New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

The Nordic Physics Tale: a Travelling Scientific Dissemination Project Teaching Science to Children with an Artistic Approach

Aline Bruna, Nexans Norway AS (Norway)

Guillaume Dumazer, University Of Oslo (Norway)



An innovative experimental educational project was carried out in Norway in Spring 2014. For three months, hundreds of pupils from 7 to 11 years old, who live in one of the most remote locations in Europe have experienced a new method to appreciate Physics. The students attended a scientific fairytale performed on stage accompanied by experimental activities in classrooms. This project addressed the contemporary lack of interest in science observed in most developed countries, especially in Norway. This project had two reciprocal and challenging goals; using a fairytale as a media for scientific dissemination, and using scientific content to create a children's story.

By making use of a fairytale story happening in Norway, we attempted to bridge the gap between the common experiences of the everyday life and their corresponding physical interpretation. Fairytales are a familiar media for this audience. But how might a fairytale be used as a vehicle for physical ideas? We did this by employing the same mechanism that traditional fairytales use to impart morality. Physical phenomena were treated in a symbolical way which created opportunities to trigger scientific discussions with a young audience. Moreover, the fairytale was followed by experimental activities done by the pupils and linked to the story. The interest triggered during the performance was then kept alive, and further aspects of the scientific approach could be developed.

This project also aimed to provide stimulation towards science for children independent of their geographical location, not limited to big urban centres. We produced a nomadic project able to access remote islands, coastal and mountainous areas. This experiment has many areas that could be developed regarding science stimulation. Some of these include equality in science education regardless of geography, fruitful marriage between science and literature, enhancing scientific understanding in everyday life.

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