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Phantoms and Physics: New joint project between the Netherlands and Spain

On 17 April 2016 Silvio Rademaker from the Amadeus Lyceum in Vleuten (Utrecht) travelled to Spain for five days to meet Nuria Muñoz Molina from La Inmaculada School in Algeciras. Both teachers met at the European Science on Stage festival 2015 in London and decided to go for a joint project named 'Phantoms or Physics'. 

The visit was very successful: After meeting the principal and Spanish colleagues, Silvio Rademaker presented the project, his school and his work in the Netherlands to the students of 'La Inmaculada' who participated enthusiastically and succeeded in performing a difficult group experiment where they shrank a plastic bottle from a distance, only by using their mental powers! 

After that Silvio Rademaker and Nuria Muñoz Molina were invited to visit a local radio station and explain all about the joint project.

The following day they went to the 10th annual science fair Diverciencia in Algeciras where they presented their project and gave a little show for visitors making their personal possessions disappear (and reappear again) among lots of other experiments about phantoms. Sharing a fantastic lunch with teachers from lots of schools in the South of Spain they had the opportunity to exchange ideas and future projects about science and to hear new ideas and different approaches surrounding the same subject.

The fair was visited very well by thousands of pupils and visitors and the presentations were made by pupils of 'La Inmaculada'. During the fair Silvio Rademaker and Nuria Muñoz Molina could not participate in the competition, but some months later the project won the gold medal in the competition 'IV Certamen Jóvenes Investigadores in Algeciras' - what a great success!

Learn more about the project and its experiments at phantomsorphysics.wordpress.com

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.

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