South Cheshire College/West Cheshire College students took part in a government funded Erasmus programme at the College’s Crewe Campus to improve their knowledge of global warming and how to reduce their carbon footprint.
Thirty-two engineering students from Mindelheim, a town in Swabia, Bavaria, Germany, along with their teachers Alexandra Zieger and Karl Geller, known for his educational efforts in raising the awareness of energy efficiencies in Germany, travelled to the College as part of the programme.
Yvette Robinson, International Programmes Manager at South Cheshire College/ West Cheshire College commented: “This is the third year we have been involved with the programme. We were fortunate enough to gain specialist knowledge on global warming and energy saving, along with innovative workshops to encourage our students to get involved. It’s an incredibly topical subject and one that is really championed in Germany, therefore it was a great experience for our students.
“In Germany, consumers have spent about €190 billion over the last two decades to subsidise renewable energy sources like wind and solar. These renewables now account for about one-third of German electric power on average and reached a high of 86 percent in one day in May last year.
“We were lucky enough to have Karl Geller leading the German exchange, who is extremely influential in Germany and a true advocate of global warming.”
The itinerary consisted of a week in which the German exchange students also gained an understanding of British culture, benefitting from developing their English skills and ways to improve their presentational skills. The College staff also took the students on a tour of Manchester, Chester, Quarry Bank Mills and Liverpool, as well as a private tour of the Bentley showroom in Crewe, a highlight for many of the students.
South Cheshire College/West Cheshire College students also received a special one-week workshop on global climate change, its impact on people and the serious societal challenges this can pose. The German students set-up workstations to explain the research and showcase this in an interactive way. Over 160 College students from courses such as A-level Physics and Geography as well as Construction and Engineering all attended.
Yvette went on to say: “The German students cleverly raised awareness of sustainability, how to save energy to reduce carbon footprint and to play a part in stopping global warming by showcasing prevention techniques. They did this using an innovative teaching methodology. For example, one workshop asked four students to push a car around the car park with one person inside the car. They gradually increased the number of people inside the car, proving that it takes the same effort without additional energy to push the car no matter how many people are inside, hence promoting car sharing.
“All the workshops were of a similar vein and thoroughly enjoyed by the students. Alongside the teaching benefits, students now have a better understanding of the German culture. The students were really great fun and truly pleasant.
“Given that this was such a positive experience, the idea now is to continue the programme next year but also investigate exchange opportunities to benefit from reciprocal trips, as well as energy efficient programmes.”