In order to test best practices in Earth science informal education, Modena University’s Earth Science Department and a local high school, Liceo Scientifico Tassoni, planned and implemented a scientific exhibition about symmetry. The choice of focusing the big idea of the exhibition on this topic was made because of the multidisciplinary approach allowing strong connection both with paleontology and with mineralogy.Symmetry of life forms is closely related to evolution, therefore this topic allows to deal with evolution-related subjects from an unusual point of view. Fossils such as ammonites, trilobites and corals will be on display, making it possible to draw an educational outline of Bilateria’s and Radiata’s evolutive history. A microscope station will also be set for viewing fossil diatoms, giving visitor the possibility of having a first hand experience in science practices.The mineralogy section will focus on the cause-effect relation that exists between atomic structure and crystals morphology.A self-selected group of high school students was enrolled to collaborate actively on the production of the exhibit, together with Earth scientists and museum professionals.The involvement of the students was encouraged in all the phases of exhibition planning (exhibit’s core ideas, storyline, choice of objects and concepts, advertising strategies, graphic design, visitors guiding). The students also served as a focus group for the exhibit’s front-end analysis and for inquiring into students’ attitudes towards Earth science.This approach was of utmost importance to determine best practices for producing scientific exhibits that are more “palatable” to the “post middle school” age segment by personally involving this demographic in the exhibit process.Moreover, by implementing Earth science education strategies aimed at this demographic, the project served as a “career invitation” by familiarizing the students with Earth science professionals and helping them to better understand the process of scientific research.Studies show that high school is a key stage in which kids very often lose their interest in science. By involving this demographic we will not only glean information as to their preferences for the structure and format of science exhibits, but also give them ownership and involvement in the process of creating exhibits. The involvement of these students will be made explicit in the exhibit, thereby connecting other students of that demographic to the exhibit.The exhibition will take place in May 2010 in the school’s facilities and will be open both to students and the general public. Summative evaluation of the exhibit will be conducted through questionnaires and interviews.

Fossils on display. Sim(meet)tria: an exhibit for students, designed by students / Padovani, Veronica; Papazzoni, Cesare Andrea. - STAMPA. - -:(2010), pp. 40-40. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Giornate di Paleontologia X Edizione tenutosi a Cosenza nel 27-29/5/2010.

Fossils on display. Sim(meet)tria: an exhibit for students, designed by students.

PADOVANI, VERONICA;PAPAZZONI, Cesare Andrea
2010

Abstract

In order to test best practices in Earth science informal education, Modena University’s Earth Science Department and a local high school, Liceo Scientifico Tassoni, planned and implemented a scientific exhibition about symmetry. The choice of focusing the big idea of the exhibition on this topic was made because of the multidisciplinary approach allowing strong connection both with paleontology and with mineralogy.Symmetry of life forms is closely related to evolution, therefore this topic allows to deal with evolution-related subjects from an unusual point of view. Fossils such as ammonites, trilobites and corals will be on display, making it possible to draw an educational outline of Bilateria’s and Radiata’s evolutive history. A microscope station will also be set for viewing fossil diatoms, giving visitor the possibility of having a first hand experience in science practices.The mineralogy section will focus on the cause-effect relation that exists between atomic structure and crystals morphology.A self-selected group of high school students was enrolled to collaborate actively on the production of the exhibit, together with Earth scientists and museum professionals.The involvement of the students was encouraged in all the phases of exhibition planning (exhibit’s core ideas, storyline, choice of objects and concepts, advertising strategies, graphic design, visitors guiding). The students also served as a focus group for the exhibit’s front-end analysis and for inquiring into students’ attitudes towards Earth science.This approach was of utmost importance to determine best practices for producing scientific exhibits that are more “palatable” to the “post middle school” age segment by personally involving this demographic in the exhibit process.Moreover, by implementing Earth science education strategies aimed at this demographic, the project served as a “career invitation” by familiarizing the students with Earth science professionals and helping them to better understand the process of scientific research.Studies show that high school is a key stage in which kids very often lose their interest in science. By involving this demographic we will not only glean information as to their preferences for the structure and format of science exhibits, but also give them ownership and involvement in the process of creating exhibits. The involvement of these students will be made explicit in the exhibit, thereby connecting other students of that demographic to the exhibit.The exhibition will take place in May 2010 in the school’s facilities and will be open both to students and the general public. Summative evaluation of the exhibit will be conducted through questionnaires and interviews.
Giornate di Paleontologia X Edizione
Cosenza
27-29/5/2010
Padovani, Veronica; Papazzoni, Cesare Andrea
Fossils on display. Sim(meet)tria: an exhibit for students, designed by students / Padovani, Veronica; Papazzoni, Cesare Andrea. - STAMPA. - -:(2010), pp. 40-40. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Giornate di Paleontologia X Edizione tenutosi a Cosenza nel 27-29/5/2010.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/647073
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