On Tuesday, August 8, 2017, the administration of JA Sogn og Fjordane (one of the partners in the GREENT project) met with Aspen School District in Aspen, Colorado, USA, to present the GreEnt project and discuss possible future cooperation with Aspen schools. It appeared during the meeting that the Aspen region already has a major focus on environment, sustainability and renewable energy sources as part of a greater focus on this in all regions. This provides a good starting point for future cooperation on thematic issues before going into a collaboration with schools in Aspen.
During the visit we received a tour at Aspen Middle School and Aspen High School. These schools are located close to Aspen Elementary School and close to other buildings, and it is easy to involve all schools in the area. Attended the meeting were representatives from Aspen Middle School, Aspen High School (including principal), and the administration of the Aspen School District. Feedback on GreEnt from representatives in Aspen was very good and we interpret it so that they were very interested in participating in a partnership with JA Sogn og Fjordane with partners to conduct GreEnt related activities in cooperation with us. Following the meeting, we received a letter of intent from Aspen High School, where they have the ambition to cooperate with us in the future. At a later date, we will enter into a more formal agreement with schools in the Aspen and Aspen School District.
What will we do in this cooperation?
JA Sogn og Fjordane have for a long time been working with different schools in the United States, where we have exchanged students. One of the relevant teachers we have partnered with, Sheri Smith, has now moved to Aspen and wants further cooperation with us. She plans to include more teachers and more schools in this collaboration. In the first place, the intention is to have a joint arrangement with Aspen High School where we take the material directly into use. This can, for example, be organized as an innovation camp. The idea is that we have a common starting point for the innovation camp where the students meet online and get a joint introduction. So, the students in Norway and the USA will work with the given issues and then meet again online for joint presentations and summary / end of the innovation camp.
Another way to do this is to implement GreEnt lessons in the teaching for students at different levels in Aspen. In Sogn og Fjordane we have clear intentions to implement GreEnt in teaching. If we succeed in getting teachers and students in Aspen to apply GreEnt, we can create a common forum for exchange of experience with the program.
In a future perspective, we will try to find funding for student exchanges from Norway to attend events in the United States and vice versa.