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Gamification in the classroom: A Danish-Irish teacher exchange

From 7-8 June 2018 Declan Cathcart from Temple Carrig School, Ireland, visited his colleague Line Nygård Mikkelsen in Baunehøjskolen, Denmark. Both teachers met at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary, as delegates of Science on Stage Ireland and Science on Stage Denmark and decided to do a teacher exchange supported by Science on Stage.

At Line's school Declan was introduced to the Danish school system and of course also to Line's students who were excited to meet an English speaking science teacher. Line and Declan developed a new project together about gamifaction in biology teaching. Line's students tried out funny sounding activities such as 'Hunting Jelly Beans', 'The Survival Game', 'A Game of Mutants' or 'My Cousin is a Fruit Fly', covering various topics like predator-prey systems, environmental effects on populations, the resistance of bacterial cells to antibiotics or the determination of DNA. The students had a good time and Line and Declan want to go on with their project and do a further teacher exchange - this time with Line visiting Declan in Ireland.

'What a great trip!  Many thanks to my host Line, her colleagues and her students in Baunehøjskolen for the warm welcome they gave me.  It was fascinating to experience to work in a Danish school, and I hope to be able to welcome Line to Ireland in the Autumn to continue our adventures in teaching evolution.' Quote: Declan Cathcart   



Picture © Declan Cathcart /  Line Nygård Mikkelsen 

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: 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

 

#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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