At the end of August 2017, between 20th and 24th, three teachers and a group of 22 students had the great opportunity to be invited to Israel, to the Weizmann Institute. The goal of this trip was to make science even more interesting through the use of practical scientific activities and thus to make our students enjoy science, using more than just a theoretical point of view.
We spent three incredible days in the campus of the Weizmann Institute, enjoying a great program that was created especially for us. Our students had the chance to understand the scientific phenomena through the guidance of the teachers from the Weizmann Institute. In the first day, we visited the Clore Garden of Science, an open space especially created to facilitate the students understanding of the physical phenomena: using special machineries and techniques, our students had the opportunity to see how the experiments were recreating daily physical phenomena.
For example, the most interesting and enjoyable activity was when we had to make and eat liquid nitrogen ice-cream, a really funny and creative activity, which managed to perfectly mix science and fun. How does the rainbow appear on the sky, what happens when the electrical static current gets in contact with you or how to use the UV-rays in order to lit up a stick are just a few of the experiments that we participated at. Because the camp was dedicated to science, chemistry was another subject that interested us. With the help of the experiments, we got the chance to see how liquid nitrogen cannot fry an egg, even though it gives you the sensation that the egg is getting cooked.
In the second day of our trip, we got involved in an interactive game: with the help of our phone, we had to go into different places from the camp and we also had to do some research on the history of the Weizmann Institute in order to complete all the tasks of the activity. With the help of fun activities, our students managed to understand the basic principles of molecular chemistry: by making spaghetti out of chocolate, the basic and really difficult theoretical principles became a fun and easy to understand phenomenon.
The last day was dedicated to Geography and Astronomy. In the planetarium, we could identify various constellations, planets and stars. The second part of the day was dedicated to lunching water rockets, a very interesting activity that gave the students the opportunity to understand the physical principles of propulsion with the help of water. Another really helpful activity for us was the meeting with Dr. Felix Laub, originally from Romania, who answered all of our questions, from molecular biology to the creation of the universe, in an atmosphere of dialogue that invited the students, eager to know, to ask all they wanted to.
The experience was a unique one, because it helped our students to find out a lot of things about the world around us. The mix of practice and theory, of fun and research made this program an interactive one and made our students more eager to study science.
With the support of Institutul Eudoxiu Hurmuzachi pentru Romanii de Pretutindeni
Andrei Alexandrescu, Teacher
Victor Diacicov, Teacher