LEGO Competition // LEGO súťaž

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pupils choosing 7 objects for a desert island

Last week we witnessed a competition that was held under a very special motto: Lego. Unlike our expectations, it was not just about constructing something out of Lego and the nicest one wins, but the participants had to show their ability for team spirit, problem solving and their technological skills. Related to the theme ‘Nature’s Fury’, basic school pupils had to pass four distinguished tasks. First, the teams had to attend to certain problems for humans raised by natural disasters, as for example floods, and try to find ways to deal with the consequences. In little theatrical performances, with the help of a model or just by explaining they presented their solutions. The next task was testing their team spirit. Having to imagine being on a sinking ship, they had to decide together 7 out of 12 objects which to save to a nearby island. In the third tasks the teams had to present their self-built robot, which they would finally use in the fourth task, the “Robot Game”. In this game, two teams simultaneously had to overcome certain obstacles with their robots and would gain points for every accomplished task. Even if there was a winner in each of the four categories, in the end the team with the most overall points won – and in this case the winning team was particularly special. After this team was sent into the first round of the final of the Robot Game, they had to discover that the jury had actually mislead them and mistakenly sent them to the final. Clearly disappointed, the team had to make room for other participants. But even if they did not take part in the Robot Game final, they have proved their widespread skills sufficiently in all tasks and in the end could be happy about a well deserved winning.

Miriam

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final task : robot game

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Minulý týždeň sme boli svedkami súťaže so špeciálnym mottom: Lego. Na rozdiel od našich očakávaní nešlo len o to, aby účastníci postavili niečo z Lega a tí najlepší vyhrali, ale aj o to, aby preukázali svojho tímového ducha, technické zručnosti a schopnosť riešiť problémy. Na základe hlavnej myšlienky „Zúrivá príroda“ museli žiaci základných škôl prejsť štyrmi rôznymi stanovišťami. Na prvom mali tímy reagovať na problémy ľudí, ktoré vznikajú v dôsledku prírodných katastrof, ako napr. záplavy, a snažiť sa nájsť spôsob, ako sa vysporiadať s ich dôsledkami. Svoje riešenia predstavili prostredníctvom krátkych scénok, pomocou modelu alebo jednoduchým vysvetlením. Na ďalšom stanovišti mali otestovať svojho tímového ducha. Mali si predstaviť, že sú na potápajúcej sa lodi a musia sa spoločne rozhodnúť, ktorých 7 z 12 predmetov si nechajú, aby doplávali k najbližšiemu ostrovu. Na treťom stanovišti museli tímy predstaviť robotov, ktorých sami vytvorili pre posledné finálové stanovište s názvom „Súboj robotov“. V tejto hre museli roboty oboch tímov súčasne prekonávať prekážky a za každú splnenú úlohu dostali body. Hoci malo každé zo štyroch stanovíšť svojho víťaza, na konci vyhral tím s celkove najvyšším počtom bodov – a v tomto prípade bol víťazný tím obzvlášť výnimočný. Po prvom kole Súboja robotov porota prišla na to, že sa pomýlila a do finále ho poslala omylom. I keď bol tím očividne sklamaný, musel prenechať miesto ďalším účastníkom. Napriek tomu, že sa nezúčastnil všetkých kôl veľkého finále, na všetkých ostatných stanovištiach preukázal svoje všestranné zručnosti dostatočným spôsobom na to, aby sa nakoniec mohol právom tešiť zo zaslúženého víťazstva.

Miriam

Preklad: Jana Jašková, Stanislava Dengová

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9 Days Festival // Festival 9 dní

After a little bit over a week getting accustomed to our new home, we started into our activities by giving short presentations within the ‘family matters’ festival 9 Dnís o tom. In two sessions, we talked about topics related to families and our respective countries in front of a social work class at university. With her presentation of ‘ The economical crisis in Spain and its influence on social vulnerable families’ in the first session, Irene could give us a view from inside Spain which usually does not cross the boarder.

Sin título

Although there were some language and communication problems, and it was a bit difficult to start a discussion, the students seemed taken aback when Irene explained the evictions and their consequences. With a short clip, she could give us a little understanding of the country-wide demonstration movements. Interestingly for us, the students could not imagine such demonstrations in their own country, as they regarded the Slovak population as too apathetic. By the end of the first session, we came to talk about EVS in general, we were asked about our personal motivations and why we came just to Slovakia – so far most young Slovak people were quite surprised why we chose this country .

DSC02733In the second session, I gave my presentation on ‘Parental leave in Austria’ – had I known that I would talk only in front of a university class, I might have chosen another topic So I absolutely understood that for young students my presentation was a bit hard to feel connected to. One of the things that positively surprised us from this experience was the fact that they dedicated a whole festival to families. We got the impression that for people in Slovakia family values are a very important part of their lives.

Miriam.

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Po viac ako týždni zvykania si na nový domov sme naše dobrovoľnícke aktivity odštartovali dvoma krátkymi prezentáciami v rámci festivalu „rodinných záležitostí“ 9 dní o tom. V dvoch blokoch sme mali študentom sociálnej práce na vysokej škole porozprávať o témach, ktoré sa týkajú rodiny a našej krajiny. V prvom bloku mala Irene prezentáciu s názvom „Ekonomická kríza v Španielsku a jej vplyv na sociálne zraniteľné rodiny“, čím nám ponúkla pohľad zvnútra krajiny, ktorý sa zvyčajne nedostane za hranice.

Hoci bolo kvôli jazykovej bariére trochu náročné rozprúdiť diskusiu, zdalo sa, že keď Irene hovorila o probléme násilného vysťahovania a jeho dôsledkov, študenti boli skutočne zarazení. Vďaka krátkemu klipu sme si mohli lepšie predstaviť demonštrácie, ktoré sa odohrávajú na celom území. Študenti si prekvapivo nevedeli predstaviť podobné demonštrácie vo vlastnej krajine, keďže slovenské obyvateľstvo považujú za príliš ľahostajné. Ku koncu prvého bloku sme sa dostali aj k rozprávaniu o EDS. Študenti sa pýtali, čo nás motivovalo, aby sme sa zapojili do tohto programu, a prečo sme si vybrali Slovensko – doteraz bola väčšina mladých Slovákov prekvapená, že sme sa rozhodli práve pre túto krajinu.

V druhom bloku som mala prezentáciu na tému „Rodičovská dovolenka v Rakúsku“. Keby som bola vedela, že budem hovoriť k študentom na vysokej škole, možno by som si bola vybrala inú tému. A tak úplne chápem, že pre mladé publikum bolo trochu náročné vcítiť sa do tejto problematiky. Na tomto festivale nás príjemne prekvapilo, že sa celý niesol v duchu rodiny. Uvedomili sme si, že pre ľudí na Slovensku sú rodinné hodnoty veľmi dôležitou súčasťou života.

Miriam

Preklad: Jana Jašková, Stanislava Dengová

HYHO at Stredná Priemyselná Škola Jozefa Murgaša

One of the activities that we do as EVS volunteers in CVČ – JUNIOR is taking part to trainings and various meetings involving young people. Last week we have attended some of those meetings which took place in Stredná Priemyselná Škola Jozefa Murgaša in Banská Bystrica.

The aim of this meeting, called HYHO (Help Yourself by Helping Others), was raising awareness among young people about volunteering and speaking about the different opportunities available for those willing to volunteer both in Slovakia and abroad. So we were invited by our colleague Gabika from CVČ – JUNIOR, who held the meeting, to speak about our volunteering experience in general and then, more specifically, as EVS volunteers in Slovakia.

IMG_9749For me these meetings are really stimulating as I have an opportunity to speak Slovak and since, as I previously said, my Slovak is still far from being perfect :), as Vessy says, they are a challenge for me as speaker, but also for the listeners who have to understand what I say 😉

Another reason why these meetings are interesting is seeing the reactions of young people to what we say and answering their questions. The first question that we are asked is always why we chose Slovakia, just as if it was something peculiar. In fact, Slovakia is a really fascinating country, so the reasons to come are plenty 🙂

But during last HYHO training in Stredná Priemyselná Škola Jozefa Murgaša, after being asked why I chose Slovakia, I was very happy to answer to many other questions, especially about how I see Slovakia and about Italy, which helped me understand how Slovak people see my country. For example, I was asked what are the main differences between Italy and Slovakia, and between Italian and Slovak students, what is the attitude of Italian people towards alcohol, what is my favourite dish, what is the difference between Italian and Slovak pizza, if I like Slovak food, if it’s true that Italian men are jealous and many more.

I think that the aim of EVS is exactly this: opening a dialogue with the others to discover a different culture, but also to become more aware of your own.

Emanuela

Presentations in Tisovec

As we announced some days ago in our blog, last Friday CVČ-JUNIOR EVS volunteers Vessy and Manu held a presentation in Secondary Specialized School Tisovec with students specialising in graphic design and management of regional tourism. Despite the far-from-ideal weather and road conditions, we went to Tisovec and had a great time 🙂

DSCF0862For students specialising in management of regional tourism, Vessy and Manu prepared and held presentations about their countries in English. In particular, Vessy spoke about the history and the beauties of Bulgaria and Manu focused on Puglia, her region of origin in Southern Italy. After the presentations, the students asked some questions about how Christmas is celebrated in Bulgaria and Italy and about the differences in the school system. In the meantime, Andy, our coordinator, held a presentation in Slovak about eco-graffiti prepared by Dan for the graphic design students.

We really enjoyed preparing the presentations and we think that they were interesting for students at least for two reasons: because we talked about our countries from a inside point of view (which in our opinion is much more appealing than simply reading a tour guide 🙂 ) and because we spoke in English, which sometimes was perhaps challenging, but no doubt useful.

After the presentations, we had some teambuilding, during which we had a lot of fun and we saw how important it is to communicate and collaborate in a group.

We would like to thank Professor Pastýrová for inviting us and the students for listening to our presentations and participating in our activities. We hope to see you again soon 🙂

Click here to see more pictures