Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
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
At the beginning it is necessary to postulate that gravity is a universal feature of all bodies in the universe, that is, around each body there is the gravity field. When looking around the classroom it can be concluded that there is the gravitational field around a pen or the books. An extraordinary fact is that gravity is only an attracting power. Dominant for us is the gravitational field of the Earth. Everyone could have been convinced about its existence since everyone has dropped something or fall down at some point in his or her life. Even so, no one in the class has been thinking about the question: Why then do not all objects within the same attraction of the Earth are not attracted into only one point? So I ask that question by myself and also answer it by myself: such properties have only bodies with a huge mass in the area where there is adequately strong gravitational field, for example, the Sun.
One of the most famous physicists of the 20th century, Richard Feyman was once asked by one of his friends to explain to his mother why people in Australia do not fall upside down on their heads toward the Earth surface. He could not explain it to her by himself and was desperate about it. Feyman sent a message to the friend’s mother: “Do not worry, physics is not the most important thing in the world, love is more important”. It was a very non-traditional man, he played the bongos and was successfully opening the vaults that his colleagues have been carefully locking…
From the gravitational field of the Sun depends our position in the planetary system. If the distance from the Sun changed only by a small amount, everything would change. Life on the planet Earth would not exist or at least it would not exist in the form that we know it, probably it would not exist at all.
In a relation to the gravitational field of the Earth it is necessary to mention the Moon. It is our only orbiting natural planet, affecting inflow and outflow of the sea level. It orbits around the Earth and its own axes, so for a long time we could see only the so called facing side of the Moon. Only by using the technique equipment people sent into the space, it was possible (and it was done as well) to map the entire Moon surface. Each crater is named. The outcome is an equally detailed map as the map of our planet Earth.
The Americans in the 60s landed near the Sea of Tranquility, of course, not a sea from our point of view. In connection with the landing of a man on the Moon, the class is divided into several groups according to their opinions. It is quite interesting. In one they claim that the whole event was shot in Hollywood film studios, others are convinced that Armstrong was really the first person who touched the surface of the Moon. There are also some students without their own opinion. In this context it should be mentioned that the 60s time period was not just about science and technology, it was a time of “the cold war". They are not familiar with these historic events, they consider this time era to be prehistoric, out of their interest areas. The world leadership power was rivaled about by the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. One student asked me how the Moon was created so I told him enthusiastically several theories: it could have been captured by the Earth gravitational field, or there was a collision of the Earth with another body and the Moon was separated from this collision.... The next day I met the same student in the hallway and he told me that he already knows how the Moon was created. I was really surprised and I thought that I have missed something quite substantial in the current explosion of information. Then he told me that Moon was created by God. For me it was a relief.
This topic is very broad, what is learned depends on the class. The girls do not comment on it. They do not care a bit about the whole gravity. For them a big part of the lesson takes their make-up especially when it comes to a class that is scheduled before the big break.

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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.