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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 

 

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.