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Science Menu or experiments “à la carte” among pans and test tubes. by: Giulia Realdon (State Scientific Lyceum “M.Buonarroti” Monfalcone - ITALY) and Immacolata Ercolino (State Scientific Lyceum “P.Calamandrei” Napoli - ITALY). Science Menu or

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slide1

Science Menu

or

experiments “à la carte”

among pans and test tubes

by:

Giulia Realdon (State Scientific Lyceum “M.Buonarroti” Monfalcone - ITALY)

and

Immacolata Ercolino (State Scientific Lyceum “P.Calamandrei” Napoli - ITALY)

slide2

Science Menu

or

experiments “à la carte” among pans and test tubes

Kitchen has always been the ideal laboratory for applied science. Food preparation has played a role in the development of science and scientists have contributed to the development of cooking, since the invention of pressure cooker to modern “molecular gastronomy”.

Leonardo da Vinci invented a rotating spit operated by smoke: the smoke moved an impeller which in turn, by means of gears, rotated the spit; he probably succeded also in building a pressure cooker prototype. Denis Papin eventually developed this device and in 1680 presented it to the Royal Society, preparing a whole meal that was greatly appreciated by the fellows.

As kitchen is well known by students it is useful for science teachers to use it as a resource to provide them with various activities which are interesting, informative and rigorous at the same time.

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Science Menu

or

experiments “à la carte” among pans and test tubes

  • GENERAL AIMS
  • Promoting the experimental approach to Chemistry and Biology even in schools without an equipped lab
  • Encouraging teachers to perform lab activities with the help of structured and indexed materials
  • Issuing a “menu” of didactical experiments that can be performed with ordinary materials and devices
  • Linking the experiment menu to specific topics of science curricula from primary to lower secondary school
  • Stimulating teachers’ creativity and providing them with a didactical framework for new experimental activities (according to action-research methodology)
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Science Menu

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experiments “à la carte” among pans and test tubes

  • The first aim is to promote the experimental approach to Chemistry and Biology even in schools without a specifically equipped lab, as with many primary schools and some secondary ones.
  • The need for hands-on activities, even if acknowledged at every level (from studens’ requests to Lisbon objectives by European Union) often conflicts with limits and habits of our school institutions.
  • To overcome these constraints we propose activities that can be carried out with simple materials and equipments (nearly common use ones), needing no technical support, harmless, according to safety regulations and, finally, not expensive.
  • We would encourage teachers to perform lab activities offering them structured materials, indexed and easy to use: starting “from the kitchen” makes people feel at ease and stimulates curiosity and experimental attitude.
slide5

Science Menu

or

experiments “à la carte” among pans and test tubes

  • We prepared a “didactical experimentsmenu”, that is a series of lab protocols structured like a recipe book and indexed according to the addressed topic and the difficulty level (very low in any case).
  • The “experiments menu” is linked to specific curricular subjects (Natural Sciences, Chemistry and Biology),starting from primary up to secondary school.
  • We hope to stimulate teachers’ creativity providing them with a didactical framework for new experimental activitiesto be developed autonomously (according to action-research methodology).
slide6

Science Menu

or experiments “à la carte”

among pans and test tubes

AIMS FOR THE STUDENTS

  • Science Menu is aimed at committing pupils (especially the unmotivated ones) in the study of Chemistry (and Biology too) through experimental activities.
  • Students usually look at Chemistry as a difficult subject full of oscure concepts while they welcome the possibility to deepen everyday experiences like those regarding cooking, a familiar issue to many of them.
  • Chemical concepts underlie most common activities and chemistry exploits all our senses: sight, taste, smell, touch,hearing.
  • Most of these experiments can be carried out in the classroom with common use materials taken from the kitchen. Cooking is based on physical transformations and chemical reactions, even if they are not usually considered CHEMISTRY or PHYSICS.
  • We hope that these proposals will foster students’ natural curiositiy and we believe to raise their interest by means of emotional involvement.
  • “Curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought him back“:thisfamous English saying, partially exploiting the metaphor, highlights the meta-cognitive value of emotional learning.
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Science Menu

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experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

As (science) educators, we believe in the didactical power of hands-on activities, so kitchen, with some of its materials and equipments, is the ideal laboratory to experience chemistry.

Baking soda and vinegar, for instance, are far more familiar “reagents” than sodium bicarbonate and acetic acid.

According to a saying ascribed to Confucius “if I listen I forget, if I look I understand, if I do then I learn”. We believe this true for students, in order to overcome the limited effectiveness of the traditional “ex cathedra” teaching method.

In our opinion this approach will help pupils to learn some key concepts in science curriculum and to find practical applications in real life.

The proposed method is particularly suitable for kids with relational problems: for these students kitchen and food are catalists for raising interest and motivation and for giving significance to science learning in relationship to real world and personal experience.

an example of the proposed method the elastic egg

Science Menu

or

experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

An example of the proposed method:

the Elastic Egg

an example of the proposed method the elastic egg9

Science Menu

or

experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

An example of the proposed method:

the Elastic Egg

short information about the subject and the addressed topic

an example of the proposed method the elastic egg10

Science Menu

or

experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

An example of the proposed method:

the Elastic Egg

information about

the students’ age

and on practical aspects

of the experience

an example of the proposed method the elastic egg11

Science Menu

or

experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

list of the

required materials

and protocol description

An example of the proposed method:

the Elastic Egg

an example of the proposed method the elastic egg12

Science Menu

or

experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

additional didactical

materials and resources

An example of the proposed method:

the Elastic Egg

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Science Menu

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experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

Strong Points

Friendly approach to scientific subjects

Integration with science curriculum at different levels (from primary to upper secondary school)

Link with various Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science topics

Integration with web resources (e-learning)

Possibility to expand the materials

strong points friendly approach to scientific subjects

Science Menu

or

experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

Strong Points

Friendly approach to scientific subjects

slide15

Science Menu

or

experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

Strong Points

Integration with science curriculum at different levels (from primary to upper secondary school)

slide16

Science Menu

or

experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

Strong Points

Link with various Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science topics

Example: the “Elastic Egg” protocol gives the possibility to address the following topics:

Shell solution by means of vinegar calcium carbonate reacting with acids karstic phenomena (Earth Science)

Egg processing with syrup and then with water osmosis (Biology, trasport across membranes) osmotic pressure (Physical Chemistry, colligative properties) solutions (Chemistry, concentration, molarity)

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Science Menu

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experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

Strong Points

Integration with web resources (e-learning)

Possibility to enrich the laboratory experience with further informations, images, videos and interactive animations on websites, as for instance:

http://www.ac-creteil.fr/biotechnologies/doc_osmosis.htm

strong points possibility to expand the materials

Science Menu

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experiments à la carte among pans and test tubes

Given the modular framework, the “recipes” of the lab protocols can be modified, transferred to different contexts and extended with further materials built in the same format

Strong Points

Possibility to expand the materials

to conclude

Science Menu

or

experiments “à la carte” among pans and test tubes

if I listen I forget, if I look I understand,

if I do then I learn!

To conclude…..

- Science Menu - experiments “à la carte” among pans and test tubes