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Brainfinity: SonS Serbia realised the largest STEAM competition in their region

Science on Stage Serbia, organised Brainfinity, a unique competition in which elementary school students in years 5 through 8 solve real-life problems in teams using all the benefits of information technology (computers, tablets, mobile phones, etc.). The fact that 333 teams across Serbia and the region applied for the competition confirms that Brainfinity generated much interest among children, parents and teachers.

Brainfinity has two rounds. The first round (the Brainfinity Challenge) took place online on March 14. With help from their mentors, the teams had two hours to solve three tasks. The best teams qualified for the finals that took place on June 6 in Belgrade at two locations, Savremena Gimnazija and ITHS, where they solved detective problems.

The teams scored points not just for their answers, but also for their visual identity (team name, logo and email, as well as the points got on social media) and the public presentation in the finals in front of the jury which this year comprised 12 experts from various fields.

The winners of Brainfinty got valuable prizes, medals, tablets, vouchers for a language school and escape room, sweets and books, while their teachers/mentors got free membership for the Institute for Contemporary Education and vouchers for IQ testing.

Brainfinity applies STEAM principles, which develop children’s skills regarding science, technology, the arts and mathematics, as well as other academic and life skills (media literacy, resourcefulness and a proactive approach) designed to help the students prepare for the labor market.


Take a look at the finale in this video:

Learn more about Brainfinity here


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Premier colloque universitaire sur l’enseignement des sciences et du génie

On 25 May the Premier colloque universitaire sur l’enseignement des sciences et du génie - the first university colloquium on science and engineering education - took place in Montreal, Canada. 

The colloquium was organised by the Québec Association for the Teaching of Science and Technology. Together with a colleague, Johanne Patry, a member of the NSC of Science on Stage Canada, gave a practical workshop on digital tools for an online didactic approach, such as Moodle, an open-source learning platform.

At the end of this workshop, participants gained an operational knowledge of the online didactical approach which will enable them to be introduced to distance education design for their students.

Report and Photo by Johanne Patry 

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.



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