European instructors typically do not teach science and technology using demonstrations or other techniques. They want their students to experience different methods of teaching science.
Dr. Paul Adams, Director of the Science and Mathematics Education Institute at Fort Hays State University, has recently returned from a week long visit to Pau, France. While there, Adams taught and gave demonstrations to 25 middle school students at Marguerite-de-Navarre School.
Adams' teachings included using Coca Cola, Mentos, bottles and other items to explain atmospheric pressure, temperature and optics and how it related to the Calipso Satellite Mission. Adams was able to check the students' understanding of science and comprehension of underlying key concepts in a nontraditional way.
By only being able to speak English, a language the students are learning, Adams was able to share the international aspect of science. Adams explained that "the science community as a whole is international, and the teachers who invited me to teach understand the importance of being able to communicate with people from a different country and understanding that science is a common language."
Adams not only spent time interacting with middle school students, but he was also able to spend time with 50 teachers from across France during a three-day conference.
During the conference, he talked about two programs used by NASA to access and visualize satellite data from earth system satellites, called My NASA Data and Giovanni.
Now back at FHSU, Adams is coordinating video conferences between French and American schools. He will also organize pre- and in-service opportunities and extended internships for science teachers in the area.
For further information about the FHSU Science and Mathematics Education Institute, please see www.fhsu.edu/scimathcenter or contact Adams at (785) 628-4538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.