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From Italy to Iceland: Teacher Exchange on GeoQuest

Last summer Sabina Maraffi and Ásdís Ingólfsdóttir met as teacher delegates of Science on Stage Italy and Science on Stage Iceland at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary. Sabina presented the project 'Who killed Maya Foster? A CLIL CrimeQuest, interactive computer class Role Playing Game'. Now she and Ásdís came up with the idea to do a teacher exchange and develop a new project together which combines the idea of Sabina to use computer games in STEM classes and to do research on geology and geography.

For developing the GeoQuest project Sabina went to see Ásdís in Iceland where she learned about the Icelandic school system, visited Ásdís school and did field trips to experience the Icelandic geology, geography and nature. Sabina also met with Haraldur Gunnarsson, a teacher and professor of Earth Sciences who is joining the project too. On site Sabina gave geology lessons with the GeoQuest project to second year students. Therefore she chose several interdisciplinary science adventures about the Vesuv for the Icelandic students, so they would not only improve their STEM skills but also gain knowledge about nature, history and culture of her own home country Italy. Furthermore, Sabina shared the game with other Icelandic teachers.

As a next step Ásdís will visit Sabina in Italy. But before she is going to develop a GeoQuest game with her students on Iceland's geology and geography for challenging the Italian students.

 

Germany goes Italy: Take a workshop to your country for chemistry teachers

From 6-7 April 2017 two German chemistry teachers visited Tramin in South Tyrol to give a workshop about 'Experiment-based tasks which integrate contexts into a process-oriented environment and aim at active handling of knowledge' at the Fortbildungsakademie Schloss Rechtenthal. With this project Gregor von Borstel and Andreas Böhm won the European Science Teacher Award at the European Science on Stage festival 2015 in London.

The project of the two German teachers needs only little material of low cost. With devices from medical technology the 20 participants experimented on oxygen, the shifting of chemical equilibrium or analysed the chemical reactions behind hotpots and cool packs. The two workshop leaders were rewarded with an overwhelming positive feedback!

Learn more about the project: http://www.lncu.de/index.php?alias=startseite

 

From Italy to UK: Take a workshop to your country

From 23-24 June 2016 Giovanni Pezzi from Associazione per l’Insegnamento della Fisica went to UK to present his 'Smartphones in Physics Experiments' workshop at the Institute of Physics in Gloucester and at Exeter University. This workshop was presented before at the European Science on Stage festival 2015 in London. After the event Alessio Bernardelli from the British Science on Stage teacher team and Giovanni Pezzi from the Italian delegation applied for the Science on Stage programme 'Take a Workshop to your country'.

The workshop itself was a great success and the teachers attending were very excited to learn the potential of their smartphones and what their students can do with them in physics experiments. Giovanni’s starting point was that 'Kids often forget their books at home, but never their smartphones', so using smartphones to enhance their learning instead of just for social media has to be a good thing. In addition to the workshop all particpants also received the 'iStage 2' booklet, which contains further examples of effective use of handheld devices in science teaching and learning.

The ideas for practicals explored by Giovanni ranged from Mechanics to Optics, Acoustics and Thermography. Especially fascinating to the participants was the introduction of the app 'Sensor Kinetic', which allows to access the raw data from the sensors on the device. This is invaluable for developers who need accurate measurements of sensor outputs in various situations to write their apps, but its power can be harnessed by students doing physics in the classroom. Examples of ideas for this ranged from measuring g by dropping a smartphone in a polystyrene beans box to SHM experiments by hanging the phone on a spring.The teachers also looked at great accessories like the IR camera FLIR ONE and some excellent examples of how it can be used to help learners understand thermographs.

About 130 teachers of physics attended the workshops over the two days and the results were really promising, because they could go back to their schools with ideas, resources and tools they could use the very next day.