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Taking science education across the world

Our future depends on exploring all the frontiers of science, on innovative technologies based on these explorations and on the development of scientific literacy in all peoples through science education.

My first Skype classroom, taking science across the world!

I took part in my first Skype classroom last week, it was also my first experience with Skype!

The class was for grade 3 students at College View Elementary School, an International Baccalaureate World School in Council Bluffs, Iowa – about four thousand miles away with a time difference of six hours. It really was ‘Taking science education across the world’.

Before the Skype class

I had planned the session with teacher Kirstin Baker previously and the students had navigated my website, formulated questions on a wide range of topics from ‘what is it like to be an author?’ and ‘how do you write books?’ to questions on the Earth and magnetism – a science topic they are doing at the moment.

The students sent me the questions which I collated but included their names so I could address them individually. I also prepared a few simple demonstrations to support their science work.

The skype session

There were two parts to this session. In part one I read out the questions and answered them, sometimes using my books, and presented some simple science demonstrations. Part two was a ‘talk to the author’ session where the students spoke to me individually and we discussed their questions.

Skyping from my room

Skyping from my room

Skyping into the classroom

Skyping into the classroom

Skyping into the classroom

Skyping into the classroom

Talking to the author

Talking to the author

The follow up

After my skype visit the students had a period of reflection on the event then sent me their responses to various questions posed by the teachers – there are over a hundred responses here are just a few –

What did you learn about Peter Riley?

“He loves science and writing books about science.”
“He loves to talk. I didn’t think he would like science that much.”
“He talked loud and he was a good person to give us the opportunity to listen to us. That was nice for all us 3 graders and I think he liked it too.”

What did you learn about science?

“Science is really interesting !!!”
“It is cool …. he inspired me to do some science at home tonight.”
“It is a really fascinating thing. I think when I get to high school I will study science.”
“How does this change your thinking?”
“Meeting him really makes me think I can do better so I can get back up in the big score!!!”
“I learned that you can get interested in something and be interested in it for the rest of your life.”
“I never knew a lot about science and he really inspired me to like science more.”
“As a student it has changed my thinking by making me more into science so I will complete my goal in accomplishing and getting my degree for science.”

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