Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This material reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

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Title of the Experience
Scientific knowledge is useful in real-world contexts
Name of the teacher
Iurea Gheorghe
Country where it took place
School typology
High Secondary School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
Students may need help in recognizing that school-based scientific knowledge is useful in real-world contexts.
It is vital for the teacher to know what the learners already know and how they came to acquire the knowledge. Many students come to a class with wrong ideas, confused ideas or even a complete lack of background knowledge. Learning experiences need to be offered to prepare students to grasp new material by clarifying or correcting previously held concepts.
My favourite experiment: make a small pinhole in the center of the bottom of an opaque film canister. About halfway up the can, push a pin through the side of the can from the inside. Look into the open end of canister toward any bright source of light and adjust the head of the pin until it is in line with the light. You should see the pin head inside the canister, but it seems to be pointing in the opposite direction!
What you see here is the shadow of the pin head, which is right side up your retina, superimposed on the scene from beyond the pinhole, which is inverted on your retina. Your brain interprets the messages from your retina by turning them upside down, making the image from beyond the pinhole look right side up and the shadow of the pin seem upside down.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.09.16

Posted by Mariangela Larini (Italy)

I agree with the author when he says that it’s very important to discover what students already know about the physical facts we are investigating on. Sometimes they have a lots of misconceptions, created by a simple interpretation of everyday experiences. Surely if you propose them experiment with an apparent strange result they are motivated to think about what it’s really happening. In my opinion the experiment with the pinhole is nice, its interpretation is perhaps a bit difficult to be guessed by the students because it needs also biological knowledge, we can involve in the activity the teacher of Science. It can be a good reflection and the students should come to realize that it’s necessary to investigate beyond appearances using scientific knowledge.


Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.