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Didactic bazaar

Polish teachers at the Physics on Stage and Science on Stage festivals

All European countries entered the 21st century with declining young people's interest in studying at physics faculties and an anticipated shortage of young scientists. The representatives of 8 European research institutes (CERN, EUROFUSION, EMBL, ESA, ESO, ESRF, European XFEL and ILL) gathered in EIROforum stated that a good way to encourage students to study physics and then a scientific career, is to help teachers in an attractive and effective transfer of knowledge in the field of natural sciences. Thus, the Physics on Stage action was launched, which is aimed at teachers to exchange good practice in science teaching. In 1999, representatives of CERN, ESA and ESO submitted an application for funding this action, and thanks to this, as part of the European Week of Science and Technology 2000, it was possible to organize the Physics on Stage festival at CERN. Festival participants were selected by the national Physics on Stage committees; in Poland, the first chairman of the National Organizing Committee was prof. dr hab. Tadeusz Skośkiewicz from the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 2001, the chairman of the National Organizing Committee was prof. dr hab. Wojciech Nawrocik from the Faculty of Physics, AMU, and since 2014 this function has been performed by prof. AMU dr hab. Grzegorz Musiał  

Physics on Stage

In May 2000, the first national festival, Physics on Stage, took place in Poznań, during which teachers and students from all over Poland presented interesting physical experiences. From among the participants with the highest scores by the jury, a Polish delegation was selected for the first European Physics on Stage festival held in Geneva on November 6-11, 2000. This first festival was attended by 500 teachers from 22 countries, who had the opportunity to share their experiences, present interesting didactic solutions at the fair, take part in inspiring workshops, watch presentations and performances, and finally find out that physics can also be fun. The Polish delegation consisted of 28 people, and the spectacular show by Prof. dr. hab. Krzysztof Ernst "Physics of Ping-Pong" explaining the rules of physics on stage while playing ping-pong with the master of this sport.

Due to the great interest in the first festival, the festival "Physics on Stage 2" was organized in 2002 at ESA in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, and a year later "Physics on Stage 3" in the same place. Polish teachers and educators also took part in these subsequent festivals, and after returning to methodological conferences or workshops for teachers, they shared their newly acquired knowledge and skills.

Science on Stage

After these three editions of the festival, the members of EIROforum came to the conclusion that the lack of young scientists applies not only to physics, decided to extend the festival formula to all natural sciences. Science on Stage festivals have been held since 2005 and the first one was held at CERN in Geneva. Festivals are held cyclically every two years and their organization and coordination of many projects related to the dissemination of science and improving the quality of education in the field of natural sciences has been the responsibility of the non-profit Science on Stage Europe association based in Berlin since 2011. The "teachers-for-teachers" formula of the festivals, unchanged from the very beginning, gives an unprecedented opportunity to exchange experiences, learn about many interesting and innovative didactic solutions, and finally establish personal contacts with other teachers, which result in numerous contacts lasting after the festival, which may become the beginning of fruitful cooperation such as eg "joint projects" implemented with financial support, ie inter-school international projects. One of them was the Polish-Romanian project "FASCINATING PHYSICS - A Bridge that United Us". This project was awarded at the London festival in 2015 as the best school cooperation project. The project was carried out by two high schools from Wieluń and Cluj-Napoca in Romania under the supervision of physics teachers Zenona Stojecka and Corina Toma.

At festivals, each participant has a stand where they present the effects of their projects, interesting experiences or learning aids made by themselves or their students. The Polish team was always active at all festivals, and the Polish stands aroused great interest, we were noticed and distinguished. Polish delegates were repeatedly invited to present their projects on the main stage (e.g. Dr. Jerzy Jarosz and Aneta Szczygielska or Małgorzata Masłowska and Grażyna Generowicz), some of the participants conducted seminar sessions (e.g. prof. Wojciech Nawrocik with Elaenor Hayes), interesting workshops or the so-called master class.

There are national festivals in all countries that send delegations to Science on Stage festivals. They are in the form of competitions and after the presentation of shows or experiments, the delegation is selected from among the most interesting ones.

Detailed information on the nationwide Physics on Stage and Life Sciences on Stage festivals can be found on the Polish website Science on Stage .

Science on Stage 2013 "Crossing Borders in Science Teaching"

A special event in the history of the festivals was the awarding of Poland and Germany, for the first time to two countries, the organization of the Science on Stage 2013 festival "Crossing Borders and Science Teaching".

The festival was held in Słubice and Frankfurt (Oder), neighboring cities connected by the bridge over the Oder. The title crossing the boundaries in teaching science also had a literal meaning, because the festival spaces were located both on the Polish and German side. The cooperation of both organizing committees was perfect, the stands were varied and very interesting, the presentations and performances on the main stage were very popular. After the festival, we received a lot of very positive opinions, the festival was highly appreciated by the management of Science on Stage.eu and the evaluators. At this festival, for the first time, the "audience award" was established and to our joy Edyta Dzikowska and Hanna Moczko received it. The main prize in the Information Technologies category was awarded to Dobromiła Szczepaniak and Wojciech Gańcza, and the group from Bielsko Biała in the School Cooperation category.

During the festivals, there are also meetings of groups that will work on preparing auxiliary materials for teachers after the festival. The results of the work of such groups are notebooks published by Science on Stage containing auxiliary materials for teachers, and among the authors of these materials, we can find the names of Polish festival participants, eg Maria Dobkowska, Mirosław Łoś and Zbigniew Trzmiel. In the notebooks from the iStage series, you can find many interesting lesson scenarios and tips for the implementation of projects related to the use of smartphones or information and communication technology. The latest publication relates to teaching combining STEM with other disciplines of knowledge and encoding.

Participation in the festival is extremely inspiring for all participants to continue looking for interesting didactic solutions or the implementation of educational projects, often interdisciplinary or using new tools. Polish delegates conducted many different activities for teachers, such as workshops, seminars, methodological conferences and courses.

Polish Year of the Physics 2020

In 2020, we celebrate 20 years of the presence of Polish teachers at these wonderful festivals. On this occasion, we would like to thank especially prof. Wojciech Nawrocik, who has been associated with the organization of PoS and SoS festivals from the very beginning. Without his enormous contribution and commitment to the quality of our presentations, the participation of Polish delegations in festivals would certainly not be so significant.

On the occasion of this jubilee, we would also like to thank the group of our wonderful German friends from the Science on Stage association, especially Stefanie Schlunk, who has been chairman for many years and has been supporting many of our initiatives with great kindness throughout.

Didactic bazaar

At the XLVI Extraordinary Congress of Polish Physicists, as part of the session "One hundred years of didactics of physics in Poland", we want to show a few examples of the presence of Polish teachers at Science on Stage festivals in the form of a TEACHING BAZAR. Each of the delegates prepared for their stand a specially designed poster presenting completed projects or ideas for interesting experiences. We present selected Polish posters in the form of an album; we show them in the original, i.e. in English (English is the official language at the festival). In addition to the album, as part of the bazaar, we present additional materials sent by festival participants, such as presentations or films with interesting experiences, which can be used later in school practice.