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Centaurus Racing Team achievement

The Centaurus Racing Team, comprised of students from the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Thessaly, managed 1st place in the Engineering Design category of the Formula Student (Class 2) competition, which took place in Silverstone, UK, (11-15 July 2018). In the competition, which hosted 32 international student teams, the Centaurus Racing Team ranked 2nd in the Class 2 competition.


“Saxophone Soundscapes” concert

A special concert titled "Saxophone Echocopia" was held on Wednesday, July 4, 2018 at 20:30 at the amphitheater "G. KORDATOU "University of Thessaly, Volos. The Athens Saxophone Quartet, one of the most important ensembles of chamber music, performed works by J. S. Bach, Dinos Constantinides, Nickitas Demos, W. A. ​​Mozart, Athanasios Zervas, Dimitris Themelis and Thodoris Karathodorou.

The primary purpose of the Quartet, as reflected in the structure of the program, is the promotion and dissemination of contemporary Greek art, and the interpretation of selected works from world music literature. Mr. Athanasios Zervas, founding member of the Quartet, in his greeting and his introductory position, said:

"It is a great honor for the Athens Saxophone Quartet to be near you today to share with you an interesting, appreciated, musical program. The scholarly differentiation reflected in the structure of the program, with academic projects and projects characterized by a certain communicative immediacy, creates interesting correlations. At the same time, we feel great joy and thrill that we are in this place that has provided so much, with the University, the Greek culture, the arts and the sciences. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the University of Thessaly, my colleagues and I personally wish this spiritual institution to continue to pioneer and contribute to a pulsating research with the primary purpose of disseminating useful research results to society. "

The concert was attended by teachers from the university's university community, students, music students, and a crowd from the volunteer audience of Volos.


Professor Stavroula Kaldi from the Department of Primary Education, speaker in the international conference IV INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON TEACHER EDUCATION in the Kazan Federal University in Russia

From May 22 to May 24 2018, Professor Kaldi Stavroula, from the Department of Primary Education of the University of Thessaly, was an invited speaker to the IV INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON TEACHER EDUCATION on the subject of “PROFESSIONALISM OF THE TEACHER AS A CONDITION OF THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION”. The conference took place in the Kazan Federal University in the republic of Tatarstan in the Volga Federal District, Russia.

The conference was realized under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Education of the Russian Federation and the Russian Academy for Education in collaboration with the International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching. Mrs. Kaldi received a formal invitation to present, in a keynote speech, subjects related to her scientific interests upon her collaboration with Professor Roza Valleva from the Institute of Psychology and Education of the Kazan Federal University. The keynote speech on “Student teachers’ journey to teaching: self-efficacy beliefs, motivation and sources of support during school practicum” was about the teaching practices of prospective instructors.  During the conference, issues related to the professional development of educators as a prerequisite for the quality of education were presented and discussed by both distinguished and young scientists in the field of pedagogy and education. The conference met with great success. The organization of the conference was excellent and its public exposure was strengthened by the participation and speeches of the Rector of the Kazan Federal University, of the Deputy Minister of Science and Education of the Russian Federation as well as that of the Rector of the Pedagogical University of Moscow. The conference coordinators, who were Russian scientists and staff, were praised for their impeccable hospitality to all participants and particularly to the invited speakers. In tandem with the scientific programme of the conference, the participants were also made familiar with the Russian and Tatar culture ascertaining the peaceful coexistence of various different nationalities and religions. It is worth mentioning that the Russian colleagues of the Kazan Federal University, upon communication with Professor Kaldi, organized a visit to a Kazan public school (the 122nd School of Kazan where 1500 pupils of Primary and Secondary Education study). Mrs. Kaldi was pleasantly surprised to discover that the students had chosen to allot some space dedicated to Greece quite a while ago.

The conference was an opportunity to meet and cooperate with internationally distinguished scientists in the field of Pedagogy and to explore a possible future collaboration with the University of Thessaly.  


Working Group Committees for the Regeneration of the Troodos Mountain Communities

The Rector of the University of Thessaly, Mr. Georgios Petrakos, along with researchers from the Agricultural Laboratory of the School of Engineering of the University of Thessaly, traveled to Cyprus, on 17-6-2018, to participate in the 1st Conference of Scientific and Technical Committees for the Regeneration of Mountain Troodos in Cyprus.
The President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nikos Anastasiadis and the Rector of the University of Thessaly, Professor George Petrakos, gave a welcome speech during the opening of the 1st Conference of Scientific and Technical Committees for the Regeneration of the Troodos Mountain in Cyprus on 18-6-2018.
In his speech, the President of the Republic of Cyprus stressed the following:
"I want to welcome and thank the Rector, the professors of the University of Thessaly and the other Universities. It is perhaps the largest group to study, in collaboration with Public Service officials, in an effort to create a decisive and coherent development strategy. "
According to the researchers, Troodos can become an example of sustainable mountain management and development in the European Union. It is noted that a total of 114 communities will be affected by the Plan.
Proposals were made for the necessary adjustments required especially in the Troodos mountain region, in order to provide an effective residential, urban and spatial policy.
As stated by the President of the Republic, Nikos Anastasiadis, an inter-ministerial guiding committee has been appointed, responsible for the coordination and implementation of the development policy in the mountainous region of Cyprus.
It was decided to form Committees with the objective to study the various issues and reach conclusions which will be studied by the researchers of the Agricultural Laboratory of the School of Engineering of the University of Thessaly.
The Rector of the University of Thessaly met with the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Konstantinos Petrides, on 20-6-2018. The University of Thessaly will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cyprus Ministry of Interior to support the Government of Cyprus in a series of developmental actions and studies. This memorandum concerns mainly the Department of Urban Planning and Regional Development of the School of Engineering of the University of Thessaly. A series of programme contracts will follow.  The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Anastasiadis, met with the Rector of the University of Thessaly, Mr. Georgios Petrakos, on 21-6-2018. During his visit in Cyprus, the Rector of the University of Thessaly met with three Rectors of Cyprian Universities with whom he intends to sign memorandums in the near future. The Rector of the University of Thessaly departed for Athens on 21-6-2018.


Collaboration of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Thessaly with Universities in Europe and Asia in Problem-Based Learning Planning

From the funded ALIEN research project
According to the Modernization Agenda for Higher Education, the sector faces certain challenges, including the effective development of the students' skills and knowledge so that they can act as efficient professionals with a positive impact on their social environment, the economic crisis, youth unemployment, the need to incorporate new methodologies into learning, the need to adapt learning to the rapid development of technology and industrial processes.
Traditional learning methodologies based on passive dissemination of information fail to effectively develop the broad skills required today in industry. Emerging learning methodologies, such as Project and Problem-Based Learning (PBL), offer significant benefits by contributing to the development of sophisticated skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Problem-based learning is an active methodology focusing on the learner. Within this framework, students develop knowledge and skills following a process of synthesis of solutions to problems that are usually based on real situations. The method offers significant benefits including the development of critical thinking, creativity, the capacity for collaboration, communication skills, inherent motivation to engage in learning, and business thinking.
The ALIEN research project (http://projectalien.eu) aims to design, implement, and validate an active learning-based learning methodology based on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The methodology will be supported by a virtual learning environment that includes a set of digital tools and will allow students to experiment, collaborate, and communicate with an extensive and multinational learning community that includes other stakeholders such as teachers and researchers.
The project is coordinated by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Thessaly. Scientific responsible for the project is Mr. Elias Houstis. Mrs. Charikleia Tsalapata is the responsible person for the organization of the project. Seventeen universities from Greece, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Pakistan take part in the realization of the program.   
The research project will transfer the technical know-how on designing, installing, and full support of problem-based learning laboratories, which will consist of equipment, digital learning environment that will be developed in the context of the project, technical support and human resources support, from the European universities to the universities in Asia.
The expected impact of ALIEN is the institutional strategic adoption of active learning as the main pedagogical approach to education. The ALIEN research project is funded by the ERASMUS + Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) project, which aims to strengthen cooperation between European and developing universities.
From June 20 to June 22, the first project consortium meeting is being held at the Tsalapatas Multiplex with the participation of 40 representatives of the universities participating in the research project. The president of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mr Lefteris Tsoukalas and Professor Ioanna Laliotou will give a brief welcome during the consortium.
Invited speaker to the consortium is Professor Dimitra Evangelou from the Democritus University of Thrace.


2nd Academic & School Year: 30th Primary School of the Municipality of Volos hosts the University of Thessaly

For the 2nd consecutive academic and school year the University of Thessaly is hosted by the 30th Elementary School of Volos as part of the course “Learning Environments” of the Department of Architecture Engineering and the Department of Early Childhood Education. Approximately 20 students from the Department of Architecture Engineering and as many pupils from the aforementioned school worked together to create mock-ups in the subject of “Our school’s library”. On Thursday, June 14, 2018, the students and the pupils presented their mock-ups. Among the comments regarding the event, a student said that it was one of the best presentations, less stressful, while a pupil of the 6th grade remarked that if such creative things continue to take place, it would be a good idea to delay her graduation to junior high school. The atmosphere was particularly positive and the students and pupils posed questions, intervened and stated their opinions in a climate of cooperation and playful ambiance.

We would like to thank the students and the pupils that gifted us with this experience. We would also like to give a special thanks to the headmaster of the 30th Primary School, Mr. Paschalis Dimou, without the hospitality and help of whom this venture would not be possible.


Christos Alexiou to be named Honorary Doctor

On Thursday, June 14, 2018, Christos Alexiou was awarded the Honorary Doctorate from the Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology and the Department of Special Education of the University of Thessaly.
His proclamation as an Honorary Doctor commemorates his outstanding educational contribution, his active and multi-dimensional contribution to founding and developing Modern Greek studies abroad, his rich contribution to Modern Greek letters and studies and his distinguished contribution to giving prominence and establishing the scientific field of special education as an independent academic field.
Christos Alexiou was born in Sklithro, Agia, and has worked both in England and in Greece. From 1988 to 1994, he taught Modern Greek Literature at the University of Thessaly and organized its Library. As a Special Secretary of Special Education in the Ministry of Education, he suggested and contributed significantly to the foundation of the first and only Department of Special Education in a Higher Education Institution, up to date.


ADLES Research Project: Design and Implementation of Emerging Student Learning Methodologies through Work Experience and Troubleshooting

Traditional learning methodologies, based on passive information transmission, do not develop significant transversal skills such as critical, lateral, and creative thinking, communication skills, and the ability to co-operate in small and large groups.
In addition, traditional learning methodologies, when not combined with digital technology, do not succeed in attracting the interest of today's digital literate students, meeting their emerging needs, and exploiting the benefits of technology in order to link the learning process to learning objectives by enriching learning activities, increased flexibility, and immediate feedback.
The ADLES research project, funded by the European Commission's Erasmus + program, in which the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Thessaly also participates, aims to work with teachers in secondary general and vocational education so as to design and implement emerging learning methodologies that contribute to pupils' active participation through experiential learning, project based learning, and problem-based learning. These methodologies contribute not only to the development of knowledge but also to its effective implementation in real life. The ADLES research project is developing a digital platform that offers a range of tools, including digital learning games, simulations, and communication capabilities to support active learning.
The ADLES platform enables students to explore a problem, search for information, compound possible solutions, collaborate, communicate, and develop cross-cutting skills with industry and labor market demands within a wide international community. A first version of the platform is expected to be ready for pilot use by the end of 2018.
In the research program, apart from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Thessaly, organizations from Portugal, Denmark, Italy and Turkey also participate. The scientist responsible for the program on behalf of the University of Thessaly is the Emeritus Professor Ilias Houstis, while the responsible staff member is Mrs. Charikleia Tsalapatas. The group works together in the research project with Mr. Antonios Plageras, Head of Youth Advisory Station of Magnesia.
More information on the research project, which is underway from 2017 to 2019, is available on http://adles.eu/.


Acquaintance of the Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment with the people of Volos

The Department of Agriculture, Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment of the School of Agricultural Sciences, in the context of the 30th anniversary celebration of the University of Thessaly, held an informative event on Thursday May 31st, in the surrounding area of the Papastratos Seafront Complex.
The citizens of Volos got acquainted with the scientific objects the Department deals with and were informed about the marine environment.
The makeshift outdoor laboratories offered the opportunity, especially to young children, to experiment and observe marine organisms, as well as to learn about modern applications of alternative forms of farming.


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