Coloring the Universe

Have you seen the first ever black hole image?

Have you heard about Katie Bouman, MIT’s student, whose algorithm helped to process Event Horizon Telescope data?

She is one of the numerous researchers and scientists involved in the EHT project from various institutions. Her engagement and success were actually the base for the event organized April 17th during this year’s STEM Discovery Week campaign – Coloring the Universe.

In the class with girls who showed great interest in astronomy (astronomy is not part of the curriculum), Katie Bouman’s story, her engagement and contribution within the EHT project was a good starting point for the realization of teaching activities. Katie was not only a role model but also an inspiration.

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SMS ”Students meet Satellites”

20 students (17 girls) aged 17 took part in these activities for three weeks, from 26.03 2019 to 16.04.2019.

The purpose of the activity was to increase the knowledge about electromagnetic waves through practical applications. A good opportunity to discover how satellites work, what information they receive and transmit to Earth, in what way they transmit this information.
As a source of inspiration, we not only a Scientix resource (http://www.scientix.eu/resources/details?resourceId=21835), but also resources and tools available on the ESA website (https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth)

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Mystery Science

The main aim of the lessons was to motivate students to learn science by investigating mystery in Science in movies, literature and life. The idea was to set numerous interesting activities where students have to do research, use Internet and different online tools working in teams, sharing ideas, developing interest and attitudes towards science, making investigation and experimental researches, stimulating creative activity, gaining new experiences, in order to find that mysteries in movies, literature and life can be explained by science and how these can be integrated in different subjects.

Project-based Learning: students got tasks, problems to solve and they worked in teams. Students developed an inquiry-based learning projects. They had the opportunity to work with their friends in teams which improved their social  skills, increased their creativity, built and encouraged their problem solving skills in a fun way, supported related role modelling, career aspirations and etc.

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Diffraction and interference around us

For years and years this has been my least favorite part of school’s curriculum. Too much messy drawing on the board, too much mathematical formulas, and from student’s point of view this was just empty talk. I naturally tried and tried to explain this to my students as best as I could, but even with experiments, that I could demonstrate during the class, I’ve felt that my students been missing the point. They would just try to memorise whole thing without any critical thinking, and let’s face it, what kind of a teacher would I be to let that happen? Most of my colleagues agreed that this is not an easy part of curriculum which it’s hard to be understood even by older students at faculties, and that it is meant only for top of class.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that this was unnecessary part of school’s curriculum. This is fundamental part of physics. This was one of the first mistakes made by Newton. And shockingly this is where quantum mechanics starts (thank you Feynman). So I really needed to help my students learn more about this, but how?

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The impact of plastics on the environment

This STEM Discovery Week’s event has dealt with the topic of problems in the local community within the school program of Civics for the 7th grade. My class chose the problem of pollution in the city of Zaječar, they also focused on the danger of plastic waste, since it takes from 100 to 1000 years to completely decompose in nature.

The main goal of this event is development of the relationship to environmental pollution of plastic waste and making items from already used plastic packaging.

Educational aim: Developing a report on environmental pollution of plastic waste, and training for active participation in the life of the local community.

Functional aim: Training for teamwork, developing communication skills necessary for collaborative behaviour, variery of attitudes and expression of opinion.

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