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20,000 leagues under the sea: a Spanish-Portuguese joint project

Liliana Fernándes teacher at the Basic School nº2 Vila Verde in Portugal and Ana Villaescusa, president of the Association 'Friends of Science', Diverciencia in Algeciras, met at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary.

Together with Palma Garcia Hormigo, a teacher of Puertoblanco School in Algeciras, they decided to work together and develop a joint project for pre-primary and primary school children called '20,000 leagues under the sea'. The project is intended to introduce students to the STEAM disciplines through the story by Jules Verne.


Ana and Palma visited Liliana from 24 to 26 January 2018 to exchange experiences and carry out previously scheduled activities. At Liliana's school, activities are organized for students from 1-3 primary school grade. Together with the Portuguese students the Spanish teachers designed and decorated a homemade periscope, an interactive map with the Nautilus route and with a representative fact of each stage through a PowerPoint presentation with a playful introduction to the knowledge of the marine fauna, food chains and Gyotaku (technique of primer with fish). Liliana encouraged her students to explain through an experiment the immersion and emersion of a submarine.

The morning activities concluded with a lunch shared with teachers from the Portuguese center and with a just management team where experiences were exchanged on methodology and teacher training, as well as teaching material.

In the afternoon, Liliana, who is a volunteer at the Alberto Sampaio Secondary School, (Braga) took Ana and Palma to her robotics workshop. In this center they learned the way to implement robotics  through LEGO and bee bots in their project. In this institute, the director Lucio Botelho, showed the Spanish teachers around the facilities, stopping especially in the science laboratory.

At the morning of 26 January Ana, Palma and Liliana discussed the visit of Liliana in Spain. She will travel to come Algeciras in December 2018. They scheduled the activities that they want to carry out during this school year, discussed the materials that they want to use, the methodology that they are going to use and invitations to possible speakers.

The afternoon was dedicated in carrying out the activities related to the project in the school EB1 de Esporões of Braga, with third year primary students with whom Liliana also collaborates as a volunteer teacher. During this session Teresa de Jesus, one of the directives of the Alberto Sampaio Secondary School on which this primary school depends was present, congratulating the Spanish-Portuguese teacher team for this innovative initiative that links literature with science.

Ana, Liliana and Palma will present this project at the First Ibero-American Conference of Teachers to be held in Algeciras from 6-8 December 2018. It will also be presented at the Meeting for Ciencia en Acción to be held in Viladecans, Barcelona from 5-7 October 2018.

The main objective of course is to share the joint project '20,000 Leagues under the Sea' at the European Science on Stage festival 2019 in Cascais, Portugal.  

Annual review 2017 from Ukraine: ‘Twelve STEM Apostoles’ spread information about Science on Stage

One year passed since Ukraine became part of Europe’s biggest community of STEM teachers, Science on Stage Europe. Joining this network became an important step in rebuilding the post-Soviet educational system in Ukraine – from bureaucracy and «window dressing» events to the real innovations and useful practical skills for STEM teachers. It also seriously moved the national education system towards European integration. In November 2016 the first National Science on Stage festival in Ukraine was successfully organised at the Educational Centre of Youth Gifts Development at the premises of Karazin Kharkiv National University. An experienced jury led by the outstanding and bright UK physics teacher David Featonby chose 12 Ukrainian teachers to present their ideas at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary. They presented ten projects and had a chance to share ideas with colleagues from all over Europe. After that the information about the activities of the Science on Stage community spread fast all over the country. At the festival in Hungary the participants gained new ideas, useful contacts and made new friends. Let’s have a look at the events that happened after the festival in Ukraine! 

Like ‘12 Apostles’ those 12 STEM teachers who represented the Ukraine at the European festival never missed a chance to spread their experiences afterwards. With absolutely positive emotions they started to travel in different cities to share ideas, inspiration and motivation with colleagues to improve teaching methods and approaches in their work. Greetings from important people and scientists (in Debrecen see the photo below) were also unusual for teachers from 2 Ukraine: Now they are working on the advertisement and promotion of the festival, its spirit and follow-up activities and are full of ideas concerning the next event which will be held 2018 in Kharkiv. 

In September 2017 teachers from Sumy Juliia Batura and Vita Chmelenko took part in three Ukrainian Science on Stage seminars (Summy, Chernigiv and Rivne) for biology and chemistry teachers. The participants were informed about the Science on Stage festival and invited to join the community to present their innovative best practice teaching ideas at the upcoming event which wil take place from 26-27 October 2018 at Karazin Kharkiv National University. 

Three representatives from Kharkiv Nataliya Kazachkova, Faina Bogynova and Maryna Korniienko presented a workshop at the third International scientific-practical conference “STEM education: implementation and development prospects” from 9-10 November 2017. The conference was organised in Kyiv by the following organisations: Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, SNI Institute of the Educational Content Modernisation, the National Centre Junior Academy of Science and the leading universities of the country such as Kharkiv, Zaporizzia, Ternopil, Mykolaiv, Odesa etc. The main goal of the conference was the search and identification of effective approaches that use innovative STEM education technologies at schools. The following events were held during the conference: interregional teaching forum, poster sessions, meetings of creative groups, workshops, master-classes, teaching studios and short oral sessions. More than 250 participants from 27 Ukrainian cities got to know about the Science on Stage community, watched the festival videos with Ukrainian translation and had an opportunity to watch the festival posters, hands-on experiments, best projects, and European teaching materials. They were impressed by the motto “from teachers to teachers” and realised how important that event had been. 

And what is next to happen? We are not going to stop. The information about Science on Stage has already appeared at the nine Ukrainian educational sites. From 22-28 January there will be a webinar named “Week of effective professional learning” organised by the SNI Institute of the Educational Content Modernisation. The format of the event is a so called Web-STEM-school. It will be a motivating teaching course for teachers from experts, innovative teachers, which will help to find ideas, solutions and methods for rebuilding and changing the system of educational institutes in Ukraine. All members of Science on Stage Ukraine will present their ideas at oral presentations and with online posters. We will broaden our horizons and inspire STEM teachers from all over Ukraine with Science on Stage ideas and experiences. 

Annual review 2017 by Dr Nataliya Kazachkova, Main NSC Science on Stage Ukraine

Georgia: #SonS2017 follow-up workshop in Tbilisi

On 9 January 2018 Science on Stage Georgia organised a workshop for STEM teachers at SALiS center at Ilia State University in Tbilisi. This was the second workshop from Nino Saakashvili and Tamar Doborjginidze following-up on their participation at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary. In the workshop they shared their experience and impressions from the festival. The participants of the workshop were teachers from different cities of Georgia, also student teachers of Ilia State University.

Workshop “Cross-curricular projects for learners and teachers” in Latvia

On 28 December 2017 a workshop "Cross-curricular projects for learners and teachers" was held in Latvia at Marupe elementary school, particularly for teachers of Pieriga region, to inform about the opportunities in Latvia and in Europe to participate in projects and competitions and to share practical ideas for lessons. Basically, the workshop provided information on the Science on Stage competition in Latvia and Hungary in 2017. The workshop was led by the teachers Māra Miķelsone (ex Rabante) and Daiga Krieviņa - in 2017 they represented Latvia at the European Science on Stage festival in Debrecen, Hungary with a presentation and performance on stage.

16 school representatives from seven schools in Pieriga (Baldone Secondary School, Marupe Elementary School, Jaunmārupe Elementary School, Ādaži Secondary School, Upesleju Boarding School, Saulkrasti Secondary School and Zaķumuiža Primary School) attended the workshop. Among school representatives were teachers of different subjects and fields: science and mathematics teachers, language and social science teachers, literature teachers, and a librarian.

School representatives were introduced to the work of Science on Stage Europe, its official homepage, as well as to the information contained therein: training materials, the competition in 2017, requirements for successful participation in the festival and evaluation criteria. The videos and practical lesson ideas from the festival were presented to teachers. Mara and Daiga informed about their way to the festival in Latvia and Europe. Presentation material was sent to school representatives so that it could be distributed to other teachers.

In the second part of the workshop teachers worked in groups on real project ideas. Since the workshop was attended by teachers from different subjects and fields, 6 new and creative projects for lessons were prepared, perhaps these project ideas could inspire teachers with new ideas for future competitions.

In the end, the teachers also received informative materials about the opportunity to participate in the Latvian Science on Stage competition, which will be held in September 2018 at the Metal Festival in Jelgava.

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