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How to teach neuroscience online

We have asked the teachers of our network to submit their best teaching examples for STEM classes. And they've delivered. Here is an example from France. 

It is not an easy feat to teach neuroscience and it is even harder when teachers and students can’t be at school.

In collaboration with the French Institute of Education (IFé) and with Sébastien Valette, a CNRS researcher in image and geometry processing at Creatis Lab in Lyon, the three contributors Sandrine Beaudin, Lycée Saint-Exupéry, Marseille, Julien Cartier, Lycée Carnot, Cannes, and Philippe Cosentino, Lycée Rouvière, Toulon, developed an online version of the EduAnat2 software for virtual teaching brain sciences to high school students during the COVID-19 lockdown.

During the 2-months lockdown in spring, the biggest challenge for high school teachers was to keep the students motivated. Engaging online courses helped to prevent students from dropping out of school during that hard time. However, many students complained that experimental activities during biology and geology lessons did not offer them enough interest or excitement to keep them connected to the school. Homework was done on their own - not in groups or pairs - and student activities assignments from documents or on videoconferences sound like monologues.

Therefore, the challenge was to restore social dialogue between students and assistance from the teacher. Thus, the tree contributors focused their project on developing online solutions with functionalities that would facilitate collaborative work between students and teachers and so offering an environment closest to that of the classroom.

The French Institute for Education (IFE) has been efficiently gathering the contributors around EduAnat2. The three contributors are from different places in France and were used to virtual meetings even before the lockdown. Hence, the online version of EduAnat2 was planned and released relatively fast thanks to the already existing workflow.

The scientific collaboration helped in resolving both technical and didactical challenges: initially, EduAnat2 had been released as software to download and install locally. But as the software is based on web technologies (HTML + Javascript + Electron.js), it was easy to develop the online version. Its ergonomics makes its use intuitive which was required for distance teaching and learning. Practically, a student can operate it alone and without a technical sheet, two conditions required during the lockdown.

The contributors decided to respond urgently to this request. Within less than three weeks, they developed an online version of the software EduAnat2. This online version allows students to virtually work on real anatomical and functional MRIs. The software is freely available online and a multi-lingual version is in the works and will be released soon.

Mid-April, all French teachers in high schools were able to work remotely with their students on real MRI scans and study several brain functions interactively with them. Several learning situations were proposed. For example, using a simple link (URL) to share with the student, it was possible to share the comparison between two anatomical MRI scans: an MRI of a healthy subject with an MRI of a subject suffering from a tumor, etc.

In short, the contributors enabled teachers to carry out real practical activities and sessions remotely using this tool and the associated MRI image bank.

You can try out the program here: http://acces.ens-lyon.fr/logiciels/EduAnat2Online/

You find the associated MRI image bank here: http://acces.ens-lyon.fr/acces/thematiques/neurosciences/outils-numeriques/eduanat2-et-anapeda/anapeda-la-banque-dimages-du-logiciel-eduanat2

 

26.11.2020

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Science on Stage Greece continues to exchange best practice teaching ideas

Science on Stage Greece expands their experience of last year's festival by accepting the invitation of the Head of the Greek Mission and the Organizing Committee. They organised the 11th Panhellenic Conference on Natural Sciences in Pre School Education, that took place virtually on 07 November. The delegates of Science on Stage Greece held a workshop with the title "Energy: Look at its forms, find out its conversions, on a… fantastic bike ride!".

The following topics were discussed in this workshop:


1. Theoretical remarks on the concept of Energy, its forms and its transformations. Misunderstandings and alternative ideas of students on this topic.
2. Presentation of the construction and the parts of the bicycle with its conversion and transfer of Energy devices. Description based on photos, slides and live videos from the School Science LaboratoryofSerres.
3. Suggestions for didactic use of the bicycle and its experimental devices for students of preschool to high school level. Simulations, worksheets, collaborative environments, playful teaching methodology. Actionbound and Kahoot.
4. Evaluation of the project with multiple choice questions in the "Kahoot" environment, with the participation of 87% of the attendees and remarkable results.


The feedback of the participants rewarded our efforts of exchanging best teaching ideas and promoting an experimental approach of teaching science. 

A part of the educational material of the Conference is available at https://bit.ly/3ldZ9tX (in Greek)

Report by:

Sotiris Mandiliotis, Head of School Science Laboratory Center of Serres, Greece
Eleni Paloumpa, Head of School Science Laboratory Center of Laconia, Greece 

25.11.2020

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Inspiring teachers - virtually

On the morning of Sunday, 1 November, three members of the Greek delegation at the 2019 Science on Stage festival, presented their work in a video conference organized by the laboratory centers of Crete.

Michalis Orfanakis showed his project "Optical Tweezers", which with he won the European STEM teacher award 2019. Furthermore, Antonis Margaritis and Giorgos Marakis were present with their "Hyperbaric Chamber" and Astrinos Tsoutsoudakis with his "Control Moment Gyro". In the context of the dissemination of good practices in science teaching, they tried to inspire and motivate a total of more than 80 of their colleagues, who attended the virtual event.

Pictures and Report: Science on Stage Greece 

20.11.2020

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Science on Stage Italy presents their festival

On 2 december the "3 Giorni per la scuola", an digital event promoted by the Ministry of Education, the Campania Region and Città della Scienza, in collaboration with the management of the Campania Regional School Board , takes place.

Giovanni Pezzi of Science on Italy will participate and talk about the Science on Stage festival and their national event. More information on this program can be found here: http://www.cittadellascienza.it/3giorniperlascuola/il-programma/

15.11.2020

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