In the first week of October, 7th grade students Anna Hamburg, Linda Männik, Rudolf Jürviste, Reigo
Mõlder, teachers Maren Asumets and Katrin Liiv were in Bulgaria within the Erasmus + project
“Teachers and Students Experiencing the Meaning of STEM”. The project involves partners from Estonia,
Lithuania, Portugal, Turkey, Italy and Bulgaria. The theme of this meeting was “Conserve water, conserve
life”.n Bulgaria we were hosted by the 2nd English Language Gymnasium “Thomas Jefferson”. The school is
taught in English and students can study there from the 8th grade. The challenging experience for the
students was that all the subjects of this school are taught in English by the children of this school, and so
our sevenths had to show their knowledge and skills in STEM subjects as well as make a serious effort to
develop English vocabulary and communication skills.
The students presented their homework prepared in English, how things are with water protection in our
country, actively participated in chemical laboratories, where the practical tasks are water filtration and
water pH measurement. The laws of physics could be tested in a museum of illusions. Trips to the
beautiful landscapes of Bulgaria were also marked by the acquisition of practical knowledge on water
protection issues. We visited the water museum and the water treatment plant, we saw the hot water
As people of a flat country, we were fascinated by a trip to the Rila Mountains, the highest mountain in
the Balkans. There are seven Rila lakes in this mountain range, which can only be visited when you are ready for a mountain hike. Despite a bit of a scary cable car ride and a physically difficult and time-
consuming mountain hike, we were able to enjoy breathtaking views and see with our own eyes some clean water lakes.
The knowledge of the students and teachers was supplemented with the history of Bulgaria, we visited the
monastery of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Rila Mountains. Of course we got a part of
Bulgarian folk traditions and folk music. The time spent with the project partners was a great opportunity
to improve our communication skills for all of us.
Anna Hamburg: While visiting Bulgaria, we learned a lot of exciting and interesting things during the
week. In addition to learning, I also had a lot of fun. We went to the mountains, museums and school
lessons. While in the mountains, we saw the beauty of Bulgarian nature, and the sad fact that teacher
Katrin was afraid of heights became clear. Nevertheless, he gathered his courage and came with us to the
mountains to admire nature. At school, we made and presented various presentations about water and
world pollution. In class, we did experiments and a small test that included questions about water
purification and other water-related topics. In addition, we learned to measure the pH level of water. We
visited the water treatment plant and also inspected the largest geyser in Bulgaria. We lit candles in the
monastery and went to church. In addition to everything, we had a city tour of Sofia, after which we were
all dead tired. While in Bulgaria, we improved our English language skills and learned a few words in Bulgarian.
Linda Männik: I really enjoyed meeting people from other nationalities and cultures during this trip. It
was fun to make new friends and make exciting experiments together. The trip to the mountains was very
memorable during this trip. While in Bulgaria, we learned how to make a water filter, measure the pH
level of water, and learned about what is done with wastewater and garbage in other countries.
Rudolf Jürviste: I went to Bulgaria with teachers and three other students. The trip was great, we learned
new things: physics, biology and science. Everyone we met was good and cool people. When we went
hiking in the mountains, I was thrilled because this was my first time. The food was delicious there.
Reigo Mõlder: In Bulgaria we learned how to measure the pH of water and we also learned a bit about the
history of Bulgaria. We went there in the mountains, which were more than two kilometers above sea
level. We also went to the monastery. The meeting with the Bulgarians and other partners was very nice.
Going to school was cool because we made a lot of friends. We also went to the Museum of Illusions, it
was very strange and cool. There was a party on the last day and we got a certificate. All in all, everything
was very nice and I hope to meet new acquaintances again.