Fundació BCN Formació Professional has organized a day to present a new and innovative pedagogical project based on the exchange of knowledge on innovative solutions in the field of sustainability.
This project called “EU Water Challenge VET Lab” aims to engage European VET learners and trainers to identify innovative nature-based solutions to mitigate the consequences and effects of floods and improve water retention within ‘an imaginary European city, called ‘Metropolis’. Both learners and trainers will participate in the first international VET awards to respond to this challenge in the water management sector.
The company launching the challenge is Agbar, part of the international Veolia group, committed to ecological transformation. The city ‘Metropolis’ is invented and developed by Agbar and includes a series of combined functions of a typical city in Denmark, Belgium and Spain to emulate different environmental contexts (those of the different participating centers) in a single city.
Therefore, participating VET students will have to be creative to solve a real-world need by applying Challenge Based Learning (CBL) and other open innovation methodologies applied to VET, while they gain deeper knowledge and the skills needed to thrive in a changing world.
The event was attended by prominent experts in the sector and brought together representatives of companies and entities involved in the sector.
Among the speakers was Lluc Pejó, director of the Escuela del Agua and talent director of Agbar and responsible for launching the project challenge, Mrs. Anna Hernández, head of the Economic Development Area of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, and Mrs. Neus Pons, director of the Fundació BCN Formació Professional. In addition, Sol Bermejo, project coordinator for the Fundació BCN Formació Professional presented the EU Water Challenge VET Lab, and Gemma Sepúlveda, innovation project coordinator also presented the MetropolisFPLab, a project that served as inspiration to scale a VET pedagogical project based on learning through challenges in the European area.
During the presentation of the challenge, experts in urban drainage solutions have shared their knowledge and experiences, including the explanation of what “nature-based solutions” are by Ángel Villanueva, Director of Resilience and Climate Change of Agbar. The city ‘Metròpoli’ was also presented by Montse Lloch, Communication Manager of the Agbar Water School, explaining to the participants what the basic requirements were that the fictitious city created by the participants would need to have.
The Challenge-Based Learning methodology, an innovative pedagogical element provided by the project and the virtual platform, were also presented by Joan Ras, from SDLI. The session was closed with a group dynamic to encourage teamwork among the students by Júlia Zivic and Gemma Sepúlveda, from the Fundació BCN Formació Professional.