Science on Stage Europe The European platform for science teachers


Part two: Teacher Exchange on GeoQuest

This January Sabina Maraffi, teacher delegate from Science on Stagy Italy, went to see Ásdís Ingólfsdóttir, teacher delegate from Science on Stage Iceland. Both teachers met at the European festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary, where they decided 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 further developing the GeoQuest project Ásdís now travelled to Italy where she visited Sabina at the Liceo Galileo Galilei in Naples. This time the Italian students experienced the GeoQuest project, based on a Computer Class Role Playing Game, that Sabina Maraffi presented at Debrecen. The game consists of several interdisciplinary science adventures, to improve STEM education and foster science learning. The pathway’s topic chosen for Italian students was GeoQuest Iceland, to strengthen the exchange through the knowledge of the natural, historical and cultural features of the participating countries.

Brixen: Conference on teaching methodology in STEM

On 14 March 2018 Monica Zanella from Science on Stage Italy presented the Science on Stage network, its projects and activities at the conference 'MINT-Fachdidaktik und Allgemeine Didaktik im Gespräch: Differenzierung' at the Freie Universität Bozen in Brixen. Monica, who was also organisiser to the event, as well promoted the upcoming European Science on Stage festival 2019 in Portugal.

Learn more about the event here.

Report from Slovenia: Seminar ‘From School Experiments to Experiments at Festivals and on Stages’

On 10 March 2018, the first session of the seminar 'From School Experiments to Experiments at Festivals and on Stages' took place at the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana. Nika Cebin, head of Science on Stage Slovenia reports:

'The seminar was conducted on the initiative of the Slovenian Science Foundation in cooperation with the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana and the KemikUm Center. Teachers who teach natural science subjects such as biology, physics and chemistry in elementary and secondary schools were invited to join the seminar. Fourty-five teachers took part.

At the beginning of the seminar I, Nika Cebin, the coordinator of Science on Stage Slovenia, as well as Dr Jurij Selan, Dean of the Pedagogical Fluctuate in Ljubljana, Dr Edvard Kobal, director of the Slovenian Science Foundation and Dr Vesna Ferk Savec, Head of the KemikUm Center welcomed the participants.

A description of the non-profit network Science on Stage Europe followed, with a presentation of its objectives and importance. Former Slovenian teacher delegates of Science on Stage festivals gave an introduction on their projects which they presented before at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen (Ambrož Demšar, Darja Silan and Nika Cebin) and 2015 in London (Boris Kham).


Video by Betka Burger / Music:

At a first break excellent demonstrational experiments were shown and students prepared for all participants vanilla ice cream, which was frozen with liquid nitrogen and enriched with Slovenian extra virgin olive oil.

After that the professors from the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana presented very interesting lectures. Firstly started Dr Gregor Torkar, who explained the importance of practical work in biology teaching and lay a special focus on learning 'outside the classroom' (outdoor learning). Then continued Dr Barbara Rovšek with a presentation on the physical theme 'Who is afraid of the fox?'. Experimental work as an opportunity and a challenge in chemistry classes were practically illuminated by the participants from the Center KemikUm (Dr Vesna Ferk Savec, Dr Iztok Devetak, Špela Hrast and Miha Slapničar). The seminar was concluded by the lecturers of Dr Stanislav Avsec and Dr David Rihtaršič, who emphasized the importance of ICT in practical teaching of techniques  and technology.

The participants were very pleased with the seminar. Their impressions can be summed up with the this quote: 'It was encouraging and contagious, full of positive energy! We hardly wait for the second part of the seminar!'

The second session of the seminar will take place on 12 May 2018 and will be dedicated to the independent practical (experimental) work of the participants.'

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.


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