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The Primary Science Education Conference in Edinburgh

Primary teachers from around the world came together at the Primary Science Education Conference in Edinburgh, hosted at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, from June 6th – June 8th by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT).

The PSTT are sponsoring some of the UK Science on Stage delegation travelling to Cascais Portugal later this year. Over 400 delegates came together to listen to keynote speeches from the likes of Jim al Khalili, Laura Schulz and Kate Bellingham. 

Workshops were led by a whole host of teachers including several of the UK Science on Stage delegation, many meeting for the first time, this included: Paul Tyler on Primary Science Capital, Sarah Eames on Premier League Primary Star Primary Science and Robin James.

It was particularly nice that Robin James was given a Primary Science Teaching Award for his continuing work in a primary physics particularly around ‘The Hula Hoop Hundreds and Thousands Hadron Collider’, relating to his visit to CERN.

Robin was presented his award by Stuart Farmer, Chair of the Science on Stage UK National Steering Committee in his role as Education Manager for the Institute of Physics, sponsor of the award. David Keenahan, of Science on Stage Ireland, along with his daughter Valerie, shared their work on Science Enquiry through Demonstrations drawing on a number of activities from previous Science on Stage Festivals.

It was also good that Heidrun Boll of Science on Stage Germany presented a session on 'Lilu’s House: Language Skills through Experiments', a SonS resource which is all about developing language skills through science experiments.

For more information about the event: www.primaryscienceconference.org

Report by Kulvinder Johal 

Photo by Primary Science Teaching Trust

Take a workshop to your country: Lilu visits Italy

Heidrun Boll, ambassador and part of the BackStageTeam of Science on Stage Germany e.V., was invited to Bolzano in Italy, to conduct a teacher training on 15 and 16 April. Here, she demonstrated her project "Hebelwerkstatt", which was awarded at the International Science on Stage festival 2017 in Hungary in the category "Natural Sciences for Primary School". She also presented the published teaching material “Lilu’s House: Language Skills through Experiments”, on which she had worked as an author.

The training was organised by Monica Zanella of Science on Stage Italy. 20 primary school teachers from all over Italy took part. The participants were able to experience for themselves how stimulating action-oriented and research-oriented learning can be. They've learned how much language there is in natural sciences and which difficulties, for example, children with a migration background have to overcome in order to be able to follow a specialized class.

The feedback from the participating teachers was therefore very positive. One participant commented: "It was a great training, very close to everyday-lessons with an extremely motivated and competent lecturer!" They hope that in the future, more trainings of this kind could take place in Italy. 

You can order the brochure “Lilu’s House: Language Skills through Experiments" here for free or download it as a PDF file.

 

Photocredit: Elisabeth Wieser 

Report by Monica Zanella

German-French teacher exchange on Racing SolarMobiles

From 27-29 March 2018 Kirsten Biedermann, teacher of Science on Stage Germany, went to visit Philippe Jeanjacquot from Science on Stage France at the Lycée Charlie Chaplin in Lyon for a teacher exchange. On site Kirsten presented the Racing SolarMobile which he and his students developed at the Widukind-Gymnasium Enger. Based on this Racing SolarMobile he and Philippe decided to develop a course for students in both countries with a special focus on increasing the students motivation in STEM, on integrating the use of smartphones or ipads and a budget-friendly planning. To get a better impression of the French way of teaching with ipads Kirsten attended STEM lessons in Lyon. He and Philippe decided to document the project development in their countries with videos and to plan a little competition with the Racing SolarMobiles built by their students. Of course the students will also have to give a little presentation about their projects. We are looking forward to the final report! 


Picture © Science on Stage Deutschland e.V.

#SonS2017 Follow-up: Swiss-German Teacher Exchange

At the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary Dieter Schmidt, teacher delegate of Science on Stage Germany met Reto and Felix Speerli, two teachers of the team Science on Stage Switzerland. After the event they decided to do a teacher exchange. From 30 March to 4 April 2018 Dieter Schmidt went to see his Swiss colleagues at the Obersee Bilingual School in Pfäffikon. Purpose of the exchange was to merge the Swiss IKARUS project (European STEM Teacher Award 2017) that teaches basic space-science to primary school students and the experiences of Dieter Schmidt who participated with his 9th graders in the German CanSat-contest 2017 that designed an Arduino-based mini-satellite which collected weather- and climate-data. 

Before the visit of Dieter Schmidt Reto Speerli began a coding class with his 6th graders at the beginning of this school year. The students used Scratch and the Picoboard and built their weather station with analog sensors. These they presented to the German teacher who in turn introduced them to Arduino and electric circuits. The knowledge of the Swiss students was now supposed to be transferred to the Arduino-environment and the scratch-like programm 'mBlock' to code their own weather-balloon-projects.

Reto Speerli will travel to Oyten in autumn and show the German students how to construct a weather balloon.


Picture © Dieter Schmidt / Reto Speerli

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