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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.

Science on Stage Ireland at Irish Science Teachers Association National Conference

On 9 April the Irish Science on Stage team presented a plenary presentation 'Looking Forward-Resources for the Classroom' at the Irish Science Teachers Association (ISTA) National Conference in Limerick Institute of Technology. 

Paul Nugent, David Keenahan and Eilish McLoughlin, from the National Steering Committee, presented the aims of Science on Stage initiative which is designed to encourage teachers from across Europe to share best practice in science teaching. The presentation outlined the current and planned resources arising from the Science on Stage 2015 London festival as well as included some ‘fun favourites’ from previous festivals that inspire and re-enthuse science teachers. The presenters invited teachers to participate in future science on stage activities and provided details on opportunities for participating in the 2017 festival in Debrecen.

Irish Organizers and Sponsors were: CASTEL at Dublin City University, Institute of Physics, Professional Development Service for Teachers and Science Foundation Ireland.

Find further information at: www.istaconference.com

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