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EMERGENCY NOTICE
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Shoestring Science 2019

After weeks of planning, preparation and trial lessons with Year 5, our Year 9 students had the opportunity to teach their science lessons to Year 6 age students from Tran Quoc Toan (TQT) school.

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Throughout the development of their lessons Year 9 were using a full range of learning skills from effective collaboration to organisation, to reflection, to both verbal and written communication. Asking Year 9s how to best teach a particular scientific concept involved critical thinking and metacognition, they had to empathise with the younger students and gain an appreciation for how they learn. To challenge the students further this was all done on a tight budget of no more than 150,000 VND (approx. 7 USD). The ethos was to teach practical science with cheap, commonly available materials.

“I learnt that students like to do the experiment while learning because they can see what we are talking about and it would make it easier for them to understand the lesson.”

“I learned that sometimes, learning by myself and challenging myself can help me learn. Also, as I am in a teacher's position, I had to learn more deeply into the subject in order to explain to other people and answer their ideas.”

There was an impressive range of concepts tackled from gravity, to non-Newtonian fluids, to mesocosms. The students approached their challenge with enthusiasm, humour and excellent scientific skills.

“My critical thinking improved because I explained the experiment and other parts in a way that is shorter and much easier to understand. I based this on what I would see as interesting as a little kid and thought the same thing might hook the younger students as well.”

The visiting students from the TQT school were keen and our Years 9s actively involved them in the practical activities. Their learning was supported by high-quality scientific explanations gained from the Year 9s. The TQT students clearly enjoyed their science learning and left BIS with ‘big smiles’ and an enthusiasm for science. The resources created by the Year 9s will be shared with the school for future use.

Mr Chris Paine, Head of Science

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