Technology Justice reaches Poland


July 3rd, 2015

‘We invited experts on land fill into our school to talk to them about technology justice’

So said one student from Poland when asked what the action was they took following a science project they did in school.  The project was inspired by their teacher who had been on a teacher training programme Polish 'Make the Link' students run in Poland by the NGO CEO as part of an EC project Practical Action is leading on called Make the Link.  The teacher had used the materials provided as part of the training and given pupils aa starting point of looking at how science can be used to improve lives in the developing as well as the developed world.  Students were encouraged to pursue their own interests and work on a project, a novel approach in Poland. They got very keen on biogas, loved our #techjustice marvellous microbes video

Projects varied from designing solar phone chargers to drying herbs and building a wind turbine.  Pupils had clearly got really engaged with the project, had taken ownership of it and at the same time learnt a lot about the lives of others. One teachers said ‘ I like that the students really understood the problem.  We saw compassion, empathy, and a side of character of pupils we wouldn’t normally see.’ This was echoed by another teachers who said,  ‘ I think students really changed their approach, we noticed a difference in their way of thinking…that science is about real people’.

Teachers really felt that the global approach was a huge benefit in helping pupils make connections between their own actions and what happens in the developing world.???????????????????????????????

‘Raising global awareness makes students realise some complicated interdependences and know that what we do here has impact on other people in developing countries’

When asked what feeling they had during the project the students said things like:

‘We were surprised in the beginning that our lives are so different to people in Africa.  By doing this project we not only learnt how to make solar power but found out what life is like in another place’. Hubert (15 year old boy)

‘We were surprised that some people don’t have basic things like toilets.  We complain a lot about a lot of things but really we don’t have a lot to complain about. It has made us want to find solutions’ Justyna (14 year old girl)

The students had all come together to share their projects with each other.  First at a small gathering organised by our Polish partners CEO to gain information for a publication on good practice, then to attend a much bigger event where over 200 schools in Poland set up stands to share their work with pupils , teachers and people from industry.

The ‘killer’ quote for me that showed the real impact of the great work in Poland was from Patryja, 15.  When an evaluator asked him ‘what does technology justice mean to you?, he replied:

‘Technology justice means that in other countries people don’t have the  technology we have that they still need.  This made us ask…why?  It bothered us as in our opinion is not fair. The conclusion was that we respect more what we have, and want to try and help others get what they need.’

If that doesn’t demonstrate the impact of our work on the future generation I don’t know what does!!

To view materials ( but in English) that inspired these students go to www.practicalaction.org/schools

Leave a reply