My Europe, My Malta, My Future

Secondary Schools students visit EU-funded projects in Malta

SEM officials have been accompanying groups of Year 9 and Year 10 European Studies students from different secondary schools, on a series of visits to different projects around Malta that have been partly financed by the European Union.

These visits are part of the ‘EU in my school’ initiative – the youth strand of the ‘Europe in my region’ campaign organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO). ‘EU in my school’ engages pupils with Europe on the ground, through memorable insights into local, EU-supported actions.

Thanks to SEM’s collaboration with the European Commission Representation in Malta, DG-REGIO and the Strategy & Implementation Division, Parliamentary Secretariat for EU Funds, Maltese pupils can participate in this initiative and benefit from personal experiences with “Europe close by”.

The EU funded projects that the students have been invited to visit are of varied nature and showcase the diverse areas in which the European Union seeks to invest in and support. The three projects selected are in the fields of Augmented Reality, environment regeneration and the conservation of heritage.

During these visits, SEM officials delivered a short information session about the European Union and EU funds. To encourage student engagement, this session took the form of a short quiz followed by a worksheet on some facts and information related to the European Union.

At the end of the information session, SEM officials invited students to participate in an art competition leading up to Europe Day on May 9. This competition titled ‘My Europe, My Malta, My Future’ is equally part of the ‘EU in my school’ initiative and encourages students to reflect on the insights gained during the project visits. The task for the participants: relaying the impact of EU funds in Malta through artistic expressions.

The best eight submissions will then be displayed at an event that will be held on Europe Day in front of the national parliament building in Valletta. The exhibition will then be displayed on different dates at each of the participating schools.

Last but not least, the winners will have a chance to present their artworks during an EU conference in Valletta at the end of May, which will bring together regional and national authorities from across the Union.

The following visits have been carried out:

Students from St Thomas Moore College Santa Luċija and St Clare College Pembroke had the opportunity to visit the Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences at the University of Malta. During the visit, Mr Fabrizio Cali delivered a presentation to students about the SintegraM project – a €7 million project that uses hi-tech mapping equipment to produce a complete 3D picture of the nation’s geography and infrastructure with the aim of making information for town planning easily accessible to all. Students were able to experience this project first-hand via a 3D surround cinema where they could ‘fly around’ a 3D picture of the Ċittadella in Gozo.

Students from St Nicholas College Dingli, St Benedict College Kirkop and Marija Reġina College Mosta had the opportunity to visit the rehabilitated landfill at Wied Fulija in Żurrieq - a landfill that is now a green area open to the public. WasteServ officials gave students a tour of the park and explained to them how EU funds were used to rehabilitate the landfill back to its natural state – a total of €4.5 million were invested in this project. During this visit, students were able to walk around this green space, relax and enjoy panoramic views of Filfla.

Students from St Margaret College Cospicua had the opportunity to visit Heritage Malta’s Conservation Labs in Bighi, Kalkara. During their visit, students were able to see the rehabilitation works being carried out by the Conservation Division on the Knights’ Armoury as part of the Grand Master’s Palace Regeneration Project – a €28 million project that seeks to restore, rehabilitate, and enhance the value of the Grandmasters’ Palace in Valletta. Conservators at the Bighi Labs also showed students the scientific process that is behind the conservation and rehabilitation of different artifacts such as paintings, books, papers and textiles.