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Jelgava: Latvian students show their researchers’ skills

The Zemgale Region Human Resource and Competence development Centre (ZRKAC) in Jelgava is also home to Science on Stage Latvia. Recently it hosted 'researchers' from all city schools at the environmentalists' forum 'Students Experiment'. Students from 1-9 grade presented their independent studies where they used science to explore nature phenomena, environmental and health issues thus raising their awareness for the ecosystem, energy resources, biodiversity and related topics.

The younger students had chosen to study, for example, the influence of cooking salt and soda on the duration of fruit storage, and they had tried to grow salt crystals at home or made a barometer. The themes in grades 6-9 were related to plants: they studied the process of tomato germination in different soils, the amount of ethylene in fruits and its effect on ripening. The topics related to green thinking and a healthy lifestyle were also addressed - the students offered solutions for the production of souvenirs and decorations from burnt bulbs.

The forum is organized annually and aims to raise pupils' awareness of the environment and its problems, teach respect for nature and promote interest in the study of natural processes and inquiry based learning and the development of research skills. It is also a possibility for teachers to exchange their ideas and see how the teacher’s ideas and teaching approach has been transformed into students’ research projects.

20.02.2018

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Workshop “Cross-curricular projects for learners and teachers” in Latvia

On 28 December 2017 a workshop "Cross-curricular projects for learners and teachers" was held in Latvia at Marupe elementary school, particularly for teachers of Pieriga region, to inform about the opportunities in Latvia and in Europe to participate in projects and competitions and to share practical ideas for lessons. Basically, the workshop provided information on the Science on Stage competition in Latvia and Hungary in 2017. The workshop was led by the teachers M?ra Mi?elsone (ex Rabante) and Daiga Krievi?a - in 2017 they represented Latvia at the European Science on Stage festival in Debrecen, Hungary with a presentation and performance on stage.

16 school representatives from seven schools in Pieriga (Baldone Secondary School, Marupe Elementary School, Jaunm?rupe Elementary School, ?daži Secondary School, Upesleju Boarding School, Saulkrasti Secondary School and Za?umuiža Primary School) attended the workshop. Among school representatives were teachers of different subjects and fields: science and mathematics teachers, language and social science teachers, literature teachers, and a librarian.

School representatives were introduced to the work of Science on Stage Europe, its official homepage, as well as to the information contained therein: training materials, the competition in 2017, requirements for successful participation in the festival and evaluation criteria. The videos and practical lesson ideas from the festival were presented to teachers. Mara and Daiga informed about their way to the festival in Latvia and Europe. Presentation material was sent to school representatives so that it could be distributed to other teachers.

In the second part of the workshop teachers worked in groups on real project ideas. Since the workshop was attended by teachers from different subjects and fields, 6 new and creative projects for lessons were prepared, perhaps these project ideas could inspire teachers with new ideas for future competitions.

In the end, the teachers also received informative materials about the opportunity to participate in the Latvian Science on Stage competition, which will be held in September 2018 at the Metal Festival in Jelgava.

#SonS2017 festival projects spread throughout Latvia

The Latvian teacher delegates of the European Science on Stage festival 2017 actively used the ideas taken from event and implemented them in their daily work, shared them with colleagues and got involved in various further activities. Skaidrite Bukbarde, NSC of Science on Stage Latvia reports:

'On 29 September 2017 the Zemgale Region Human Resource and Competence Development centre in Jelgava organized a Researchers' Night.  The most active and creative teachers from secondary schools and senior class students were among the presenters, but pre-school children, junior class pupils and their parents were the main participants of the event. The teachers Sanita Sabanska and Baiba Dage, teachers of the Latvian Science on Stage delegation at  the European Science on Stage festival in Debrecen, Hungary, carried out  practical workshops - fascinating activities to make science experiments a vivid and colourful experience.

The children and their parents were offered a versatile and up-to-date activity program – making robots, familiarization with the work of 3D printer, making toothpaste from natural materials, drawing on water, big soap bubbles, observing the Moon with telescopes, investigating the work of periscope, pressure, and equilibration and other activities.  

The organisers experienced tremendous activities and interest from groups of different ages: small kids and their grandparents, teachers with their classes and families. During the first hour more than 200 children participated in the experiments, demonstrations and workshops. Find more information here www.jelgavasvestnesis.lv as well as on Youtube.

The two teachers from Marupe Elementary school Daiga Krievi?a and Mara Rabante who also were among the festival delegates 2017 and who had an on stage presentation in Debrecen also organised a Researchers Night at their school: 

132 children and young people from grades 5-9 took part in the Researcher’s Night at Marupe Elementary School. There were 21 stations arranged with a wide variety of experiments: showing how human muscles and lungs work, measuring breathing capacity, getting acquainted with the world of sounds, making robot arms out of ordinary straws and wires, with which you can carry glasses, fire experimental stations, magic miracles of rapid freezing that were made of liquid nitrogen, an opportunity to get acquainted with the dry ice bubble world, scientific games based on the laws of physics. In the end there was the pupils' own fireworks of smoke-fire rockets made from sugar and vegetable fertilizers - a special surprise for young chemists!

We appreciate the support received from Alfa Robot School and Ltd Knauf.' Watch the report on Youtube

Big success: First national Science on Stage festival in Latvia

On 10 September 2016 the first national Science on Stage festival 2016 in Latvia took place in Jelgava, Pasta Island together with Metal festival in Jelgava. Both the events have common aims: highlight the importance of science and technology in schools and among the public, raise  children’s and young people’s interest in engineering, science and research. The festival was supported by Jelgava City municipality and National Centre for Education of the Republic of Latvia.

The national steering committee received 17 applications from all over the country, representing different subjects and levels. 11 most innovative teaching ideas were presented by 20 teachers and their students during the festival. As the festival was an open event the ideas were presented to a very wide public.

The jury was represented by Agra B?rzi?a- vice director of  National Centre for Education of the Republic of Latvia, Skaidr?te Bukb?rde – head of  “Science on stage Latvia” NSC, Gatis V?tols- dean of ICT faculty at Latvia University of Agriculture, Baiba Da?e - teacher of physics at Jelgava State Gymnasium, Ingvilda Ivanova- science teacher at Jelgava Primary school No 4, Andris Ekmanis- teacher of physics, chemistry, biology at Jelgava Elementary school No 2.

Their  main task was to select the most innovative ideas to be presented at European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Hungary.

The jury admitted that all the presentations were really interesting, involving the students in active learning process and explaining rather complicated science phenomena in amusing, exciting way making them understandable!