High school teachers and researchers inspire each other across science subjects
High school teachers teaching various science subjects gathered on Friday, January 27, at the Faculty of Natural Sciences for a joint day of inspiration. This led to conversations, knowledge sharing and inspiration across Aarhus University and high school - as well as across subjects.
Last week, Aarhus University hosted an inspiration day for high school teachers who teach science subjects. The morning offered joint academic presentations for all participants and in the afternoon the participants were divided into subject-specific workshops.
A day of professional inspiration and dialogue across the board
The purpose of the day was to give secondary school teachers a professional boost, get new ideas for teaching and talk to colleagues and peers. The program was planned in such a way that the teachers also had the opportunity to talk to high school teachers with other subjects about the possibility of interdisciplinary collaboration.
"It was great to have some inspiration that you can use in your everyday life. I have already spoken to my class's chemistry teacher and the two of us really want to try out the workshop material this spring!” says Sonja Arlt after the visit. She works as a HTX (Higher Technical Examination Programme) teacher in physics and mathematics at Tradium in Randers.
But it wasn't just the high school teachers who got inspiration and professional input from the day. At the Department of Chemistry, Professor Dorthe Ravnsbæk led a workshop where the participants tested a new practical exercise on rechargeable batteries.
"We hope that this exercise can in future be used in high school and help create focus and interest in future challenges with resource scarcity and energy storage. It was very valuable to get input from the teachers on how the exercise can be improved and adapted so that they can use it in their teaching.”
Morning with academic presentations
The day began with a series of academic presentations. Lecturer Niels Lauritzen (Dept. of Mathematics) talked about digital mathematics at the university and the transition from high school, seasoned with examples from WolframAlpha and ChatGPT. It gave rise to both laughter and discussion.
The participants also heard Professor Kurt Gothelf (Dept. of Chemistry and iNANO) talk about how to chemically change proteins for use, e.g. in the development of new types of cancer treatment methods.
Aurelian Romain Dantan (Dept. of Physics & Astronomy) talked about Nobel Prize recipients in physics in 2022 and led them through the journey from when quantum mechanics was mostly a philosophical discussion to today being applicable in quantum technologies such as e.g. quantum encryption.
Afternoon with workshops and practical exercises
During the breaks, the teachers could visit a large number of exhibition stands where, among other things, The science museums, Aktuel Naturvidenskab, 'Det Rullende Universitet' and several of the Visiting Service units, which represent the various natural science educational programmes at Aarhus University, spoke about their activities and offers. Here, the teachers could e.g. be inspired with suggestions for visits and teaching material.
The participants spent the afternoon in workshops where they themselves had the opportunity to make Li-ion batteries, gold nanoparticles that can be used in biosensors, work with the mathematics behind neural networks or test different tools to integrate Computational Thinking into teaching.
Joint highschool teacher's day is important for Faculty of Natural Sciences
"This is the first time that Faculty of Natural Sciences (NAT) has held a joint high school teacher's day, where several institutes at NAT have contributed with either presentations or workshops. We hope that the participants have become curious about some of the offers we have for the high school. The day has great value for NAT in strengthening the collaboration with the high school, where our talented future students get prepared for university life," says vice-dean Kristine Kilså.