Science on Stage Europe The European platform for science teachers


Take a workshop: Norwegian #SonS2017 project going to Switzerland

On 17 March 2018 Stefan Preisig and Gjertrud Jenssen from Trondheim, Norway, were invitied by Science on Stage Switzerland to take part in the Life Science Symposium at Gymasium Bäumlihof, Basel, in Swtzerland. On site they presented their project 'Sustainable development of biofuel' as a workshop to Swiss, French and German teachers. With this project Stefan and Gjertrud also represented Norway at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary.

The objective of the project is to calculate and produce renewable energy from wood. The students measure and calculate the volume of several types of wood, learn about the different energy contents of the tree types and use this to calculate the total energy content of a given volume of wood. The project is transdisciplinary, the subjects mathematics, combined sciences and the core subject of the agricultural curriculum have to be combined to solve the problems.

At the workshop the participants got an introduction about the school and the energy situation in Norway which was of importance as the two countries have different approaches to energy use.

For calculating the energy content of a given tree its volume and the calorific value of the specific tree type was needed. The calorific value could be found in a list while the height had to be 'calculated' using different options, such as geometrical mathematics, a clinometer or an app (Measure height). The height measurement took place outside in the school yard.

Back in the classrom the particpants calculated the volume of the tree and the energy content. Using this, they could estimate the number of trees which are necessary to warm a normal family size house. In the last part of the workshop the participants have learned about the weight and density of different types of wood. The density is directly linked to the calorific value – e.g. is a birch cube heavier than a pine cube.

All pictures © Stefan Preisig