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Students make waves with tidal research project in Italy

16 April 2015

Last month a group of Gloucestershire College students joined their peers from nine European countries on a trip to Nova Siri in Southern Italy, as part of the Comenius project S.A.R.A.H, which promotes sciences and exchanges between schools and colleges across Europe through universal and contemporary issues.

During the five-day visit, each group from Austria, Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey and the UK was tasked to present an environmental research project specific to their own country, about a local environmental issue.

Gloucestershire College’s A Level Environmental Studies students, 18-year-old Hannah Burke from Ruardean and Steven Payne from Lydbrook, who are currently studying at Five Acres campus, delivered an impressive presentation of their research project about the Severn Tidal Barrage and tidal energy.

The overarching aim of the Comenius programme is to increase the partnership between students and staff across the EU; improving personal development and language skills, whilst helping them understand the range of EU cultures and values.

For this reason, Hannah and Steven were joined by 17-year-old Liam Hill and 18-year-old Liam Taylor, both from Cinderford and studying Level 1 Construction, on the trip, as well as Construction Lecturers David Auker-Howlett and Steven Lewis.

All students stayed with Italian host families and during their stay and visited scientific centres including the Matera Space Centre, an environmental research centre in Potenza and The National Research Council in Trisaia, as well as cultural sites including the Baroque city of Lecce and Sassi di Matera.

Lecturer David Auker-Howlett said: “This visit gave our students the opportunity to experience Italy on the most personal level; making great friends with the Italian students, as well as those from the other participating European countries.”

This trip follows the human sundial the construction students have started building at the Royal Forest of Dean Campus. The finished sundial will be unveiled in June, when Gloucestershire College hosts all of the Comenius partner countries at its three main campuses.

For more information about the project contact David Auker-Howlett on

See more pictures from the trip on Facebook.

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