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Germany and Hungary: 2nd student exchange ‘Mining in Europe’ between Goslar and Budapest

The student exchange between the Kempelen-Farkas-Gimnázium and the Christian-von-Dohm Gymnasium (CvD) went into the second round. After the German students visited Budapest in April the Hungarian stundents and their chemistry teacher Martha now went for a return visit to the town of Goslar to work on the science based project 'Mining in Europe' which leads the students into the history of medivial and modern mining within the Harz mountains.

After a long bus tour with a stop over in Leipzig, where the students walked on the foot steps of Goethe and touched his right foot to improve their German skills the group spent the first day with their German families. On Saturday the students discovered with their German partners the old town (UNESCO world heritage site) of Goslar on five different theme tours like the founder of the German Gymnasium Christian von Dohm, medival walls and towers or modern art.  On Monday the group discovered the national park Harz mountains by hill walking and did some sport activities. The next day the group went to Wolfsburg. Here they visited the Phaeno science museum to learn more about different physical effects and laws. They also took a tour into the 'Autostadt' and learned about car production or the ecological footprint. Before going back to Hungary on Thursday the students visited the oldest mine in the world, the UNESCO world heritage mine and visitor museum Rammelsberg. The students took an underground tour into the mystic world of medival copper mining as well as of water and energy management. Then they took a workshop, designed by students from the CvD, about geology, mineralogy and metall chemistry. After that they visited the museum and the special exhibition 'Miner’s children', where different student projects of the cooperation between with CvD and the museum as well as the award winning 'Science on Stage' -project 'wwm – worldwide mining' (European Science on Stage festival 2015) is on display. On top of it the actual project of the CvD ('Child labour in mining' ) for the German Science on Stage festival 2016 in November is part of the exhibition.

Festival project ‘vortex rings’: French teaching idea successfully adapted by German students

A French teachers' project of the last European Science on Stage festival continues its triumphant success in German classrooms: In 2015 Vincent Devaux and Sébastien Poirier from the team of Science on Stage France fascinated their colleagues with the project 'At the discovery of vortex rings' at the event in London. Now the teaching idea was adopted by a German class of the Gymnasium Höchstadt/Aisch: The students examined the phenomena of vortex rings and developed together with young engineers a modified modell on basis of the French idea. For that they got recently awarded at the 'students team competition for natural sciences and technics 2015/16 - Vision-Ing21' at the university in Erlangen.  

All pictures provided by ©Gymnasium Höchstadt / Aisch - Klaus Strienz 

Phantoms and Physics: New joint project between the Netherlands and Spain

On 17 April 2016 Silvio Rademaker from the Amadeus Lyceum in Vleuten (Utrecht) travelled to Spain for five days to meet Nuria Muñoz Molina from La Inmaculada School in Algeciras. Both teachers met at the European Science on Stage festival 2015 in London and decided to go for a joint project named 'Phantoms or Physics'. 

The visit was very successful: After meeting the principal and Spanish colleagues, Silvio Rademaker presented the project, his school and his work in the Netherlands to the students of 'La Inmaculada' who participated enthusiastically and succeeded in performing a difficult group experiment where they shrank a plastic bottle from a distance, only by using their mental powers! 

After that Silvio Rademaker and Nuria Muñoz Molina were invited to visit a local radio station and explain all about the joint project.

The following day they went to the 10th annual science fair Diverciencia in Algeciras where they presented their project and gave a little show for visitors making their personal possessions disappear (and reappear again) among lots of other experiments about phantoms. Sharing a fantastic lunch with teachers from lots of schools in the South of Spain they had the opportunity to exchange ideas and future projects about science and to hear new ideas and different approaches surrounding the same subject.

The fair was visited very well by thousands of pupils and visitors and the presentations were made by pupils of 'La Inmaculada'. During the fair Silvio Rademaker and Nuria Muñoz Molina could not participate in the competition, but some months later the project won the gold medal in the competition 'IV Certamen Jóvenes Investigadores in Algeciras' - what a great success!

Learn more about the project and its experiments at phantomsorphysics.wordpress.com

From Italy to UK: Take a workshop to your country

From 23-24 June 2016 Giovanni Pezzi from Associazione per l’Insegnamento della Fisica went to UK to present his 'Smartphones in Physics Experiments' workshop at the Institute of Physics in Gloucester and at Exeter University. This workshop was presented before at the European Science on Stage festival 2015 in London. After the event Alessio Bernardelli from the British Science on Stage teacher team and Giovanni Pezzi from the Italian delegation applied for the Science on Stage programme 'Take a Workshop to your country'.

The workshop itself was a great success and the teachers attending were very excited to learn the potential of their smartphones and what their students can do with them in physics experiments. Giovanni’s starting point was that 'Kids often forget their books at home, but never their smartphones', so using smartphones to enhance their learning instead of just for social media has to be a good thing. In addition to the workshop all particpants also received the 'iStage 2' booklet, which contains further examples of effective use of handheld devices in science teaching and learning.

The ideas for practicals explored by Giovanni ranged from Mechanics to Optics, Acoustics and Thermography. Especially fascinating to the participants was the introduction of the app 'Sensor Kinetic', which allows to access the raw data from the sensors on the device. This is invaluable for developers who need accurate measurements of sensor outputs in various situations to write their apps, but its power can be harnessed by students doing physics in the classroom. Examples of ideas for this ranged from measuring g by dropping a smartphone in a polystyrene beans box to SHM experiments by hanging the phone on a spring.The teachers also looked at great accessories like the IR camera FLIR ONE and some excellent examples of how it can be used to help learners understand thermographs.

About 130 teachers of physics attended the workshops over the two days and the results were really promising, because they could go back to their schools with ideas, resources and tools they could use the very next day.

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