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iStage workshops at GIREP Conference in Wrocław July 6-10

GIREP, the International Research Group on Physics Teaching, regularly arranges international meetings of concerned individuals to encourage the renewal of Physics teaching. Last July the GIREP Conference 2015 took place at the University of Wrocław in Poland.

Maria Dobkowska from Science on Stage Poland and Gerhard Rath from Science on Stage Austria were taking part at the conference and presented two workshops based on the brochure iStage 2 to an international group of participants. The idea of the iStage booklets raised a great amount of interest and there was a strong demand on the brochures.

In her workshop Maria Dobkowska presented a classroom practice on 'Oscillatory motion – visualization and analysis': Using accelerometer applications on their smartphones the participants collected data on oscillation, transformed the save data and step by step learned how to create their own graphs. In the acoustic part of the workshop the participants calibrated their smartphones and measured the different volume of sound spectra created by music instruments, replayed voices of birds and cicadas. By using rotating whistles the participants were also shown how to observe the Doppler effect with their students in a simple and effective way.

Gerhard Rath presented a workshop on distance measurements with smartphones. He showed the participants how to use various apps in order to measure an unknown distance. In this way students can try to investigate for example the height of the sun and compare the results with given values or other results of measurements. In another part of the workshop Rath demonstrated the participants how to record a movement by using a smartphone, how to draft a acceleration diagram and analyse the motion.

 

 

 

Becoming a student again: Teacher training on ‘iStage 2’ in Cluj-Napoca

On 19th and 20th of March 2015 Damjan Štrus from Science on Stage Slovenia and Corina Toma from Science on Stage Romania gave a teacher training based on the new brochure 'iStage 2 - Smartphones in science teaching' at the Computer Science High School 'Tiberiu Popoviciu' in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Three workshops were sustained in two days, with one aiming at students and two at the Physics and ICT teachers from Cluj County. About 60 teachers took part in the interactive and interdisciplinary workshops and for some hours became students again.

Damjan Štrus prepared a presentation of his school from Litija and taught the students and the teachers how to use the application named VidAnalysis(for Androids) in two cases: studying and analysing the free fall of a basket ball and an analyse of uniform movement of a pingpong ball in a glass tube. In a real-time experiment the participants made a video of the movement, imported it into the application and analysed it step by step in order to obtain a graph. The students and teachers also found mathematical equation to fit the graph.

Also presented were two devices (Štrus' and Tomas' Helmholtz coils) and how to use the compass application for measuring the horizontal component of the Earth’s magnetic field. Štrus and Toma explained how to build this kind of coils and provided an English manual instructions for participants. Finally Toma presented different applications for the height or distance measurements.The students were excited to use the applications and to find the confirmation that the graph for an accelerated movement was a parabola, like they already knew.


 

01.04.2015

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Big success: Teacher training on ‘Smartphones in Science Teaching’ in Bozen and Bologna

On Feburary 25th Marco Nicolini from Science on Stage Italy gave a teacher training based on the brochure 'iStage 2 - Smartphones in Science teaching' in Bozen - and it was a big success! Presented got the teaching units 'How Deep Is Your Blue? Coloured Chemistry with Smartphones' and 'Noise Pollution'.

Another teacher training based on 'iStage 2' took place in Bologna on March 20th and 27th with Giovanni Pezzi, Lorenza Resta, Alessandro Foschi and Sara Orsola Parolin as speakers. 

 

16.03.2015

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STEM is a roller coaster

Curve sketching, acceleration or free fall: Amusement parks are a wonderland to think about science teaching concepts. At the Italian Mirabilandia amusement park in Ravenna, science teachers recently came together not only to ride roller coasters, but to discuss their new ideas for STEM education (“Nuove Idee per l'Insegnamento scientifico"). Among them were several Science on Stage teachers.

 


Giovanni Pezzi, participant of the Science on Stage festival 2013, presented his ideas of how to do video analysis of the dynamics of roller coasters using the computer program Tracker to the teachers at the conference.

Find Lorenza Resta and Giovanni Pezzi's Science on Stage festival 2013 project here: Matebilandia - Experiencing Mathematical Modelling in an Amusement Park 

Lorenza Resta, who also participated in the last festival, presented her ideas about how teachers can measure acceleration and velocity by using smartphones on amusement park attractions. Lorenza will publish these teaching ideas in the upcoming Science on Stage Germany brochure iStage 2 - Smartphones in Science Teaching, which will be launched in December with the support of SAP.

As coordinator of the project, Jean-Luc Richter introduced iStage 2 and the Science on Stage smartphone fun fair competition, which is still open to interested teachers.

The participating teachers also had the chance to test the newly acquired teaching ideas at Mirabilandia amusement park. Their students are surely looking forward to their next STEM classes.

17.09.2014

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