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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.

Languages, IT and Science: Canadian-French joint project on students cooperation via Skype

Anjuli Ahooja and Jean-Luc Richter, two physics teachers from Canada and France, met during the Science on Stage Europe festival 2015 in London and shortly after that agreed on a special joint project: With fifty four students from College J.J.Waltz, Alsace, France, and Appleby College, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, they initiated an international students collaboration project using OneNote Class Notebook, PowerPoint, and Skype. The aim of the project was to learn about various methods of production of electrical energy in Canada and France. Via class to class skype sessions in school the 'digital' exchange students communicated e.g. about their private consumption of power while cooking meals or playing computer games and after that analysed the results regarding also the costs and the ecological impact in each country. As a final task the students had to create a PowerPoint presentation including all the documents they had already produced: OneNote personal presentation, Excel files with appliance costs related to power, duration and energy cost, how energy was produced in both countries and a feedback on the project. 

Find the full report here.

Greece-Romania: New joint project about experimental physics

From 2 to 6 February Laszlo Papp from the Scoala Gimnaziala in Romania visited Panagiotis Lazos at the 26th Senior High School of Athens-Marasleio in Greece. There he presented four experiments to about 25 students that also got involved in explaining the observed phenomena. Afterwards the students performed the experiments on their own, showing devices that they constructed for different activities. 

Laszlo Papp and Panagiotis Lazos now want to continue the eTwinning project that they initiated a few months ago and agreed to prepare a joint project about experimental physics and sciences for the next European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Hungary. The eTwinning platform will be a useful tool in synchronizing the activities between the two schools and to present new ideas and activities. In a next step, Panagiotis Lazos will visit Laszlo Papp in Romania for further collaboration.  

Both teachers have attended the Science on Stage festival 2015 in London.

The teacher exchange is a follow-up activity of the European Science on Stage festival.

Romania and Poland: Fascinating Physics - The story of a joint project

The aim of Science on Stage is to bring people together, to give them a plattform for the exchange of ideas and to encourage them to make a difference. Recently our team received a report from Corina Toma from Romania and Zenona Stojecka from Poland about their two year experience with Science on Stage and about the joint project that evolved from their acquaintance via our network. This article we now want to share with you.

Corina Toma, Romania:

'Do you want to begin a joint project with a teacher from another country? We want to share with you our two year experience and we believe that this article will give you new ideas about how you can make and improve your further projects. 

Me and Zenona are two very lucky teachers because we had the chance to meet each other twice at the Science on Stage Festivals: in Copenhagen (2011) and then in Slubice (2013). We realised that we have the same expectations from our students and the same kind of thinking about the way of teaching Physics. After the second festival we decided to work together and in order to be more efficient we chose to take some students with us because meeting each other in Poland and Romania they had the chance to share ideas, find similarities and differences in teaching Physics. They could also learn much more from the visits and then for example repeat the most interesting experiments in their own countries.

We completed the application forms - Travel Scholarships for Teacher Exchange, which were approved and financially sustained by Science on Stage Germany. Then we organized two exchange trips. Polish students visited Cluj Napoca (Romania) in October 2013 and Romanian students arrived in Wielu? (Poland) in April 2014.

During the first meeting at the Computer Science High School “Tiberiu Popoviciu” the Romanian students presented some interesting experiments like: how to find the rotational frequency with the Smartphone, optical illusion or the Kirlian Effect and the Polish ones presented results of their researches too. Students were taught some sequences with ICT - Space Travel and Oscillations – teaching units from the iStage project - ICT in natural science teaching. We also visited The National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies Cluj Napoca where students were surprised by the atomic force microscopy and CERN GRID net.

During the meeting in Tadeusz Kosciuszko High School in Poland we spent a lot of time in the physics lab doing together different experiments, for example: Leonardo da Vinci’s bridge, spectra observation using self-made spectroscopes, etc. We did on-line computer experiments with Coach Lab II interface at school and at Computer Assisted Education and IT Centre in Warsaw, as well. We were also experimenting and having a big fun in Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw. About these activities you can find more information on the eTwinning platform.

For the second year we filled in another application form for a new joint project. The main aim was to continue to boost students’ interest in learning Physics. We worked via internet, both on the same topics, discussing and analysing our results. For example: measuring the distances and heights with smartphones, measuring the Earth’s magnetic field or different ways of calculating the speed of the electromagnetic waves.

We published 31 self-made educational materials on the eTwinning platform. The materials were done with the help and participation of our students. If you want to see them and to use them as a starting point of your classes enter the platform and find our project “Let’s Make Physics More Enjoyable”.

We organized Science Festivals in each school and also asked the students to make short videos and Power Point presentations with the most interesting experiments and find interesting video documentaries for Physics classes. For one day, our students even became teachers for their younger colleagues.

After two years of fruitful mutual cooperation we both were invited to take part in the Science on Stage Festival London 2015, where “Fascinating Physics” was considered a highly commended project.

Conclusion

Due to this project and the methods we used to accomplish it we considerably increased our students’ interest in studying Physics. As far as the teachers are concerned the above mentioned project was a real challenge because we had to organize the trips in both countries taking all the responsibilities of such an approach. The outcome of the visits made us forget all the difficulties we encountered.

One of Polish experiments was the construction of da Vinci’s Bridge which can be considered a symbol for our project. That is why we could say that „Fascinating Physics” was the bridge which united us, the teachers and the students from Poland and Romania.'

Learn more about the project at twinspace.etwinning.net 

 

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