This year's top prize is awarded to the 'Rainbow Village' project which brought together 12-15-year-olds in France, Greece, Romania, the UK, Turkey, Italy, Slovakia and Poland. The pupils created a virtual post-Armageddon world and explored themes such as survival, conservation and citizenship. The eTwinning network is a virtual classroom in which pupils and teachers from 100 000 schools in 33 European countries take part in interactive projects via the internet. Nine awards in total will be announced at this afternoon's ceremony.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: “My warmest congratulations go to all the winning schools: you are top of the class! In this European Year of Citizens, it is fitting that a project with citizenship at its heart came out as the overall winner. We are very proud of the success of the eTwinning scheme. As well as giving young people a sense of local and European pride, it enables them to broaden their horizons and learn to become active citizens of Europe.”
The winners, selected from 300 submissions, are divided into three age groups (4-11, 12-15, 16-19) and there are six other awards for specific categories: language learning in Spanish, French, German and English, the Marie Skłodowska Curie Prize for maths and science, and Mevlana Prize for intercultural understanding.
The winning project in the 4-11 age group is 'Friends Fur-ever', which focuses on dogs as man's best friend and linked schools in Romania, Poland and Portugal. The 16-19 category winners created a project based on the adventures of a travelling flea and the pupils had the chance to be scriptwriters, cartoonists and translators. The schools involved are in France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria, Portugal and the Czech Republic.
The Spanish language prize is shared by schools in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Denmark; the French prize by schools in Italy and Poland; schools in France, Poland and Greece share the German prize, and the English award is split between pupils in Greece, Latvia, France, Austria and Portugal.
The Marie Skłodowska Curie Prize goes to a project called 'Fly Me to The Moon', which mixed scientific observations or measurements with research on local traditions and beliefs. The winning schools are in Slovenia, France, Greece, Spain, Poland and Turkey.
The winners of the Mevlana Prize worked on a project entitled 'Intercultural dialogue through fairy tales, drama and art'. This brought together students and teachers from 29 countries, who collaborated in order to become familiar with the different cultures of each partner school’s home country.