Thursday, September 29, 2016

Schools : European Researchers' Night : Science is Wonder-ful !

The European Researchers' Night celebrates its 11th anniversary this year. Families, school pupils, students, came along and found out why 'Science is Wonderful!

All the events will take place - simultaneously - on Friday 30 September, in over 250 cities across Europe and neighbouring countries.

In Brussels, in the framework of this year's edition, the European Commission and the European Parliament are organising "Science is wonder-ful", a special event to illustrate the achievements of Marie Skłodowska-Curie researchers.

On the 28 September 2016 in Brussels, the European Commission jointly with the Parlamentarium was organising a European Researchers' Night event open for all to enjoy science while learning about the EU institutions, the journey of the European integration, and their impact on our daily lives. 

The night event presents projects from Marie Skłodowska-Curie researchers in order to get people, especially young people, interested and engaged in science and research.

Live experiments, face-to-face chats with current researchers, a trip through the European Union integration, and a debate, are only some of what is on offer at this event in Brussels.


For 11 years, the European Researchers' Night has brought science to the masses with events across Europe. 

If you could become a hero for a day, what kind of hero would you be? One that fights cancer or global warming, prevents hunger or drought, invents devices to counteract handicaps, dreams about making human life possible in space..?

The European Researchers' Night invites you to meet the heroes of science; that is to say, the researchers from different disciplines whose fascinating work can change our lives.

With family, friends, your school or on your own, you will "become a scientist for a day", participate in science activities and, most of all, have fun!

Don't miss this mega event! And with your students experience what it is like to be a hero. They will discover the fascination of research as a career and its significant societal impact.

Let your students meet the real scientists, talk to them, make some curious questions, understand the real meaning of Science.

The events are free to attend and open to the public, schools, families and all citizens.

Where to go:
Do you want to take part of an event in your city? With your students, your family, friends or on your own, you will find yourself exploring science in engaging ways. 

Use the interactive map, to see what events and activities are organised this year.

The events offer a wide variety of fun-learning activities, from behind-the-scenes guided tours of research labs, planetariums that are normally closed to the public, through funny interactive science shows, to hands-on experiments or workshops.

If you are in France, see  Nuit Européenne des Chercheur.e.s or in Portugal, see Noite Europeia dos Investigadores: #NEI2016.

For other countries in Europe, use the interactive map.

Why attend?

Often billed as school and family events, the European Researchers' Night in fact appeals to people of all ages – whether with their school, their family, friends or on their own "intrigued by how things work and by what science means for their lives."

Many of these popular science events will let you go behind the scenes, e.g. to labs that are usually closed to the public. 

Students may discover the scientist in you while being part of a Europe-wide mega event.

Mobile devices :

Of course tablets, iphones, smartphones are allowed. Students can and do use technology to support their science learning but they need to be guided to do so responsibly by their teachers. 

These devices are important to improve learning, on such events, to register their experiences, to note interesting ideas, or a good little interview with a scientist, to share the most exciting activities of the night and discuss them next Science lesson.

Students will discuss their activities and experimentations in science lessons   next Monday.

Social media:

Stay tuned and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook profiles from a lot of European schools or Twitter profiles linked to European Researchers' Night 2016 will be exciting to contact other schools and share different points of vue about all the activities.

Don't miss the European Researchers' Night tomorrow, the 30 September 2016! I'll be around.

Science is wonder-ful !

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Schools : Apps History & Culture - Hello Lisbon in AR !

Rewind Cities Lisbon (app)

Lisbon is a city full of history often hidden under the effects of natural causes, of neglect of its citizens and decision makers or simply by urban development.

Rewind Cities Lisbon is more than a touristic app, it’s a resource to an amazing and magical journey to a city’s past for students and teachers.

Rewind Cities Lisbon (app)


With the app Rewind Cities Lisbon, and augmented reality technology, your students in History curriculum are sent on a journey into the past of Lisbon which will reveal its "history, heritage and culture", transforming their smartphones or tablets into an authentic pocket time machine, allowing them to see the past superimposed over the reality they see in their device.

screenshot Rewind Cities Lisbon (app)

screenshot Rewind Cities Lisbon (app)

How it works:
Rewind Cities Lisbon works totally offline, so your students don’t have to worry about roaming rates at school if it has'nt wireless.
Download the contents before you start your lesson and invite your students to do the same. Now you are prepared to develop your course teaching about Lisbon - history, heritage and culture - enjoying Lisbon and the lesson to the fullest.

screenshot Rewind Cities Lisbon (app)

A bit of History?

Rewind Cities Lisbon takes your students on a journey into the past and takes them to Rua de S. Bento where in 1758 was built the S. Bento Arch. 

In 1938, during the redevelopment of the surrounding area of the Palace of the King’s Courts, currently the Parliament, it was dismantled and its stones numbered, remaining so for 60 years, first in the gardens of the Ajuda Palace, then in Praça de Espanha, where it was finally rebuilt in 1998.

All augmented reality AR experiences require that you guide your students to its specific point of interest. 
Just ask your students to place themselves exactly on the marker, and when it turns pink activate the experience.

screenshot Rewind Cities Lisbon (app)

screenshot Rewind Cities Lisbon (app)
The App Rewind Cities Lisbon is a mobile application based on the augmented reality concept, and through the Next Reality ® platform allows a new city experience.

Rewind Cities Lisbon is more than a simple app: It's a real journey to an amazing and magical journey to a city’s past.

Android, iPhore, iPad 
iTunes; GooglePlay
Price: Free
High school; Secondary education.

History, Geography, History of Portugal; Arts and Culture in European countries; Technology.

Rewind Cities Lisbon (app)
Some thoughts:
This app was not created for students. But I think it's a great educational resource to include into History lessons, Arts and Culture and Techonology/AR.
Perfect for the expert historians, teachers, local or not schools, to study History of Portugal and  World Heritage Sites.
Your students, Portuguese or not, will learn in a funny and modern way about the history of Lisbon, Portugal.

A real time machine?
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Schools : Apps History & Culture : Hello Lisbon in AR bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Schools : Education for Peace #PeaceDay

Buidling blocks for Peace

"The people of the world have asked us to shine a light on a future of promise and opportunity. Member States have responded with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development... It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms. An agenda for the planet, our common home. An agenda for shared prosperity, peace and partnership."

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

The International Day of Peace, also known as Peace Day, was brought into being by United Nations Resolutions in 1981 and 2001. International Peace One Day is celebrated on 21 September.

Each year, hundreds of students take part in a student observance of Peace Day at the United Nations which includes Messengers of Peace. View the UN's Peace Day page:

"Let us all work together to help all human beings achieve dignity and equality; to build a greener planet; and to make sure no one is left behind." 

 UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Goal 16 
credits: Elyx Yak

The Day’s theme for 2016 : “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at an historic summit of the world’s leaders in New York in September 2015. The new ambitious 2030 agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years. It aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals are integral to achieving peace in our time, as development and peace are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world's leaders and the people,” (...) “They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success.”
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon


From education to the arts, social justice to sports, health to the environment, neighborhood issues to service for others, there are many ways to participate in Peace Day! 

Building peace one day at a time

Peace One Day is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 1999. In 2001 due to our efforts the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September – Peace Day.
"Awareness of Peace Day creates Action, and that Action gaves Lives".
Jude Law - Peace One Day Ambassador

Peace One Day

Activities: Schools

Organise activities throughout the year that help us raise awareness of Peace Day 21 September and encourage students, parents and other to join the campaign.

Choose to mark the day, whatever the scale of their activity, their commitment matters. 

Invite your students to to create public or private activities related to peace, helping to spread the word about Peace Day and/or attend an event in their city or community.


Peace One Day has created a page to offer ideas, support and free resources to help teachers and students mark Peace Day 21 September and raise awareness of the day throughout the year.

"It is mass participation by people from all over the world that will provide the leverage needed to inspire governments to follow. It is all our efforts combined that will contribute to the success of Peace Day."

Listen the beautiful song I Wish performed by Jahméne and download here

Price : £0.99

Institutionalising Peace Day will be everyone’s legacy.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Schools : Great women breaking the limit on the sky : Jean Batten !

Jean Batten & Buddy

Another woman is honored by Google for breaking the sky after Doodle of Amelia EarhartGoogle celebrates today, 15 September, what would have being this pioneering pilot’s 107th birthday Jean Batten with a reminder "to fly fiercely towards our boldest dreams."

doodler: Sophie Diao

In the 1930s, Jean Batten took the skies by storm and brought the winds of change with her. After two failed attempts to fly from England to Australia, Jean made her comeback with a record-breaking return journey in 1934.

Google Doodle Jean Batten's 107th birthday
doodler: Sophie Diao

Her success elevated in 1935 when she became the first woman to ever fly solo across the south Atlantic, and then it soared in 1936 when Jean and her lucky black cat, Buddy, made the first-ever direct flight from England to New Zealand. 

She described the moment the wheels hit the turf as "the very greatest moment of my life," proving to the world that the sky’s only the limit if you let it.

  • Biography:

Jean Batten was New Zealand's greatest aviator, celebrated around the world for her heroic solo flights during the 1930s. Following her success she faded in and out of public view. She died in obscurity in Majorca, Spain, in 1982.

Jane Gardner Batten was born on 15 September 1909 in Rotorua. She soon became known as Jean. In 1913 she moved to Auckland with her parents and two older brothers.

In 1917 her father, Frederick, a dentist, volunteered to join the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and was sent to the Western Front. The loss of his earnings caused financial hardship for the family; during this period Batten moved from Melmerley Ladies School in Parnell to a state school.

Jean Batten, 1934
via New Zealand History

Batten's ambition to learn to fly developed in the late 1920s as the first flights of ‘an era of hugely publicized long-distance record-breaking flights’ began. Her mother, with whom she maintained a close relationship throughout her life, encouraged this new ambition. In 1929 she took Batten on a holiday to Sydney and arranged for her to fly with Australian aviator Charles Kingsford Smith.

A year later Batten sailed to England with her mother, and began to learn to fly at the London Aeroplane Club. By December she had gained her ‘A’ license and had her eye on breaking the women's record for a flight from England to Australia. 

Jean Batten, 1934

The mid 1930s were the heyday of Batten's flying career. After two failed attempts to fly from England to Australia in 1933 she successfully completed a return journey in May 1934. Although the route had been flown in one direction or another over 30 times, Batten's gender and her beauty captured huge media attention. 

In keeping with the direction of her ‘patron saint', oil magnate Lord Wakefield (of Castrol Oil), she carefully kept herself in front of the public eye, embarking on extensive tours of Australia and New Zealand. During both tours Batten was accompanied by a mascot, a black kitten she had named Buddy.

Jean Batten

Her attention-grabbing flights continued. In November 1935 she became the first woman to fly herself across the South Atlantic. In October 1936 she went one step further and made the first ever direct flight from England to New Zealand. But she was physically and mentally exhausted by the journey. 

Her tour of New Zealand was eventually called off in Christchurch and she spent much of November resting at Franz Josef Glacier at the government's expense. 

Jean Batten

In February 1937 she returned to Australia. A few months later she completed her last long distance flight, from Australia to England. For the rest of her life Batten drifted in and out of the public view. 

The Second World War brought an end to her flight adventures. Although her aircraft was put to active use, she was not allowed to fly it. She eventually got associated with different campaigns in England to raise funds for guns and aircraft.

Jean Batten stamp

Post war she almost detached herself from public life barring a few appearances.

In a letter dated 8 November 1982 Batten advised her publisher of her new address. This was the last anyone heard from her. 

Her whereabouts remained unknown until September 1987 when it was revealed that she had died in Majorca on 22 November 1982. On 22 January 1983 she was buried in an unknown grave on the Majorca island on January 22, 1983.

Jean Batten infographics


"Despite numerous improvements in women’s educational and employment outcomes, many countries have not achieved gender equality in economic opportunities and outcomes."


Often, I write about gender equality. Girls are proving more and more in different situations in school and business that they are equal to men in their intelligence and capacity.

This begins early in school where girls must be encouraged to access to science and technology.

The aim is to encourage creativity in the field of sciencetechnologies and highlight the importance of developing innovative skills at an early age. 

"The empowerment of girls and women starts on the benches of school, with quality education and access to culture and information. Gender equality means literacy. It means access to science. It means genuine possibilities for girls to become everything they wish for. And to make their own informed choices."

Irina Bokova, former Director-General UNESCO

Jean Batten Autograph Signed Display

Resources for Teachers:

  • Video:

  • Documents:

Jean Batten - The Garbo
of the Skies, 1988

Jean Batten: The Garbo of the Skies

Useful links: 

Jean Batten: New Zealand History

Jean Batten: Wikipedia

Jean Batten: The Famous People
Jean Batten The Garbo of the Skies by Ian Mackersey

Jean Batten The Garbo of the Skies, 2014
by Ian Mackersey

  • TV Film:

Jean by Robert Sarkies, 2016

Jean/ TV Film, 2016
Kate Elliott as Jean Batten for TV One Sunday Theatre film 'Jean'

Google with today’s Doodle has sent out a strong message to all of us, the sky’s the limit only if you let it."

Copyright © 2016G-Souto'sBlog,®

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Schools : Great women breaking the limit of sky : Jean Batten ! bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License