All posts by Val

Bordeaux learning for Street Food Opportunities for Youth

One of the Erasmus projects we have been busy working on is Street Food – Opportunities for Youth.  And you know we love our food projects.

Street food is one of the most vibrant and fast-growing food movements across Europe, building on consumer interest in high quality, artisan food and the rising number of farmers’ markets, outdoor festivals and public events.

On a dull Irish November day Team Momentum headed to beautiful Bordeaux for a packed itinerary of training and learning over the course of a week. We were hosted by Le Laba who made sure all the partners were very well looked after.  Over the course of our visit we explored the heart of food journeying. We had the opportunity to test the learning resources developed as part of the project – available for aspiring young street food entrepreneurs – https://sfofy.eu/en/courses/start-up-in-street-food-opportunities/

We visited food truck manufacturer Mon Camion Resto and a new street food place Guinguette – La Béglaise, where we enjoyed delicious food. We also had meetings with local food truckers and food stalls and found out what motivated them.

We discovered Estey social and cultural centre, which is home to a youth social inclusion project. Their bistro is dedicated to world cuisines, inspired by street food well known to travellers. It is both a friendly place to eat, a reception area for trainees in a professional environment and a place for training in street cooking.

Orla had the opportunity to give a workshop with Masters students in the University of Bordeaux and share the work Momentum does in EU funded programmes.

We’d like to thank Le Laba for their hospitality, we are so proud of Street Food Opportunities for Youth.  Our video showcase of inspiring food entrepreneurs who share the inside track on setting up their businesses – https://sfofy.eu/en/resources/video-showcase/

ROOTS Project Final Conference

On 2nd of July 2019, the North-East Regional Development Agency, organised the Final Conference of the ROOTs project  “Recognising Cultural Heritage Opportunities for Tourism SMEs”, financed by the Erasmus+ Program,  in Iași, Romania, at the „Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University – The Senate Hall.  

The participants in the final conference had the opportunity to learn about innovative business models and public initiatives from international level, developed in rural areas, which use cultural heritage as the main element of uniqueness in developing an efficient tourism product. The event was moderated by Mrs. Roxana Pintilescu, director of the North-East Regional Studies Center, Coordinator of the ROOTS project and the speakers invited to event are specialists from the academic sector, business and professional training sectors in tourism, partners of the ROOTS project from: Ireland (Momentum Marketing Services Limited), United Kingdom (University of Greenwich), Netherlands (Stichting Business Development Friesland) and Denmark (European E-learning Institute). The speakers reflected in their presentations, ways to identify the potential elements of cultural heritage, ways to implement, develop and promote tourism, how to base a strategy, as well as how to create partnerships and networks in rural cultural tourism.

Besides good practice models, the final conference of the ROOTS project, also contained a presentation of the educational materials elaborated during the project, materials that were tested before by the beneficiaries, in a dedicated event organized in 21st-22nd of June 2019, with the participation of current and future tourism entrepreneurs from the community of Dolhesti, Suceava county.

“Based on the success of the pilot testing of the materials created within the ROOTS project, we can say that Dolhesti has a real chance of becoming soon an attractive tourist destination for Romanian and foreign tourists. With the support of North-East Regional Development Agency, we managed to activate a solid network of tourism specialists and connect them with entrepreneurs interested in developing their businesses in Dolhesti. Thus, a coordinated action was started in order to create a viable and replicable model of transforming a rural community into a tourist destination.” said Mrs. Roxana Pintilescu, Director of the North-East Regional Studies Center, Coordinator of the ROOTS project

“This action is part of the ongoing efforts of the North-East Regional Development Agency, focused on identifying the strengths of our region and supporting the efforts to contribute to regional development. In addition, the transnational ROOTS project offers the necessary means for the establishment and reactivation of a rural community, and this can be a solution for the development of the rural environment.”, informed us Mr. Vasile Asandei, General Director of the North-East Regional Development Agency.

You can find out more about the ROOTS project on the website.

Restart + Communities

We are busy working on a very interesting project that focuses around communities. This project aims to support the community champions so that they can drive their communities forward.

Over the coming months, we will be looking at some inspiring community groups who have made a difference in the areas that they live in.

We’ll be finding out how the groups and individuals came up with ideas to help the areas they live in. We’ll hear about the obstacles that they may have faced and how they overcame them. We’ll also hear about the help and support they received.

Real life case studies of inspiring community leaders and policy makers who have tackled challenges with innovative approaches will provide inspiration to others in similar circumstances.  They have taken responsibility for their community’s well-being and resilience and they have taken action.

We have some Case Study Questions which community groups may find of interest:

The Restart+ Communties truly believes that only together we can reach a wide impact and improve lives in our communities. To find out more about this project please visit the website:
http://www.restart.how/index/index or find the project on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/RestartCommunities/



Using Virtual Reality in the Classroom

Virtual Reality or VR as it’s known is taking the world by storm. Along with augmented reality it can make the classroom a much more interesting place. With the Escola project in mind we were keen to find out how this would help engineering students.

Dr Jacqueline Thomas, a humanitarian engineering lecturer at University of Sydney, said Virtual Reality is especially useful for disciplines where, due to safety concerns or practicality reasons, it’s hard to give students hands-on experience.

“Construction engineers are using VR to do site inspections. Chemical engineers can use it to conduct experiments and observe chemical reactions at a much closer range than they would normally be able to.”

We looked at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota to find out more about their use of virtual reality. The university embraced technology and feel that this helps faculty and students stay ahead of the curve.

STELAR: the St. Thomas eLearning and Research Center, is digitally connected, and technically-outfitted with interactive touch screens, video conferencing, etc. The center supports the movement toward online and blended degrees, while aiding faculty in their research. In STELAR’s Emerging Technology Showcase, faculty can start envisioning – and using – the classrooms of the future.

Students at the university use Virtual Reality by capturing 360⁰ images on site, and of their projects, that can be stitched together into a VR experience. 

STELAR’s Active Learning Classroom includes monitors and whiteboards on every wall, group seating rather than rows of desks. This makes learning much more interactive and encourages a collaborative way of education.

To find out more about the Escola Project and to take the free online course please visit the website.

5 Interesting Apps and Tools for Engineering Students

With the Escola Project in mind we’ve been researching apps and websites designed for engineering students. Instead of having to carry bulky books, engineering students can now take advantage of the multiple apps and tools available. 

We’ve taken a look at some of the apps and tools that might be of interest :

Engineering Unit Converter
This is a comprehensive engineering unit converter with an intuitive spinning wheel interface. There is no ad, no hidden code, no need for a network connection, and the total size is about half a megabyte. 

Instructables
Not an app but a really cool website. Instructables is a community for people who like to make things. You can explore, share, and make your next project with them. You will be inspired by this one.

Wolfram Alpha
A very user friendly app, this one has been compared to Wikipedia for engineering students. Students input questions relevant to their field of study and the Alpha gives you the answer.

Electrodroid
This app is designed specifically for use by Electrical engineering and electronics student. The app serves as a database for electronic tools and references which can be used by students looking to learn or practicing engineers searching for immediate information when solving problems.

RealCalc Plus
RealCalc Plus is designed to look and operate exactly like a real hand-held calculator. It has all the standard scientific functions plus fractions, degrees/minutes/seconds, history, memories, unit conversions and constants. You can choose from a number of display styles and formats. It also supports binary, octal and hexadecimal calculations and has an optional RPN mode. 

If you have any suggestions for great apps or tools for engineers just let us know.

To find out more about the Escola Project and take the free, online course please visit the website.