Science on Stage 2011
The story of how CollaboratEd ended up training Italian physics teachers has its origins in Copenhagen during the 2011 Science on Stage Europe (before CollaboratEd was born) where I had the good fortune of representing Britain. In Copenhagen, I was naturally drawn to the Italian delegation (I am, in fact, Italian for those who don’t know) and met some great guys who were doing some great stuff. A chemistry teacher reproduced the perfumes that Roman emperors like Julius Cesar used and there were other really interesting things in the Italian stands, but one set of experiments really caught my eye. Giovanni Pezzi used a box and a wireless webcam, put some physics demos inside the box and then dropped it from a height. From his computer he could then show and explain the effects of weightlessness on his experiments. You can see a video of his work below.
Science on Stage 2013 and the Italian legacy
I got quite close to Giovanni and we kept in touch, so it was a pleasure to see him again at Science on Stage 2013 in Polland. At that event I was presenting some of the sector leading work CollaboratEd now does with iPads and Giovanni and Antonio Gandolfi, president of AIF (Associazione per l’Insegnamento della Fisica), asked me if I wanted to present some of our ideas to physics teachers in Italy as part of the Science on Stage Take a Workshop to your Country. It took about a year, but we eventually managed to arrange the event and I recently flew to Italy and met a really lovely group of Italian physics teachers who were eager to work with apps to enhance learning in their classrooms. The course took place at Palestra della Scienza (Faenza) and it was just so refreshing to see how keen and ready to have a go all the delegates were. Believe me when I say that Italian schools have nothing compared to what we are used to in U.K. (I know because I studied there until my second year of my Physics Degree), but the Italian teachers had no time for complaints and negative attitudes. The general thinking was that they were going to see what devices their students would bring to school and go from there. Yes, there didn’t seem to be many schools that ban the use of smartphones for learning activities in Italy, which I thought was another positive of my brief reunion with the Italian Education system.
Here are some photos of the actual event
Science on Stage 2015
Science on Stage is a great event to network with many great science educators from around Europe and it is really worth trying to get in and represent your country. The good news is that Science on Stage 2015 will be hosted in Britain at Queen Mary University (London) and you can apply to attend here.
Take a look at what went on in 2013 in the video below that I took whilst I was there.