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Promoting Science on Stage: National Conference on Physics Education in Bulgaria

Тhe 46. National Conference on Physics Education, organized by the Union of Physicist in Bulgaria took place from 13-15 April 2018 in the historical town Pleven. The conference is annual and in general on physics education in schools and universities. This year - because of the Bulgarian Presidency at the European Council - the general theme of the conference was 'European dimensions of the Bulgarian physics education'. Hence sharing and comparing professional experiences and good practices on education in Europe was the goal that made the announcement of the national Science On Stage festival just in time and on the subject.

Just after the official ceremonial opening I, Ana Georgieva, head of the Bulgarian Science on Stage NSC, gave a presentation about the Bulgarian Science on Stage festival and invited the teachers to the forthcoming national event, which will be held from 26-28 of October 2018 for the sixth time in a row in the town of Sevlievo.

Than with the help of Dr Jitka Houfkovа from the Department of Physics Education in Charles University in Prague, member of the Executive board of Science on Stage Europe and a buddy of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian delegation to the International festival in Debrecen, 2017, four special presentations took place during the event:

First Nadja Kiskinova from Stara Zagora gave a follow-up report about the last European festival Science On Stage in Debrecen, Hungary. They gave a detailed presentation on the past event, full of illustrational photos. She talked in details about the whole Bulgarian participation at the festival, starting by the common journey in a minibus, continuing by all the events during the festival and ending by great selection of interesting experiments.

Than an exhibition of posters on the projects that Bulgarian delegation presented in Debrecen took place during the whole second day and many participants of the conference stopped by and looked at them with great interest.

During the plenary session after the opening Jitka Houfková gave a teacher training called 'For Teachers From Teachers: Sharing of Inspiring Physics Experiments For All Ages'. Jitka introduced the international dimension of Science on Stage and the impact of the Science on Stage network to the science teachers. She showed a lot of experiments like a model of a beer tap, a model of lungs and a diaphragm, a model of step voltage inspired by Zoltán Sebestyen and Imre Sánta’s project from Debrecen or interference of light on thin surface created by nail polish, that was presented by different participants at the Science on Stage festival 2015 in London as well as in Debrecen 2017.

On the second day of the conference, a workshop on 'Scientific experiments for children: Suitable and quality foods' was presented by six 4th grade pupils of Daniela Georgieva from 6. primary school 'Hristo Botev' Kyustendil. The experiments demonstrated by the kids are part of the joint project of Daniela Georgieva and the teacher José Luis Olmo Rísquez from IES 'Azuer', Manzanares (Ciudad Real), Spain, which they would like to present at the forthcoming European Science on Stage festival 2019 in Portugal. The project is related to healthy eating and contains various experiments that show how to check the suitability and quality of the foods and types of water that we buy and consume in our daily lives.

Report by Ana Georgieva 

23.04.2018

Tagged with:
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#SonS2017 Follow-up: Swiss-German Teacher Exchange

At the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary Dieter Schmidt, teacher delegate of Science on Stage Germany met Reto and Felix Speerli, two teachers of the team Science on Stage Switzerland. After the event they decided to do a teacher exchange. From 30 March to 4 April 2018 Dieter Schmidt went to see his Swiss colleagues at the Obersee Bilingual School in Pfäffikon. Purpose of the exchange was to merge the Swiss IKARUS project (European STEM Teacher Award 2017) that teaches basic space-science to primary school students and the experiences of Dieter Schmidt who participated with his 9th graders in the German CanSat-contest 2017 that designed an Arduino-based mini-satellite which collected weather- and climate-data. 

Before the visit of Dieter Schmidt Reto Speerli began a coding class with his 6th graders at the beginning of this school year. The students used Scratch and the Picoboard and built their weather station with analog sensors. These they presented to the German teacher who in turn introduced them to Arduino and electric circuits. The knowledge of the Swiss students was now supposed to be transferred to the Arduino-environment and the scratch-like programm 'mBlock' to code their own weather-balloon-projects.

Reto Speerli will travel to Oyten in autumn and show the German students how to construct a weather balloon.

ROBOLAND 2018: Michalis Orfanakis in Kazakhstan

From 29-31 March 2018, the 4th international festival of robotics, programming and innovative technologies 'ROBOLAND 2018' was held in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. It is the biggest festival of its kind in the country and one of the most important in Asia with more than 1,600 participants taking part in around 40 competition categories.

Physics teacher Michalis Orfanakis, teacher delegate of Science on Stage Greece at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 and winner of the 'European STEM Teacher Award' last year was invited to participate in the round table discussion on the guiding theme 'Digital Transformation of Education: The Competence of the Future'. At the round table he was accompanied by representatives of the educational authorities of Karaganda, representatives of educational institutions and universities, representatives of major educational robotic companies and by teachers that got highly awarded in their countries for special performances. 

At the festival Michalis presented the topic 'Transforming the traditional school science laboratory into an STEM Lab' to his Kazakh colleagues. Moreover, he took the opportunity to visit one of the biggest schools of Karaganda, to talk with representatives from educational institutions and schools and exchange views and ideas on educational issues.

He also represented Science on Stage Europe and introduced the participants to the networks' activities and teaching ressources.

Since March 2018 Science on Stage Kazakhstan is the youngest member of Science on Stage Europe.

Find the award winning project of Michalis Orfanakis here for download Tomography in school – Optical CT Scanner with Lego and Arduino.

 

#SonS2017 Follow-up: German-Dutch Teacher Exchange

Mira Büllesbach, Stephanie Cremer and Bert Nagel met as teacher delegates from Science on Stage Germany and Science on Stage Netherlands at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary. There they decided to develop a project together under the topic 'How food passes through human body - students learn to build and use models around the digestive system'.

In March 2018 Mira and Stephanie went to see Bert in Lelystad, Netherlands to develop their ideas. The project will introduce primary school students to the secrets under the skin, making them think about what is going on in their body and helping them to work together and to use language for the processes they discover. The students will create a basic model on the digestive system and improve it step by step. During that the teacher will be a mentor to the students, inspire them to come up with questions, to design experiments in order to get answers to their questions and thereby learn more about the digestive system. The project is designed to be inclusive: All children can join the project and learn together because it works autonomously from cognition, culture or language.

We are very much excited to hear more from this German-Dutch project!

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