STEM Discovery Week 2019 at “Zinca Golescu” National College – Pitesti, Romania.

Iuliana Roman – Physics Teacher

This is the second year that our school organizes activities during the STEM Discovery Week.

Between February and April 2019 we have organized 3 extracurricular activities meant to boost the interest of our students towards science in general and Physics in particular.

First activity which took place on the 22nd of March, 2019, was to repeat the Eratosthenes method in order to measure the circumference of the Earth. This activity was carried out by the 7-grade students who measured the length of the shadow cast by a 1-meter stick – gnomon- on the ground. The students had the opportunity to apply what they have learned in their Maths, Geography and Physics classes, to use different sites to perform necessary calculations and to communicate with other foreign students in order to obtain the radius of the Earth.

The second activity was a demonstrative lesson, Electric circuits, held at the 6th grade, on 10th of April, 2019. This lesson was inspired by a Scientix resource ESTABLISH IBSE TEACHING AND LEARNING UNITS: PHYSICS (http://www.scientix.eu/resources/details?resourceId=5011) which contains IBSE teaching and learning materials developed by the ESTABLISH project and created for professional development together with activities for direct use in the classroom. The teaching and learning materials included in this volume are: “Light”, “Sound”, “Heating and Cooling: Designing a Low Energy Home” and “Direct Current Electricity”. From this precious resource, we have used ideas presented in Activity 1: Electric current, battery and bulb, as well as those from Activity 5: Electric elements in a DC circuit.

The third activity, Scientific Toys, was held on the 17th of April and reunited middle school student with high school students, in a science festival. The first part of this activity was a Science Fair, the second one consisted of workshops in which older students helped the younger ones to understand better the physical phenomena on which some scientific toys rely on. Students moved around 8 learning stations, they had the opportunity to play, explore, discover, and learn. And here we have used some ideas from the Scientix repository, ESTABLISH, such as Activity 1.3: Understanding shadows, Activity 1.4: Exploring white light and filters, and Activity 1.5: Exploring primary colours.

The toys we have used in this entertaining activity: for Optical instruments construction – Optik Cabinet, electric circuits construction kits Hot Wires,  TThe Electro Dough Kit,  Reflection- refraction – Laser Maze, and Mirascope,  Magnets sets, Plasma Ball, etc.

At the end of this activity, we had the great satisfaction of getting very positive feedback from our students. They said they have enjoyed all the time spent together, at the same time learning a lot of things about physics, and that they wished to organise again, as soon as possible another meeting.

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