Physics is my friend
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Development of children motivation to learn physics through "Physics is my friend" activity
Physics is my friend is a successful event of university-school collaboration running at the Physics Department of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Matej Bel University Banska Bystrica (SK) in 2012 and 2013. The main aim of the event was to bring school children to laboratories of the faculty and provide them a space for an attractive and motivating experimentation.
An idea to organise such event occurred as a result of the Bachelor theses of a physics teacher trainee Maria Beniacikova. She investigated attitudes of pupils at lower secondary schools towards physics and found a relationship between the popularity of physics and the frequency of experimental activities done at physics lessons. In the questionnaires children expressed their interests to do more experiments. So as a part of her Magister theses Maria decided to organise an event that would enable pupils from Banska Bystrica region to conduct experiments directly at laboratories of the physics department.
An invitation to the prepared event met a great interest of schools. Instead of originally planned one day the event had to be organised in four days with approximately 50 participating pupils each day. Classes of school pupils participated at an especially designed interesting lecture at first and then rotated in groups through five laboratories: Magic physics, Lets create it!, Optics by my eyes, Physics toys, Room of experiments. A set of attractive experimental activities from different areas of physics was prepared at each of the labs.
The preparation an organisation, as well as the direct contact work with pupils, was completely in hands of physics teacher trainees, who worked voluntary. So, besides the addressing the lack of equipment at schools and children interest in physics experiments the event was an excellent way of future teacher training as well.
Evaluation questionnaires were used to gain a feedback from participating pupils and their teachers. Their analysis showed that children had learned a lot of new things, liked collaboration with university students very much and liked to work at university labs. As an additional benefit the teachers received good examples of activities that they can use in the classrooms.
Unfortunately, because of the very low number of physics teacher trainees this successful event could not be organised in next years and this great idea and developed organisational structure waits for recovering by new cohort of students.
For more information please contact:
Mrs. Janka Raganova: firstname.lastname@example.org
Teacher at Matej Bel University Banská Bystrica: http://www.fpv.umb.sk, Partner number P49