Cooperation for developing Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry among students
AUTHOR: Kerli Koppel
collaborating countries: Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia
The cooperation project involves different Nordic and Baltic countries: schools from Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia (at their own expenses).
The project creates opportunities to popularise science education and interest in Sciences among the students and to strive towards achieving better results in these subjects. The highlight of the project is a large international Olympiad in mathematics, physics and chemistry, which is organised between the partner school students and involves more than 100 students and teachers all together.
More than twenty years ago the idea of competing in Sciences was brought to life by the oldest schools in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. Due to Nordplus Junior, the co-operation has become more large-scale and the schools from Helsinki, Vasteras and St. Petersburg have been involved in the project. During the year 2016 we hope to involve a partner school from Copenhagen to be a part of the Olympiad.
The whole project demands extremely thorough preparation work and very open-minded discussions between all participating schools; therefore, the tasks between the schools are divided long before the Science Olympiad takes place:
The teachers in the project will agree upon the topics in Science competition and the competition tasks will be compiled in collaboration with local universities. The teachers instruct students more than usual and give them more challenging and complex Science tasks during the period before the Olympiad. Finally, every school establishes their team of six “mathematicians”, “physicists” and “chemists” – all together 18 students – to participate in the Olympiad.
The Science competition takes place in rotation at one of the partner schools. The event has its own traditions, which include festive opening and closing ceremonies, the Olympiad day, cultural and educational activities, friendship evenings for all the participants etc.
In order to select the best mathematicians, physicists and chemists for the Olympiad, the international teams of partner school science teachers correct the students' tasks together, which is extremely important and useful for the development of the teachers and science departments.
“This was a wonderful experience for me and I hope this tradition will go on for many years! The event was overall a success and all my friends had a great time in Tallinn! I will consider coming to compete again next year.”, Joonas, student from Finland
“My experience from all this is more than I expected! I really enjoyed the whole trip, and I will try to be a part of it next year too!”, Anonymous, student from Sweden
Results and products
Due to the project, there is an increasing interest in learning mathematics, physics and chemistry among the partner school students. During the project, the schools have had a possibility to focus on the importance of sciences and have had a chance to work out special courses for students who are interested and talented in Sciences in order to prepare them for the competition.
The schools have had an opportunity to arrange a big international Science event, which is a big challenge and an exciting event for students.
Students have had a chance to compare their knowledge in science, study how to cooperate, communicate with people from different cultures and get more motivation for setting higher goals in the future. All participating students can see much wider perspectives to develop their talents further, to continue their studies in different European countries. Most importantly, they have created their own network of relationships among the young people from the participating countries.
For the teachers, the project has made it possible to work as an International team. Teachers have had an opportunity to share their working methods, the best practice and study materials with each other. In addition, they have had a possibility to compare the national curricula in sciences in six European countries. The project has encouraged mathematics, physics and chemistry teachers to use innovative techniques and technologies in the teaching process.
All the high quality science tests, which are specially compiled in co-operation with local universities for the contest, are revealed to the public on the project webpage after the contest. They are available for other schools to use and popularise Science among students to give the talented students an extra task and challenge and enable an individual approach to students' needs in lessons. Also, the tasks and solutions provide an opportunity for students to test themselves.
Name of the project: The co-operation between the Nordic and Baltic countries for developing Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry
Tallinn Gustav Adolph Gymnasium (EE)
Type of institution: Primary/secondary school
Postal address: Suur-Kloostri 16 10133 Tallinn
Web page: www.gag.ee
Contact information: Hendik Agur / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org