Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
Carbon - sytemathic anorganic chemistry
Name of the teacher
Mária Fabianová
Country where it took place
School typology
Lower Secondary School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
Opis skúsenosti The objective of the lesson from the chemical point of view is to show the extent to which the internal structure of the substance affects its properties - the arrangement of the same atoms but in different ways and how different properties can have two molecules that differ by only one atom of the same chemical element. Last but not least, I also point out a sense for beauty and the desire for wealth demonstrated on a case of diamond that is also just a pure carbon.
Carbon occurs naturally in two modifications as a diamond and graphite. A few years ago it was discovered a third modification – buckminsterfullerene. However, this information will get to the school curricula only maybe in the upcoming decades. Scientists see a great use for this modification. For this discovery was also awarded the Nobel Prize. Students did not know what this prize is. I told them that it is named after Mr. Nobel, who brought to the world dynamite and who was also an extremely rich man. The prize also includes a substantial amount of money from his property. For a few minutes they look at this information with an appreciation. Sometimes I compare awarding the Nobel Prize with the prize of the American Film Academy, the Oscars, it also serves as the peak of some specialized area. They know it, but not all of them either. In my mind I apologize to Mr. Nobel.
The students remember the hardness scale and know that diamond is the hardest substance. I possess a globe diamond model, where they can see the arrangement of carbon atoms. First I mention graphite, which is unlike diamond so soft that you can break it with your fingers. It has a significant use in nuclear reactors (Chernobyl reactor accident). In the daily use they can know it in the form of an ordinary pencil.
You can say an awful lot about diamonds. The students do not know what a brilliant is, a man had attributed it a very high price. The most precious diamond is a part of the royal crown of the current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II. The jeweler who was supposed to cut and treat the diamond was so nervous that he fainted from a sense of responsibility and had to be transferred to the hospital before he finally succeeded in his task. I have a photo of the Crown Jewels of Queen of England so I show it to the students. The story goes that this diamond was accidentally discovered by an ostrich hunter who found it to be an interesting stone.
Currently computers are used for grinding the diamonds. The largest diamond stock exchange is located in Amsterdam. The size of diamonds is measured in carats, 1 carat is 200mg.
In recent years, students are not interested in diamonds or their prices. They do not perceive them very precious even as something that has a huge financial value. It impresses them after I mention how many murders are committed because of the diamonds. Then a debate started and when I asked the boys what they would choose, if they had the opportunity, a diamond, or a luxury fast car, they looked at me with amazement. Their answer is : “Of course, the car.”
What can be done during the lesson of this subject also depends on the class and the current situation.
My ratings for this type of experience is successful, I see it positive.

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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.