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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: 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

Science on Stage Switzerland organises workshop in Geneva

Science on Stage Switzerland organised in collaboration with the Chimiscope of the University of Geneva a workshop of one day in the Scienscopes of the University of Geneva. The aim of the workshop was to share the experiences of the Swiss team in the festival in Debrecen in June-July 2017 with the interested teachers of the Swiss French speaking part. The language of the day was French. The participants had the opportunity to visit the 5 following scopes: Chimiscope, BiOutils, Mathscope, Bioscope and Physiscope. Maurice Cosandey and Amandine Forny presented the four experiments of the Swiss delegation and different experiments they saw in Debrecen. The main speaker of the afternoon was Gabriel Pinto from Science on Stage Spain, who presented different experiments and education materials he used with his classes around the theme water. A small fair was organised in the laboratory of BiOutils, where the participants could discuss the projects presented during the afternoon and experiment themselves. The three brochures iStage were also presented and distributed to the participants. A total of 25 participants benefited from this workshop. 

Picture by Science on Stage Switzerland

Germany goes Switzerland: Take a Workshop to your Country at the Life Science Symposium in Basel

On Saturday, 18 March 2017 three German STEM teachers from Ludwig-Thoma-Gymnasium in Prien am Chiemsee gave a workshop in Switzerland: Johannes Almer, Ernst Hollweck and Thomas Gerl joined the Life Science Symposium at the Bäumlihof Gymnasium in Basel, a transnational science event at the tri-state area of Switzerland, France and Germany, to present two hands-on workshops: 'Who murdered Sir Ernest' and 'Energy from Yeast - Microbiological Fuel Cells'. At a stand on site they also presented the BISA project which focuses on biodiversity.  

The German teacher team was invited to take their workshops to Switzerland by Dr. Sacha Glardon and Thomas Scheuber, two Swiss teachers who also gave a workshop at the Life Science Symposium with the title 'Alles Banana und colourful Carrots'.

Find further information about the Science on Stage 'Take a Workshop to your Country' programme here.

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