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Strengthening the Science on Stage family ties: Finland and Hungary visiting Turkey

On 7 May 2016 the national Science on Stage festival of Turkey took place in Ankara. With Kirsi Rehunen from Finland and András Róka from Hungary also two former participants of the European Science on Stage festival 2015 in London took part in the event and presented their projects to the Turkish colleagues.

Besides the Turkish festival Kirsi Rehunen was able to also visit the city and the preschool Doku Kültür Anaokulu. She was quiet impressed by the commitment of her Turkish colleagues: 'There were teachers to drama, science, english and the thinking was that only the best education is enough to their children. They were not just teaching knowledge , behaviors, attitudes and skills development: They want to make children to think! The most important things of the month were always at wall so that the parents are able to watch what their children have learned. As a visitor it was nice to notice the motivation and loving care of the adults who work there.'

At the Turkish Science on Stage festival at Naz?m Hikmet Congress & Arts Center Kirsi Rehunen and András Róka met their colleagues from Turkey and got to know about lots of new innovative teaching ideas represented at the fair. András Róka presented his project from the European Science on Stage festival 2015 on stage and gave quite a show about electrones to the surprised audience. Kirsi Rehunen introduced her co-operation with a Finnish museum of technology named 'Pedagogy meets Museum', focusing on the pedagogy and education aspect inside and outside of the museum. The Turkish teachers were very curious about the project and asked a lot of questions.

As a conclusion Kirsi Rehunen stated: 'Meeting Turkish teachers was an important thing to me. It was inspiring to get to know them and their style of teaching!' and András Róka emphasises 'the extraordinary hospitality of the Turkish hosts'.

From Goslar to Budapest: Continuing exchange programme with students from Germany and Hungary

After Márta Gajdosné-Szabó from the Kempelen Farkas Gimnazium in Budapest visited her Science on Stage partners Ute Eckhof and Dr. Walter Frank from the Christian-von-Dohm-Gymnasium in Goslar with four of her students in September last year (see blog report 07.09.2015) the German students now went for a return visit from 06-12 April.

Together with their teachers Ute Eckhof and Axel Klaus the German students got acquainted with the Hungarian culture, language, history and, of course, chemistry through mining. To solve scientific problems the Hungarian and German students simulated a multi company using a common language and thereby not only deepened their skills in doing research but also in how to communicate as an international group!

The exchange project ‚Mining in Europe‘ is part of the German-Hungarian teaching concept ‚Worldwide Mountains‘, jointly initialised by Ute Eckhof and Dr. Walter Frank and Márta Gajdosné Szabó. At the Science on Stage Festival 2015 in London the German-Hungarian Joint-Project was rewarded with the European Science Teacher Award for its enthralling idea how to combine metals science in chemistry with local mining.

The Netherlands: Science on Stage at the TEMI Congress

On 16 April Marco Nicolini, participant in the iStage projects and Andrea van Bruggen-van der Lugt from Science on Stage Netherlands represented the Science on Stage network and its activities at the TEMI Congress (Teaching Enquiry with Mysteries Incorporated) in Leiden. The event addressed up to 200 European secondary school teachers and stakeholders of STEM initiatives.

The Netherlands and Germany: ‘Ecosim’ meets ‘Lakes for the future’

At the last European Science on Stage festival 2015 in London André Steffans and Christian Karus from Germany met Tom Toebes and Dirk Hilbers from the Netherlands. Both teacher teams decided to go for a teacher exchange and evaluate the intersections between their projects 'Ecosim' and 'Lakes for the future'. After staying in touch via mail the Dutch teachers visited their German colleagues on 02 November 2015 in Wesel. Within the frame of this meeting they came to the idea to transfer the simulation model of 'Ecosim' on the gravel dredging area near Wesel. Steffans, Karus, Toebes and Hilbers then planned two further follow-up meetings in Wesel where the German students should be introduced to the basics of 'Ecosim' and learn how to transfer their knowledge on the gravel dredging area. On 17 March 2016 the Dutch teachers finally presented their simulation model to the German students. After three hours the students were familiar with the basics of 'Ecosim' and were able to implement the information and to do the coding for their own simulation. After the Easter holidays in Germany the geography advanced course followed up on working on the project. The results will be evaluated and optimised at the next meeting of the teacher teams in May. The Dutch-German cooperation now plans to further combine the project ideas of 'Ecosim' and 'Lakes for the future', to keep up the exchange across borders and to insert the software of 'Ecosim' also to other school projects.

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