Refurbishments of SINFONIA school buildings – involvement of teachers and pupils

In Innsbruck, three elementary schools (VS Siegmair, VS Angergasse and VS Neu-Arzl) took part in SINFONIA. Over a period of two years (2015 – 2017), schools were being refurbished to improve their energy efficiency. To involve these schools and their users, being teachers and pupils as local stakeholder groups, the School Workshop Program: Smart Cities is developed and will be implemented into the school`s curriculum. The organisation of the activities of knowledge sharing with the SINFONIA schools is performed by members of the Communication Team Innsbruck under the lead of the consortial partner alpS.
school children at the Kick-off event

Not only residential buildings were refurbished, also three schools take part in SINFONIA. In order to involve these schools a school workshop program was developed by alpS. In the  framework of the refurbishment of schools one of the major challenges is to define and involve the different user groups. The workshop program is aiming at consciousness raising and sensitizing of teachers and particularly pupils. It consists of two obligatory basic modules and three elective modules, of which only one workshop should be selected. To complete the workshop program, schools had to attend a kick-off-workshop and four additional workshops. The coordination unit (alpS) guaranteed a consistent program sequence.
The exchange of knowledge with schools is divided into two activities:

The first one is the kick-off event in the framework of the “Young University – Day of action” of the University of Innsbruck and module 1 (“SINFONIA – Smart City”), which were obligatory. The second are subsequent workshops (following 3 modules) throughout the school year 2015/2016 held by the external partners Energy Tyrol and Climate Alliance Tyrol, which are selectable. Concerning contents and methods, these partners adapted their educational programs to the age of the children. Central contents of the workshops are energy, mobility and aspects of the refurbishment of the school building.

The kick-off event was held in November 2015. The “Young University – Youth Day”, organized by the University of Innsbruck, took place in Innsbruck. Beside different institutes of the university external institutions with a scientific and technical background presented the topics of their daily work to school children and teenagers. In this framework, the SINFONIA partners organized a workshop for pupils of the three Tyrolean schools to be refurbished within SINFONIA with the contents energy consumption, renewable energy, climate and environment protection. Furthermore, an ideas competition with the topic “Smart City – City of the future” was organized. Subsequently the module 1 (SINFONIA – Smart City) was held by the SINFONIA consortium at each school. The first point was to present the project SINFONIA to all pupils and teachers taking part in the workshop program and to raise awareness for the use of renewable energy and refurbishment activities. By the involvement of “external” partners like Energy Tyrol and Climate Alliance Tyrol, that have experience in the exchange of knowledge of relevant topics to the target group, it was guaranteed that the envisaged workshops withthe topics energy, mobility and architecture serve the purpose.


To convince teachers and pupils of the advantages of refurbished schools and the benefit of new light and heating systems. The school workshop program is a convincing instrument for these stakeholder groups. Especially the pupils gain a playful access to the different contents of the city, respectively the school, of the future. Subsequently, a multiplier effect is expected when there is knowledge exchange between teachers/pupils and their families, friends or colleagues.

Lessons learnt:

Prerequisite for the transfer of knowledge to the pupils is the establishment of a good contact with the teachers and the headmasters of the schools. Since the curricula of the schools are relatively tight and offers of extracurricular activities by different institutions are manifold, some efforts have to be done to persuade the schools of participating in the workshop program. Due to this, an early announcement of the program is indispensable. To convince schools to participate, the workshop program has to follow a clear structure and a reasonable embedding in the school curricula.

To involve external partners (Energy Tyrol, Climate Alliance Tyrol) and to increase popularity of SINFONIA, the workshop program is based on an existing range of workshops offered by these partners in Tyrol.


Download the “School workshop program: Smart cities” below:

kb_structuregraphic_web600 “School workshop program: Smart cities”