The second round of Scientix teachers’ panel workshops started with a very first event in the city of Ljubljana (Slovenia) on the weekend of the 21-23 of March. A total of 20 Scientix Ambassadors and Deputy Ambassadors met to discuss management issues, review the work accomplished and exchange experiences and opinions related to the dissemination of Scientix and teaching of STEM education.
As always, the weekend started with a very first networking dinner, were some of the participants could catch-up with each other, and some others could meet and greet the rest for the first time. On Saturday morning, the initial session led by European Schoolnet, was mainly focused on the evolution of the various areas of work within the Scientix framework and it was followed by an introductory talk from Andreja Bačnik, our partner in crime from the Slovenian National Institute for Education. The participants were particularly aware of the Newsletter and the Scientix digest and gave suggestions on how to improve the publications and how to better address them to their target audience. Another focus of interest was the Scientix Conference which will take place next October and to which all of the ambassadors and deputy ambassadors are invited to attend. We seized the opportunity to announce the launch of new Moodle courses in STEM topics as well as of this Scientix blog and we discussed the idea of integrating the ambassadors in the various Scientix online platforms (such as the mentioned blog or the Facebook account) to dynamize them, better integrate the teachers ideas and suggestions and to promote networking from the ambassadors of different countries.
During the afternoon, the sessions organized by the Slovenian National Instituted for Educations (NEIS) were very applauded. Six different workshops were arranged, combining talks and displays. One of the most popular sessions was the one Jaka Banko gave named New materials in today´s science classroom, which taught the assistants how to use home-made lenses as means for showing experiments with light in the classroom. In another of the workshops, Promoting Science with very cold liquids, Tomaž Ogrin and some of his students from the Jozef Stefan Institute showed us experiments, which served as a way to analyze the behaviour of super cold gases and to amaze us with little fire explosions and other gas reactions (amazement later reported on Twitter, of course). Last, from Vic Grammar School, Rok Caputer explained us different hands-on projects that are being implemented in the school, involving the construction of experimental rockets and submarines.
The only optional part of the program was the Ljubljana walking tour in which we split the participants between those who wanted to walk around the old city and those who were particularly interested in visiting the medieval castle. Both good options and very recommendable in any touristic visit to the Slovenian capital.
The last Sunday session was a more laid-back session where we let the teachers network with each other as a way to exchange ideas and learn from different experiences while we personally informed each of the teachers of their progress within the project. After that, we packed our lunch boxes, gave a last glance to the city and headed to the airport with the satisfaction of a successful event.
Article written by: Marina Jiménez Iglesias, Project Officer, European Schoolnet