Courseware Sharing by Tallinn Secondary School of Science, Jakob Westholm Secondary School, Tallinn Sydalinna School and Tallinn Downtown Private School
Overview of the project
In the four schools’ collaborative project, necessary equipment for conducting chemistry, physics, biology and natural science practicals was purchased and a laboratory was set up for shared use. The purpose of the project was to create the conditions for conducting lab experiments provided for in the curriculum and to enable students to discover laws of nature, consolidate theoretical knowledge through practical activities and develop competences in natural science. We hope that this encourages students to continue their studies in the STEM fields.
- Kaisa Tamkivi – project manager
- Ene Saar – Tallinn Secondary School of Science
- Rando Kuustik – Jakob Westholm Secondary School
- Jaana Roht – Tallinn Downtown Private School
- Monika Ellakvere – Tallinn Sydalinna School
The project seeks to give teachers the opportunity to conduct practicals set forth in the curriculum. The praticals performed on the obtained devices teach students to use digital technology, choose suitable devices for problem-solving, improve operational techniques, and develop communication and co-operation skills in various digital environments.
Each school receives a basic set of devices: data collection devices, thermo sensors, electronic scales, ice and water baths.
Most of the necessary equipment for practicals is shared by the schools. This enables teachers to conduct practicals in their own school. Sharing is the most efficient way to use devices and sensors which are not needed daily.
Because the transportation of equipment necessary for some chemistry and physics practicals is not possible or reasonable, students from other schools do these practicals in the laboratory set up in Tallinn Downtown Private School.
We create the conditions for generating innovative approaches to teaching, while encouraging creativity, entrepreneurship, development of digital literacy (including data analysis and presentation), and students’ individual and social development.
In two of the schools, lab technicians are employed thanks to the funding allocated to the project. Lab technicians are responsible for maintenance of instruments and devices, preparation of practicals, and organization of courseware sharing.
We also create new learning materials under the project. Teachers or lab technicians have created or updated instructions for inquiry-based practicals in four subjects, which amounts to 25 lab instructions in total.
Thanks to the devices purchased under the project, students are able to do practicals by themselves, which gives them a better opportunity to achieve the learning objectives provided for in the national curriculum and school syllabi of the subjects.
Until recently the small number of sensors prevented students from conducting practicals themselves, resulting in a situation where students had to passively watch in big groups either the teacher or other students perform the experiment. Now they are able to carry out practicals themselves.
The obtained devices and instruments enable students to rely more on quantitative methods and scientific methodologies as students are able to analyze and interpret data collected from experiments.
Students can run research projects, the instructions for which have been prepared in different versions depending on the individual level of the student.
The participating schools have gained experience from sharing courseware and teaching methods with each other.
Within the framework of this project, we are piloting the model of the Competence Center For Science, which will be based in the planned new building of Tallinn Secondary School of Science in collaboration with Tallinn Education Department. The objective of founding the Competence Center For Science is to bring together the necessary equipment for teaching chemistry, biology, physics and technology, the teaching competence, and the development of teaching methodologies of STEM subjects, and to make it available for partner schools and interested students from other schools in the form of extra-curricular activites.