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The EU Enlargement Table Quiz
by Simone O'Neill, FCJ, Bunclody, Co. Wexford.

One of the first year classes wanted to raise awareness about European Union enlargement which took place on May 1st 2004. Firstly they found out the names of the 10 countries that were involved. This initial research took place two weeks before May 1st. The students then divided into groups of three to continue a more in-depth study of each of the 10 countries. Each group had to find out basic information on one country - comprising facts on capital cities, currency, language, sport, flags, and famous people. Meanwhile in CSPE class the students studied the history and institutions of the EU. The research topics eventually formed the categories for the table quiz rounds.

In order to raise awareness in the school about EU enlargement the class decided to host a table quiz for the Transition Year students. A group of students approached the principal about the possibility of running the quiz. She was supportive, and over the next ten days she was kept informed of the venue, time and student participation.

Another group approached the forty-eight TY students to gauge their level of interest in the quiz and got a very positive response. They were willing to pay €2 to participate in the knowledge that there would be a monetary prize involved as well as a donation to chartity. The first year students then sought out the TY Geography teachers, as they wanted to know what standard of knowledge the TY students should have on the EU and on enlargement. This information was deemed necessary so as to know what level to pitch the questions at.

The first years organised themselves into groups of three again, and this time each group had the task of compiling a round of questions for the quiz. For example a group would collect possible questions from the class to compile a round on currency in the EU. One group devised a picture round based on flags of the EU.

Within a group of three, one student was the quizmaster and the others collected answer sheets and corrected them. One group collected the €2 from the TY students and organized the prize money and the charity donation. The venue group booked and arranged the hall for the quiz. The “permission from teachers” group looked for cooperation from first year and TY teachers to hold the quiz on the first afternoon after EU enlargement. The publicity group put up the posters advertising the table quiz. The TY students organized themselves into teams of four and the first years assigned them an EU country as their team name. At the end a formal prize-giving ceremony was held.

Overall the action project was an interesting and challenging way for students to increase their knowledge of the EU, the concept of development was covered in a fun and stimulating way.