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lunes, 25 de enero de 2021


Besides taking part in LIS lessons to observe how lessons and interactions between students and

teachers occur at our school, students participating in the programme also had the opportunity to enjoy

themselves while, at the same time, creating bonds between students to help them understand and

overcome cultural differences. These were they aims when we took them to visit the capital of Saxony

and Berlin.


One of the most unique aspects of Leipzig is that it is situated at the confluence of three rivers, the 

Weiße Elster, Pleiße und Parthe. Thus, the construction of multiple canals, diversions, and weirs (small 

dams) are designed help to disperse and control water levels and to prevent flooding. Quite the 

opposite of the Spanish situation, Leipzig is very water abundant, at times to a fault.

Due to the intricate network of canals, tours are a popular site-seeing leisure activity. We arranged to

have a private boat tour to showcase the canals, and how Leipzig was historically shaped and defined

by our water resources. Luckily, the tour operator allowed for one more tour, as ours was to be the very

last of the 2019 season. The tour, which included our exchange students from Spain, their teachers,

Eileen Fischer, and Gwendolyn Brunet, took us to three sections of the canals. We learned about their

history, the interesting mix of modern and historic architecture, which border the canals, and the 

economic importance of the freshwater resources available in the canals, for domestic, industrial and 

navigation purposes. The 70 minutes tour was translated by each teacher from Leipzig in turn, which 

helped the exchange students to understand the tour, which gave them opportunities to ask questions.


Certainly, any Freshwater themes in Leipzig revolve around the canals and the surrounding lakes. The

Leipzig hinterlands is thus named Neuseeland (New Lake Land) because of the vast number of new 

lakes. These lakes, as the students already learned from their fieldwork day, were originally open cast 

coal mines for the brown coal which is abundance in central Germany. Although many mines are out of 

commission and are now very popular leisure and recreation sites, one Opencast coal mine is still in

 operation and provides tours. The reason for this particular visit to the Schleenhain Opencast Mine was

again to support the Erasmus+ Project, Freshwater Shortage! Warning!. The focus of this visit was how

the site manages its water resources and steps they take to prevent pollution and contaminants

from entering the local rivers or groundwater (see Tagebau vereignites Schleenhain brochure). This is 

especially important as Leipzig is downstream from this coal mine. Students took public transportation 

from Leipzig to reach the coal mine and were met by a bus which ferried us to their conference

room. There the students learned about the methods and legal responsibilities to ensure water

quality on site, with their presentation titled ‘The water management of the MIBRAG in the

context of the total water balance in the south of Leipzig.”

After the presentation, students needed to board the bus, where hard helmets were waiting. We were

given an extensive tour of the mining operation, and some close-up views of the giant equipment used

to break up and convey the substrate, so that the coal is reached.

Our guide explains how any ground water must be diverted and stored separately, before being

processed and released into the local river system.  Lastly, we were brought to the water works where 

all it is processed. Heavy metals and other toxins are settled out of the water through filters and mag

nets. This portion of the tour was very interesting and 

tied into the project by emphasizing the importance of water quality and energy requirements of

populations. Though the mine will eventually be phased out, the tour was very educational for both

students and staff.


On November 2019 IES Al Ándalus came back to Leipzig as part of the Erasmus+ exchange 

programme. Although when the project was submitted to the respective national agencies we planned

only to carry out two exchanges. However, back in November 2018 we decided to extend the number 

of  mobilities to benefit a larger number of students. This decision was based on the very good 

understanding and support provided by the two schools and, of course, after having the approval of the 


Konferenz. Like back in April the Spanish students attended a series of activities aimed to create the

relationships between our students and, on the other hand, to develop their awareness and

knowledge of the environmental issues around which our project was based on.

On top of this, we took this visit to develop the ties between our two schools. The headmasters of the

two schools met and shared opinions, ideas and impressions about the programme. These concepts

were shared in a working group formed by teachers from both schools, administrative staff and a parent.

 VISIT TO DRESDEN, BERLIN AND FAREWELL PARTY Besides taking part in LIS lessons to observe how lessons and interactions between students and...