cbk imageThis week saw Academy core team and Lead Educators visit the Space Research Centre at the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, to kick off a project that will reinvigorate the teaching of physics at secondary levels in Poland.


Along with space education experts from Cite de l'Espace, France, the Academy group met physics teachers from Poland who are interested in bringing new methods into their physics teaching.  Lead Educators Leanne Hawthorne and Allan Reid, along with the Academy's Head of Teaching and Learning, Andy McMurray, were able to compare the strengths of British, French, and Polish physics teaching, and to explore ways that the National Space Academy methodology of using real research and space science contexts could support new plans for project-based learning in Poland.  Leanne presented on the use of Interactive Whiteboards for inclusive pupil-led learning, and Allan introduced Polish colleagues to a few of his favourite software apps for use with classroom physics experiments.

The project, which is funded as part of an Erasmus+ programme to improve education in the co-ordinating country, is being led by reseach scientist Dr Ryszard Gabryszewski, who has a personal passion for education.  The Space Research Centre (Centrum Badan Kosmicznych) has a great heritage of space science and spacecraft design, and is somewhat of a hidden jewel.  After presenting to researchers from the centre after the meeting at the invitation of Dr Gabryszewski, National Space Academy Manager Dr Kierann Shah said "Having a centre like this make the move toward linking with education is fantastic, and could really make a difference to the teaching of physics in Poland.  The CBK is a hidden jewel that should make Polish students proud.  I am absolutely delighted that the National Space Academy have been brought in by Dr Gabryszewski to collaborate on creating physics projects for secondary students in Poland, and I believe that with our partners in Poland and from France we can deliver an excellent suite of projects, with useful ideas for supporting physics teaching in each country."

The project group at the gate to Warsaw's old town

The visitors from France and the UK were also taken on a tour of Warsaw's old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, learning about the history of the city.  You can see them in this picture at the old town's reconstructed city gate.

The aim of the project is for the Polish working group of teachers, led by the CBK, to develop a series of projects for students to work on to develop their skills in science with a particular focus on physics, as well as cross-disciplinary links, using the expertise and experience of the French and British teams to learn new approaches and avoid pitfalls.  After the development and pilot phases, the Polish group will then be able to share their new projects and knowledge with the partner teams, and each centre will be able to deliver training sessions for teachers in their country to learn about the new activities and their curriculum links.  The project will be completed and evaluated in September 2017.