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Kharkiv: The first Ukrainian Science on Stage festival 2016

From 18-19 November 2016 the first Ukrainian Science on Stage festival was organised at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Dr Nataliya Kazachkova, NSC of Science on Stage Ukraine reports:

'The main organisers were Kharkiv Educational Center for Youth Gifts Development Association (ECYGDA) and the Department of Physics and Technology. 27 participants from five Ukrainian cities presented their innovative projects on using simple house hold objects, handmade experiments and impressive demonstrations. On 19 November the Opening Ceremony started with the greetings of the representative of the Ukrainian Ministry of Science and Education, University Administration, and City Council Authority. The conference sponsors - 'Ranok' Publishing House and Corporation 'Biscuit Chocolate' – warmly welcomed the participants and the visitors.

Among the most important events during the festival were two impressive interactive lectures presented by the experienced jury members from the UK and Croatia. David Featonby demonstrated some unforgettable simple experiments which aimed at warming up the visitors as well as at demonstrating innovative approaches to science education. Leon Jurcic presented an informative lecture on STEM teaching in Croatia.

The participants of the festival were able to attend three master classes presented by the most experienced STEM teachers. Wonderful adventures in  'Sound Land' presented by Ph.D. Nataliya Kazachkova in Boiko private school was an interactive competition among small groups of pupils at the lesson using physics toys and hand-on activity. 'Math Mosaic' was presented by Halyna Hodovana, private math teacher working with primary school children at Junior Karazin National University. Another master class on developing teacher skills in physical experiments demonstration was given by Leon Jurcic.

The presented projects were carefully examined by the jury (with the member of Executive Board from the United Kingdom, David Featonby). During the jury meeting twelve projects have been selected to take part at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary.

The main festival event was the fair of teaching innovations, which attracted more than 400 visitors, including school teachers, university staff and students. The visitors of the event took part in selecting the best projects by filling the feedback forms. Among the selected teaching projects was the project about ecology presented by biology and chemistry teachers from Sumy, the project concerning using physics toys at physics lessons from Kharkiv (ECYGDA organization), the project concerning the creation of unified database of physical experiments from house hold stuff presented by Ph.D. student from Kharkiv Uliana Nyemchenko as well as the project about developing kids curiosity from Mariupol teachers Alla and Tetyana Ziganzhynovy. The prize of visitors sympathy according to the question forms have been obtained by Igor Pliuto from Kyiv with his demonstration of  human eye retina. The whole range of science education was covered from the kindergarten up to the university level dealing with the formation of STEM teachers.

All the participants got certificates of attendance, useful textbooks from Publishing House 'Ranok' and sweet presents as prices from the Corporation Biscuit Chocolate. The winners of Ukrainian national selection are excited to get a chance of sharing their teaching innovations with the European colleagues, and to present their ideas at the international level.

Yeugenia Karlash, participant, stated: 'My project has not been selected as a winner, but I am so excited by the Science on Stage festival atmosphere and possibility to announce about your ideas that I am not disappointed at all. Those type of events just inspire me to do something interesting and innovating in future and I will never miss a chance to spread my absolutely positive emotions among my colleagues and friends! See you next year. I will do my best to become one of the winners!'

The first Ukrainian Science on Stage festival showed that Ukrainian STEM teaching innovations are worthy of visitors’ attention, and that Ukraine is expected to become one the most active members of the community in the recent years. Let carrousel of Ukrainian STEM teachers’ innovations rotate from teacher to teacher in Europe!'

Visiting the Netherlands: Spanish-Dutch joint project proceeds

From 15-18 December Nuria Muñoz Molina from La Inmaculada School in Algeciras, Spain, visited her teacher colleague Silvio Rademaker at the Amadeus Lyceum in Vleuten, Utrecht. They both met at the European Science on Stage festival 2015 in London as delegates of Science on Stage Spain and Science on Stage Netherlands. Together they started to work on the joint project 'Phantoms or Physics'. Find here the full report of Nuria on the latest exhange:

"On Thursday, 15th December, I travelled to Utrecht, The Netherlands, to collaborate and exchange in person with my colleague Silvio Rademaker in our joint project 'Phantoms or Physics'. On Friday Silvio and I went straight to school where I got to meet the principal and colleagues. After this nice and warm welcome we headed off to a large classroom where I met the students that are involved in the project. I had the opportunity to show them the part that my students have already developed throught our joint project and they explained their research regarding the same thing to me. I also visited most of the departments. I was pleasantly surprised about the facilities that the Amadeus Lyceum can offer to its students. The atmosphere at the school is really friendly. The educational system is quite different to the one that we have in Spain. Therefore I have brought new ideas that I have already shared with the headmistress and my colleagues at my school. It was well worth a visit!

The next topic on the agenda was about going to participate in the 51ª Conference for Physics Teachers. We stopped on the way to the conference because we had to attend to a phone call from a Spanish radio station and Silvio and I were interviewed to explain all about our joint project and my experience during the visit to The Netherlands. At last we got to the WND Conference with its nearly 600 physics teachers. Silvio and I did our workshop in the evening. I explained how 'hidden science' was used in magic shows and theatres during the 19th century and how performers used science as an art in their productions. We were so lucky that David Featonby from Science on Stage UK was there too.

Afterwards we shared a fantastic dinner with teachers that came from Belgium and The Netherlands. We had the opportunity to exchange ideas and future projects about science. Therefore it was very inspiring to hear new ideas and different approaches concerning the same subject. After dinner we participated in a big Science market where we could enjoy drinks while we were visiting different stalls, some of them with scientific books, others with experiments, and other ones with scientific toys. We also had the chance to chat to many teachers in a very relaxing atmosphere.

On the last day, Silvio and I attended David Featonby's workshop entitled 'What's next?'. He did lots of amazing experiments, in a very didactic way so we took photos of everything and we took advantage of being able to bring back ideas to our classes. I feel that I was very priveledged to participate in this unique experience and I'm grateful to the fact that thanks to Science on Stage I had the opportunity to meet Silvio and carry out a joint project and meet new colleagues and friends such as David Featonby. For more information regarding our experiments that we demonstrated throughout our workshop, please visit the webpage phantomsorphysics.wordpress.com."

Athens: The Greek Science on Stage festival 2016

From 11-12 November 2016 the Greek Science on Stage festival took place as the '9th Hellenic Science on Stage Fair', which included an exhibition and contest of laboratory constructions and educational material on the theme of the programme: 'Inventing the Future of Science Education'. It was held in the premises of 'Laboratory Centre of Physical Sciences of Aigaleo', Athens (E.K.F.E. Aigaleo) together with '10th Science and Technology Fair'. At the event the Greek STEM teachers delegation for the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary, was chosen. 

The contest was open for teams of students and teachers from all Greek schools. During the two-day event, all selected projects were shown to students, teachers and the general public. The entrance to both events was free. 330 students and 60 teachers presented 150 projects to about 1000 visitors.

The Greek Science on Stage festival was organised by the 'Laboratory Centre of Physical Sciences of Aigaleo' and the Greek NSC. 

 

News from Turkey: Teacher seminar and workshop on robotics

Robotics is a topic of high interest for STEM teachers all around Europe. Nilgün Erentay from Science on Stage Turkey just recently organised a teacher seminar and workshop on how to implement robotics in science teaching with participants from İstanbul, Samsun, Ankara, Kocaeli or Düzce - as you can tell by the pictures, it was a real hands-on experience! 

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