This activity took place during the week of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. 7th grade students were introduced to the sad story of the Jewish boy Petr Ginz and his painting “Moon Landscape” which he drew during World War II while living in the ghetto. Through Petr’s personal story students were introduced to the Lunar Landscape. After that, students studied further about the moon through activities which were taken from Scientix Resource Repository: “Lunar phases” and “Lunar landscape”.
The activity was divided into 4 lessons.
During the lesson number one, students were required to learn about Petr Genz’s biography. They read about his life and his passion for Science and Space and they had a chance to see his painting which he drew before his death in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Also, students were introduced to the special connection between the first Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon and Petr Ginz. At 2003 Ilan took Petr Ginz’s painting “Moon Landscape” with him to the space mission. Unfortunately, he was killed in the crash of the Columbia shuttle.
Students were introduced to the first part of the activity through this website.
After that they got the following assignment:
Look at the painting “Moon Landscape” and answer the following questions:
A. What feelings do you have as you look at the painting?
B. If you could meet Peter Ginz today, what would you tell him about inventions, innovations and discoveries in space?
Author: Stella Magid-Podolsky, STEM teacher and educator in Israel
The activity took place between 20 February – 26 April 2020
The activity that I want to describe in this blog is called: “The advantages and disadvantages of Nuclear Energy: The Chernobyl disaster-Never again!”. This is a long term activity which took place from the end of February till the 26th of April (the date when the Chernobyl disaster had occurred 34 years ago).
I did this activity with my 8th grade students during STEM lessons when my students began to learn the topic of alternative sources of Energy. The activity was divided into two parts. The first part of the activity took place at the school (that was before the Covid-19 outbreak). The second part of the activity began during the quarantine period, so it was held in the form of digital remote learning.
During the first part of the activity, 29 students were divided into 7 groups. Each group got an assignment to pick one alternative source for Electrical energy, conduct an inquiry about their chosen source and present their outcomes to their peers in the class. Most of the students picked Nuclear Energy and when I noticed that this topic interested many students and that many of them watched the HBO television miniseries “Chernobyl”, I decided to continue with the activity, focusing on the Chernobyl disaster.
I believe in the theory that if the teacher is interested in a specific topic, he or she will be more motivated to teach this topic in an interesting way and the process will also increase students’ interest and motivation for this topic.