Visiting Germany, October 2019
The sixth Sparrow (project) meeting took place in Germany from 30.09. - 04.10.2019. All the participants from Iceland, Italy and Spain joined this sixth meeting.
On Monday morning we arrived at Woffenbach School. The students welcomed us by putting on a show in the students’ assembly hall. The students sang the song Brother John in English and all the languages of the participating countries. They did a fantastic job. After this welcoming we took a tour of the school. We visited several classes and observed lessons, activities and various teaching methods that the teachers apply in their classroom. We also got to see the classroom used for the after-school activities. We furthermore got an introduction of how the school teaches the first and the second grades together.
On Monday afternoon we went to a Stone Museum in Sengenthal. The museum has on display lots of fossils, mostly collected within the nearby area. We were given an interesting presentation by the man who has collected most of the stones on display in the museum. At the end of the visit every participant got to pick and keep one stone as a memorabilia along with brochures, maps and booklets to bring home to our school.
On Tuesday all the participants met to discuss and plan the next steps for the Sparrow project.
After the meeting we went to observe the fourth- grade students taking a bicycle traffic lesson in the neighborhood. The police in the town are responsible for this education and they have a special area for this. They also provide bicycles for the children. This was very interesting and the students seemed to enjoy it very much.
In the afternoon we went on a hiking tour to a nature park. The famous Archaeopteryx fossils can be found in this park, the link in the evolutionary chain that connects reptiles to birds. One can go back over the geologic history of earth and search for fossils in some of the stone quarries in the region. We had a great experience walking through this nature park. We got to see Steinerne Rinne Hoher Brunnen which is a rare and remarkable keeled moss travertine channel which only forms under very specific local conditions. The watercourse is a narrow shallow slot like channels, carrying the flowing water.
After the hiking tour we drove to the medieval town of Berching. The history of Berching is more than 1100 hundred years old. It has fully preserved town walls and a low streamlet. We walked around the town and learned some of the town’s history.
On Wednesday morning we met for another work session about the Sparrow project. We evaluated and planned the work to be done before the next meeting. After lunch break we took a field trip with the fourth-grade students. The destination was the Burgruine Wolfstein, a castle ruins in Neumarkt which is famous for the Zeolite stones. We had a guided tour around the ruins. After the tour the children did a project about the things they had learned.
In the afternoon the Sparrow group took a train to Salzburg, Austria for a one night stay.
On Thursday we explored the historic center of Salzburg and the scenic Alpine surroundings. We also visited the Mozart museum, located in the birth house of this magnificent artist.
After a work session on Friday morning we visited The Nürnberg trial museum in the city of Nürnberg. World history was written in the courtroom of the Nürnberg Palace of Justice. This is where leaders of the Nazi regime had to answer for their war crimes before an International Military Tribunal between November 20, 1945 and October 1, 1946. The trials had an enormous influence on the development of international criminal law right up to the present. Courtroom 600 remains a working courtroom to this day. An information and documentation center, the Nuremberg Trials Memorial ("Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse"), is located on the top floor of the Courthouse. It provides insights regarding the defendants and their crimes, the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials of 1946-49, and the impact of the Nuremberg Trials up to the present.