Thanks to the help of the "agrupamento de escolas" (group of Schools) Rodrigues de Freitas, we built a team of 10th graders and we discussed Galilean relativity in 5 sessions of 2 hours each, which started at 3 p.m. every afternoon from the 19th to the 23rd of June 2016.
We studied the classical version of the theory of relativity, the remarkable predecessor of Einstein's famous theories.
This first formulation of relativity was proposed by Galileo and it is embedded in the Newton's laws. Heliocentrism is arguably the concept that people most naturally associate with the birth of modern physics and astronomy. However, Galilean relativity is equally central to this process. It is easily comprehensible by any high-school student, and at the same time is deep and far reaching. It is a fundamental starting point to understand physics and its ties to other disciplines and then every-day life. In the first two sessions, after an explanation by Jorge Grave and Giancarlo Pace, the class deepened the concept group discussions, following the methodology called peer-instructions. In the remaining three sessions, we focused our effort in the preparation of an educational video on the subject at hand. Despite some difficulties and problems that we did not manage to solve (that was just our second experience of the sort) it was a very important, exciting experience. We are more and more convinced that we can and we should work a lot in this direction. We moved the first steps of a very long path. These 5 sessions benefited from the contribution of Melissa Rodrigues, Miguel Ferreira, Jorge Grave, Giancarlo Pace, and 11 10 graders who did their best inside a school hall, while the Sun outside was screaming in their ears: "go to the beach". For privacy reasons, we will not write the names of the young students, but they are the main protagonists of this chapter of the story. We warmly acknowledge the rest of the people that made this experience possible: the director of the group of schools Rodrigues de Freitas, Maria José Ascensão, the physics teacher Fernanda Viegas, the childhood educator Marisa Pedrosam Elizângela Pinheiro and Diva Carvalho. Soon, we will make available the result of this intervention, i.e., an educational video made by the class with the assistance of the 4 adults of the team. Miguel and Melissa are working on its edition.
Pedro Pimenta, professor in the Departament of Information Systems of Minho Universisty, who is collaborating in the preparation of the italian version of this blog.
Soon, we will make available the result of this intervention, i.e., an educational video made by the class with the assistance of the 4 adults of the team. Miguel and Melissa are working on its edition.
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