Hydrology fieldwork training, Source: Liepāja Municipality

How can you make students more interested in science?

How can you make students more interested in science?

Liepāja City Council funded a teacher training in the intricacies of fieldwork

Interest in the STEM field can be naturally present from a young age, but for other children, there might be the need for inspiration and observation of role models before they can get excited about the world of science. That is why the Latvian town of Liepāja has decided to invest in those people who serve as the natural role models during the educational development of young minds – their teachers.

In collaboration with the local Science and Education Innovation Center (ZIIC), series of online lectures were given to 12 science and biology teachers with the aim of giving them some experience in the ins and outs of hydrobiology fieldwork. The idea being that once the teachers expand their skills, they will transfer the curiosity and analytical thinking that are so important to scientific work to their pupils.

Hydrobiology studies life in water bodies

The training cycle took place 1-3 December and it was the first such initiative to be tried out in the Latvian town. The 12 participants came from 12 different schools in the municipality, with the commonality being that they all taught biology and science to students in grades 4 to 9 – the kind of ages where professional interests and curiosity start being first formed and kids start thinking about what they might do when they grow up.

Despite the online format of the teacher training, with lectures being carried through the conference platform ZOOM, solutions were found on how to present the material visually. This included, apart from narrative lectures, training material showing equipment, digital simulations and possibilities to translate online microscopic processes.

The training was led by two biology experts, Arkady Poppel, who is an entomologist at the Riga National Zoo, and Diana Strauss, a lab assistant at the Department of Hydrobiology and the creator of practical classes.



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