Science on Stage Europe The European platform for science teachers

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UK and the Netherlands: Teacher exchange in progress

At last summer's Science on Stage European festival in London David Teasdale from UK met Hans Mulder from the Netherlands. The teachers became friends at the event and decided to carry out a joint project together. Both teachers were interested in slime mould and thought their students could learn much about both the mould itself and the scientific method by carrying out practical experiments.

Teasdale and Mulder started working on a project together and in early February, Hans Mulder came over from the Netherlands to Bolton with the support by Science on Stage Europe. He visited the school of David Teasdale, Bolton School Boys' Division, and got to observe some lessons and learn about the way of teaching science in UK. Mulder had prepared some resources which he had brought over from the Netherlands, and used them to deliver a lesson of his own to one of the classes at Bolton School.

The resources were pieces of piping with four pieces of string running through the pipe. The piping was opaque so the students could not see inside, instead they had to try and suggest what was going on inside the pipe, based on the behaviour of the strings when they were pulled. There were nine different tubes Hans Mulder had made, each with strings which responded differently. To the British students it was a really interesting lesson and Hans Mulder kindly left the resources with Bolton School as the students loved them and wanted to use them again.

David Teasdale and Hans Mulder also used the time together to work on their joint project. They shared resources on the growing of slime mould and discussed a medium term plan for the project. Hans Mulder met with David Teasdales' technician to discuss the technical aspects of growing slime mould and saw the set up. He also met the students who are carrying out the project and discussed it with them. 

'The visit of Hans definitely accelerated the progress of our project' says David Teasdale: 'I hope to pay a return visit to his school at some point in the next academic year.'

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