular compositions and how the body metabolises the food and all its individual components. Further, it should cover tools to growing local ingredients, both via regular and alternative methods, counting Hydroponic Growing, Window Gardens, Rooftop Gardens and Sprouts.

An important element of innovation is the focus on the molecular composition of food. It is the ambition to create tools in the Learn4Earth Lab Wagon that can model molecules e.g. fat, protein and carbohydrates. The plan is that the pupils through this new tool, gain knowledge about the structure and decomposition of ingredients and foods when applying a new tool to natural science subjects.
In order to increase and enhance the teaching, Teaching Manuals for the Learn4Earth Mobile Lab Wagon will be developed.

The expected impact of this intellectual output is to enhance pupils’ learning in regards to Climate, Environment and Food, empowering them to act more sustainable in their future life as consumers and global citizens.

The Teaching Manual for the Learn4Earth Mobile Lab Wagon will take its point of departure in the four binding competencies:

  • Research Competencies
  • Modelling Competencies
  • Communicative Competencies
  • Transferring Competencies

Additionally, this IO will search for new knowledge on different excursions, visiting food professionals and research institutions to enhance the teachers and pupils understanding of where food comes from, providing them with an opportunity to investigate the saying “from farm to fork”, while creating awareness on Climate and Environment.

The Teaching Manuals will secure the transferability of the intellectual output and the project findings and results, as the Teaching Manual will document the IO’s and their leading activities continuously during the Learn4Earth period, with the aim of extracting the main instructional elements. Further, the Teaching Manual will be “how-to” manuals for teachers both internally in the Learn4Earth Consortium and externally, implementing a pedagogical program linking the classroom to the natural surroundings of schools all over Europe. During the Learn4Earth period, these manuals will be tested and evaluated by the teachers in the Learn4Earth partnership, which will provide the Teaching Manuals with wide applicability across European Countries.