Knowledge Worlds Workshop for Nigerian PASCH students
20 students from the two PASCH schools in Nigeria, the Akin Ogunpola Model College and Corona Secondary School Agbara, met with each other from 4th till 7th November 2019 at Corona Secondary School Agbara and participated in an Open Mathematics Workshop. The workshop was organized by the German organization "Imaginary Open Mathematics" and Goethe-Institut Nigeria.
The background of the workshop is based on playful and creative communication of mathematics, physics and their applications. The usual school subjects are not meant in this sense, but research-related aspects of the two school subjects. Therefore, only a small group of students from the two PASCH schools were shortlisted for the workshop. The focus of the workshop was to encourage students to do research.
Since the intensive preoccupation with scientific content in German was unusual and exhausting for the students, the work phases were interrupted again and again by playful elements: puzzles with mathematical backgrounds as well as for example, the 'Königsberg bridge problem', the language guessing game Galgenmännchen (in a version with terms from science and above all with newly learned vocabulary in the workshop) and the likes loosened up the intensive work phases.
In the first two days, the participating students learned first-hand how science is created: they formulated questions from different fields of science, computer science, mathematics or technology; they made assumptions, experimented, observed, interpreted their observations and captured them.
At the end of the workshop, the students themselves developed exhibits that made the scientific insights of the participants tangible. Many of them were hands-on exhibits and designed for interactivity. For example, one working group built an electromagnet out of a battery and various wires, with the help of which the phenomenon of electromagnetism could be explored quantitatively: How many paper clips can the self-built electromagnet carry? How does this number change when the wire spiral has more or less turns? Or if you replace the thin copper wire with thicker copper wire or even a silver wire? On the exhibit you could experiment with the effects of these influences. Other topics in the focus of the workshop were Platonic bodies and star polyhedrons, the solar system, lipophilic and lipophobic substances, minimal surfaces made of soap liquor, spherical geometry and much more.
The experts commented on the workshop: the students had no fear of contact with modern science and were interested in a wide variety of topics; chemical-physical experiments especially appealed to them.