DOIT had the honour to join the EU Research & Innovation section of the EU Open Day event on Saturday 4 May 2019 at the European Commission's Berlaymont building. We were one of the EU-funded projects invited by the Commission to represent them at this thematic stand to not just showcase our project but also help illustrate the importance and impact of research and innovation in everyday life and the role and support of the European Union. Our project was represented by staff from eduCentrum (Fyxxilab), Gent, and YouthProAktiv, Brussels, and benefited from the help of several European Commission volunteers throughout the day.
The all-day event brought around 10,000 visitors to the venue, with DOIT attracting attention throughout the day. This was mainly thanks to our mini-workshop for children and young people. They had the chance to personalise their own eco-friendly tote bag, with the DOIT logo on one side and the other side blank for them to use. With permanent textile markers, they were encouraged to use text and images to convey a positive message or their hope for the future and what they can do about it, show something they care about and is important to them, or simply something they would be proud to wear in public and show their friends. At the end, with the help of a facilitator if needed, they finished off their bag by adding a small led light, connecting it correctly to a battery and fasten with tape to keep the light on and in place for as long as they wish. They were also encouraged to later note down their ideas, positive messages and how they can contribute to social good and share these with adults and other children. The activity combined STEAM learning and active reflection on social issues while promoting creativity, proactivity and entrepreneurial thinking. Just over 300 children and young people had the chance to take part and take home their unique tote bag, with messages covering topics such as environment, ecology and sustainability, from flora and fauna to the use of resources; EU and national citizenship; living together, helping others, mutual respect and intercultural understanding; and others.
Furthermore, both young and old participants had the chance to observe a 3D printer in action, ask questions about various STEAM, maker and digital issues, among others, and learn more about the project, its course and achievements so far and any running or future initiatives they might benefit from, such as the DOIT success stories, Toolbox, DOIT Social Innovation Idea Challenge and an online course for teachers and facilitators.