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EU Code Week: A whole school in action

EU Code Week 2019 is in full swing! Last year, Science on Stage offered funds for STEM teachers to take part in the EU Code Week 2018.

Here, we would like to present the results. This funding programm was kindly supported by the MAECENATA Foundation and SAP SE.

 

During the EU Code Week 2018, a Computer Science High School in Romania motivated its students to code. Here is their report:

Organizing the Code Week was a real challenge, even for us - a Computer Science High School. How could we find something more interesting than the usual coding? Trying to improve the way students feel about programming, we added Physics and Technology in our project. It’s important for students to see that programming has a use in real life.
Based on their age, we assigned students different tasks.
The younger ones were very excited to make a game in Scratch, entitled “Catch a star”. Their job was to create a cosmic space with many stars and then try to catch them all, in order to obtain a maximum score.

The students from the ninth grade made their first small projects using the Arduino platform. They were taught by 6 of their older colleagues, from the tenth and eleventh grades. They learnt about digital and analog signals, about microprocessors and about different kinds of sensors. Also, they learnt how to turn some LEDs on or off. The students were very surprised by the multitude of projects they could accomplish and implement, such as: thermometers, barometers, gas measurements, etc.

We believe this kind of projects are very important for students: they learn how to use the knowledge from many subjects and work in teams in order to create a small software/device.

Report and picture by Mihaela Giurgea, Tiberiu Popoviciu High School in Cluj Napoca, Romania

07.10.2019

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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 

 

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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