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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.  

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From Italy to Iceland: Teacher Exchange on GeoQuest

Last summer Sabina Maraffi and Ásdís Ingólfsdóttir met as teacher delegates of Science on Stage Italy and Science on Stage Iceland at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary. Sabina presented the project 'Who killed Maya Foster? A CLIL CrimeQuest, interactive computer class Role Playing Game'. Now she and Ásdís came up with the idea to do a teacher exchange and develop a new project together which combines the idea of Sabina to use computer games in STEM classes and to do research on geology and geography.

For developing the GeoQuest project Sabina went to see Ásdís in Iceland where she learned about the Icelandic school system, visited Ásdís school and did field trips to experience the Icelandic geology, geography and nature. Sabina also met with Haraldur Gunnarsson, a teacher and professor of Earth Sciences who is joining the project too. On site Sabina gave geology lessons with the GeoQuest project to second year students. Therefore she chose several interdisciplinary science adventures about the Vesuv for the Icelandic students, so they would not only improve their STEM skills but also gain knowledge about nature, history and culture of her own home country Italy. Furthermore, Sabina shared the game with other Icelandic teachers.

As a next step Ásdís will visit Sabina in Italy. But before she is going to develop a GeoQuest game with her students on Iceland's geology and geography for challenging the Italian students.


Phantoms and Physics: New joint project between the Netherlands and Spain

On 17 April 2016 Silvio Rademaker from the Amadeus Lyceum in Vleuten (Utrecht) travelled to Spain for five days to meet Nuria Muñoz Molina from La Inmaculada School in Algeciras. Both teachers met at the European Science on Stage festival 2015 in London and decided to go for a joint project named 'Phantoms or Physics'. 

The visit was very successful: After meeting the principal and Spanish colleagues, Silvio Rademaker presented the project, his school and his work in the Netherlands to the students of 'La Inmaculada' who participated enthusiastically and succeeded in performing a difficult group experiment where they shrank a plastic bottle from a distance, only by using their mental powers! 

After that Silvio Rademaker and Nuria Muñoz Molina were invited to visit a local radio station and explain all about the joint project.

The following day they went to the 10th annual science fair Diverciencia in Algeciras where they presented their project and gave a little show for visitors making their personal possessions disappear (and reappear again) among lots of other experiments about phantoms. Sharing a fantastic lunch with teachers from lots of schools in the South of Spain they had the opportunity to exchange ideas and future projects about science and to hear new ideas and different approaches surrounding the same subject.

The fair was visited very well by thousands of pupils and visitors and the presentations were made by pupils of 'La Inmaculada'. During the fair Silvio Rademaker and Nuria Muñoz Molina could not participate in the competition, but some months later the project won the gold medal in the competition 'IV Certamen Jóvenes Investigadores in Algeciras' - what a great success!

Learn more about the project and its experiments at

UK and the Netherlands: Teacher exchange in progress

At last summer's Science on Stage European festival in London David Teasdale from UK met Hans Mulder from the Netherlands. The teachers became friends at the event and decided to carry out a joint project together. Both teachers were interested in slime mould and thought their students could learn much about both the mould itself and the scientific method by carrying out practical experiments.

Teasdale and Mulder started working on a project together and in early February, Hans Mulder came over from the Netherlands to Bolton with the support by Science on Stage Europe. He visited the school of David Teasdale, Bolton School Boys' Division, and got to observe some lessons and learn about the way of teaching science in UK. Mulder had prepared some resources which he had brought over from the Netherlands, and used them to deliver a lesson of his own to one of the classes at Bolton School.

The resources were pieces of piping with four pieces of string running through the pipe. The piping was opaque so the students could not see inside, instead they had to try and suggest what was going on inside the pipe, based on the behaviour of the strings when they were pulled. There were nine different tubes Hans Mulder had made, each with strings which responded differently. To the British students it was a really interesting lesson and Hans Mulder kindly left the resources with Bolton School as the students loved them and wanted to use them again.

David Teasdale and Hans Mulder also used the time together to work on their joint project. They shared resources on the growing of slime mould and discussed a medium term plan for the project. Hans Mulder met with David Teasdales' technician to discuss the technical aspects of growing slime mould and saw the set up. He also met the students who are carrying out the project and discussed it with them. 

'The visit of Hans definitely accelerated the progress of our project' says David Teasdale: 'I hope to pay a return visit to his school at some point in the next academic year.'

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