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Take a workshop: Swiss #SonS2017 project at StarT Festival

The StarT Festival of the Uusimaa region took place at the University of Helsinki, Kumpula Science Campus on the 12th of April 2019. The theme of the day was “Witches and wizards of the Kumpula Science Campus”. The workshops involved some “magical” hands-on science experiments for children.

The festival day also included a fair for students’ projects, that were visited by students and teachers. We also had a stand at this fair for our international guests Felix and Reto Speerli. The brothers from Switzerland won the European STEM Teacher Award  2017 at the Science on Stage festival in Debrecen for their project "Ikarus". At their stand, they had the opportunity to talk about "Ikarus". But Felix and Reto also went to the students’ stands and the older students presented their projects to them. 

The festival also included a teachers’ “pedagogical café”, where teachers shared their best educational practices that had led to the students’ projects presented at the fair. Here Reto and Felix gave a presentation about their SonS project "Ikarus". They received a lot of questions from the audience which was delighted to hear, that Reto and Felix had translated the instruction booklet for their project in Finnish. The translated booklet will be published on the Finnish StarT website. And Reto and Felix challenged the Finnish teachers to replace the cover photo of the booklet with a photo from space they have taken with these instructions.

Also, the Finnish SonS teacher delegates of 2019 (apart from one team) participated in the festival. We had our first meeting with them there. Reto and Felix participated too. They shared their experiences and gave some advice and comments about SonS for our new delegates. Both of the StarT project managers were present - as we have coordinated the selection in Finland this year through StarT - and also the longtime organizer of SonS Finland, Irma Hannula. The SonS delegates presented their SonS projects at this meeting. So the StarT-Festival was also the Finnish starting point for the international Science on Stage festival 2019. 

Photos by Veera Sinikallio, LUMA Centre Finland

Report by Anette Markula

#SonS2017 Follow-up: Finnish-Slovakian teacher exchange

From 30 January to 3 Feburary 2018 Kalle Vähä-Heikkilä went to see his colleague Iveta Stefancinova at her school Gymnázium Jána Adama Raymana in Slovakia. Both teachers met at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary as delegates of Science on Stage Finland and Science on Stage Slovakia where they decided to develop a project together. The project is about measuring the 'Physical properties of the snow', like density, friction, sound and thermal conductivity of the snow and also about getting the students understand how snow influences the living.

On the first day of his visit Kalle presented his Lauttakylä upper secondary school and his country Finland to Iveta's students. Iveta, in turn, presented her school to Kalle. After that both introduced the Slovakian students to the project 'Physical properties of the snow'. Kalle and Iveta also went to visit the University of Kosice where they discussed their project with lecturers of the Departmet of Physics Education with a special focus on didactics. They also spoke about similarities and differences of physics teaching in Finland and Slovakia.

On the second day Kalle and Iveta went to High Tatras to get some ideas on how to measure physical properties of the snow. Iveta pointed out how importat snow is for the tourism in this area and showed Kalle one of the ski resorts.

On day three the first snow arrived to Presov and Kalle and Iveta made some measurements. They also designed sort of equipments they will use in the project. Moreover Iveta showed Kalle an exhibition on Slovakian physicists and he learned about the history of physics in the Austrian-Hungarian era and physics during Socialism.

After Kalles stay in Slovakia Iveta went to visit Finland to continue the project over the whole winter. Lately the University of Turku (FIN), Joensuu (FIN) and Lund (SWE) organised a Science Cruise on 24 April 2018 and Kalle and Iveta were invited to present 'Physical properties of the snow' - a great success. Both will continue with their collaboration in the future and work on new projects.      

All pictures © Kalle Vähä-Heikkilä


Finland and Germany: Students from Wesel examining the Baltic Sea in Finnish SummerSchool

In 2015 Helena van Suomela from Finland and Christian Karus from Germany met at the European Science on Stage festival in London. Some time passed, things had to be organised but finally ten German students took part in the Finnish project SummerSchool ‘Baltic Sea’. On Seili, an island near the city Turku, they examined the marine ecosystem of the Baltic Sea together with seven students from Finland. Now a students exchange is planned for the next year: The Finnish SummerSchool will then take place in Wesel with special focus on the ecosystem of the Rhine.