Teacher workshop-“Science in everyday life”

Posted by on Mar 29, 2019 in School News | Comments Off

Science is all about exploration and discovery and there is no better way to usher young scientists to be excited about learning, than with hands’-on activities and experiments. To explore new strategies to increase student engagement, a science workshop was held at our School on Wednesday, 20 March 2019. About 40 teachers, including those teaching math and science at both The Indian School and The Foundation School attended the workshop.conducted by Ms. Pragya Nopany of Anveshika, Delhi. Ms. Nopany has taught Physics and has been actively involved in developing national level curriculum and teacher training programmes. She received the National Teacher Award in 2017.

The workshop began with an introduction and a short introduction of the speaker’s experiences as a teacher. In fact she captivated the audience with her extemporaneous delivery of personal experiences. She explained how complex concepts like optics, fluid mechanics, forces and Newton’s laws can be taught with innovative activities.

Numerous experiments were demonstrated in order to make the workshop engaging. Conversion of a liquid into its solid state by exerting force on a non-Newtonian fluid was an activity we really enjoyed observing.
Electrostatic force was demonstrated by the gentle movement of a wooden scale using a charged straw. It was shown how electrostatic force was produced by rubbing a plastic straw with tissue paper.

In another experiment three coins were arranged vertically under the influence of the magnetic field lines of a neodymium magnet. That experiment was indeed the highlight of the workshop!

The two types of forces namely, cohesive and adhesive, were explained with the help of an experiment. The activity conducted to explain the phenomenon comprised of a bottle filled with water and tiny holes made at its bottom. Water rushed out of these holes with force because pressure is always maximum at depth ( consider 3 holes made). Then 2 of the holes were closed and it was observed that water molecules stuck to each other and appeared like a single entity due to cohesive force. Water could be seen gushing out from the third hole.

The U-tube manometer is a simple device used to measure liquid pressure at various depths of a liquid. Ms. Nopany demonstrated the differences in pressure at various levels by inserting one end of the tube at different levels in a bucket containing water. Difference in liquid levels in both limbs of the manometer showed the difference in pressure.

Refractive Index is the measure of the bending of a ray of light as it moves from one medium to another. Two glass beakers were placed, one inside the other. The smaller beaker appeared to disappear when soya bean oil was poured into it. The reason for the disappearance was the same refractive index of the glass and oil. Reflection and refraction were elucidated by passing laser light through the beakers containing water and the intensity of image was observed to have changed by increasing the angle. This was well explained with the help of the same principle.

In another experiment two identical containers of similar weight were filled with an identical level of water. A plastic ball was attached to the base of one of the containers and participants were asked to identify the lighter container. This activity was really a challenging one! We discussed enthusiastically and concluded that the lighter one was the container with the plastic ball. The reason we gave was that loss of weight was due to the space occupied by the hollow plastic ball.

To show the rectilinear propagation of light a laser light was passed through the fumes of an incandescent stick. We could see the path of light because of the scattering (of light )due to the particles present in the fumes.

From the workshop we learnt how to develop a variety of science demonstrations and thought- provoking ideas that promote exploration and strengthen critical thinking skills. We also learnt how to implement creative science in teaching without unnecessary and expensive aids. It was a highly motivating workshop.

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