Last May, I joined a preschool outdoors activity along some colleagues. We were a happy bunch of adults and kids aiming to find out what interesting things could we discover along the shores of an island in the archipelago of Gothenburg. The children were eager to discover new things; they excitedly collected rocks and clam shells and discovered living and dead creatures inhabiting the shoreline. The majestic swans were favorited by some, but they only came in second place for most of the children. It is hard to think of what could possibly win over a bunch of dead crabs when it comes to catching the eye of a five-year-old…
Being a Scientix Deputy Ambassador, I am always on the lookout for an opportunity to talk to peers about Scientix and all the tools and resources that can be found through the Scientix portal. Having the opportunity to get to know these dynamic teachers, I was sure to get some interest. They actively work developing new science activities, experimenting and exploring, and they encourage their pupils to experiment too: Children plant seeds of various kinds and observe how sunflowers and vegetables grow in their schoolyard. They regularly visit the museum of natural history and many other exhibits of scientific and technological interest in the same city of Gothenburg. Recently, a group of pupils built microphones out of balloons and cans (in order to learn about sound) and made figures out of egg shells that cannot tip over (to learn about what is a center of gravity) among several other activities.
Getting inspired from this activities and trying to further our work, we are creating a plan to work more actively on the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) during the coming years. A couple of teachers will be assigned responsible in relation to make a better use of them in our work with children. In that sense, it came as no surprise to me that, as soon as I started to talk about Scientix, several colleagues became immediately interested on the subject and eager to know more. It was decided that I would give a presentation on the project to the whole school staff in the course of the following week.
For the talk, I prepared a few samples of projects and resources that can be found in the Scientix portal. I selected examples from the “e-Bug” and the “Creative little scientists” projects. I prepared samples of the non-Newtonian fluid you get when you mix corn-starch with water, a substance sometimes called “gloop” or “glop”. It quickly made us jump to a vivid discussion about how “gloop” could be used to prepare different activities for children. We discussed everything: from discovery and recreational activities to more detailed science studies.
With this and a few more examples, the usefulness and efficacy of the Scientix portal was demonstrated. Furthermore, it quickly encouraged teachers to try and use the Scientix portal search engines to discover new projects and resources in order to plan their educational program for the upcoming school year. In the end, all the assistants were extremely excited over this new source of discovery.
Article written by: Jim Lindholm, Scientix Deputy Ambassador