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ASETeachMeet … Back to the Future … and meeting a hero! November 23, 2011

Posted by IaninSheffield in Inspiration, Teaching Idea.
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4 comments

Having taught Physics for 20 years, the majority in the days pre-Internet, the Association for Science Education (ASE) was one of the main ways in which I was able to draw inspiration and ideas from enthusiastic and knowledgeable colleagues. When the local regional group posted about a TeachMeet they were to hold in Sheffield, how could I turn down the opportunity to revisit my past, even if only for an evening?

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo by ianguest: http://flickr.com/photos/ianinsheffield/6391455401/

A TeachMeet with a very different focus from previous ones I have enjoyed then; one where the theme was firmly in a curriculum area, rather than around ICT and its affordances … well apart from my contribution obviously! What would it be like? Well, neither micro- nor nano-presentations were the order of the day; the presentation length was set at 5 minutes (if memory serves, there isn’t a prefix between μ and n!). More PowerPoints than at other TeachMeets and no camel! But then the latter wasn’t needed since, being scientists, these folks aren’t given to flights of fancy and know all about time (and relative dimensions in space!).

What did I learn? As always – LOADS! Including, but not exclusively:

  • Having not seen it (yet!), that there’s a whole terms work around the science to be found in the film “Avatar.”
  • About the wealth of resources available through STEM, to turn our students on to science.
  • About Darton College‘s mission into space … on a budget!
  • The Science Without Walls professional development opportunities for science teachers, linking with research scientists at the cutting edge.
  • A real demo. illustrating the usually difficult to envisage concept of earthing.

    Demo. of the principle of earthing

So in some ways, very different to a ‘conventional TeachMeet, if indeed there is such a thing. And that’s a good thing – evolution. But what it had in common with all the others was the warmth of welcome, the supportive and encouraging atmosphere and above all else, committed, passionate and enthusiastic practitioners.

I also go a bonus, finding out right at the end that I’d been sitting next to a hero I had for most of my teaching career. Someone I’d never met, but who’s work I’d read avidly in each copy of the School Science Review and from whom I drew much inspiration for my teaching – Geoff Auty, now editor of the SSR. Thanks Geoff for all the great ideas you gave me and doubtless many others.

And finally, in case anyone who was found anything of use in my humble offering, here is the presentation with links to the resources (bottom left of certain slides).