Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
Origin of universe - cosmology
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
Although this topic is not necessary for car mechanics it is the most popular one. So the term “universe” is not defined in the lesson but its evidence is that we exist somewhere and we come out of our experience that when something starts it has to end. They are more interested in the question whether there will be the end of the world. They cannot imagine the universe, they get only to milky way or they accept only Sun, Moon, and the Earth. According to the recent discoveries the age of the universe is approximately 14 to 18 milliards of years and students cannot imagine this time line.
The best worked out theory is the big bang theory. This name was originally ironical but people get used to it so it lasts until today. The universe is being mapped and watched by our tools in every second. The fact that the universe was created at some time span is supported by existence of so called residual (relict) radiation with temperature about 3 Kelvins. This radiation was discovered by chance by two scientists who reported the presence of signals on their devices, firstly they thought that the devices were dirty from pigeons so they cleaned them but the radiation was still presented.
Students do not know that the Sun is star and that planets with the exception of Jupiter are fixed bodies. They are surprised by the fact that there will be the end of the world because our existence is dependent on the existence of the Sun, which is now in the half of its existence. We are lucky that it is middle sized star because if it had been bigger it would have burst like supernova already. I explain to students that the life of a star is similar to the life of a human. It exists for some time and then it dies. In the final state the Earth will evaporate as a droplet of water which touches the warm body. If they understand the time horizon they know that they do not have to worry about it. Then there are questions about UFO and whether I think that extra-terrestrial civilizations exist. They are very surprised by the answer that it would be very naïve to think that only our civilization exists in the whole Universe. Some of them know from some source that landing of man on the Moon was recorded in movie studios and they actually believe it. Our distancing from the Earth is dependent only on how fast means of transport we can build. They would have to be as fast as is the speed of light because distances in the universe are not measured in kilometres and the important factor is human age. All of this is very simplified. Special is the theory of relativity but I cannot use that one.
After this follows a discussion and I ask how many of the students are religious. Many of them raise their hands but at their age it is very doubtful. For them being religious means going to the church. I do not take this from them because I cannot. This is the question that everybody has to answer for himself.
We mention how many people died during flights into space, what was the reason of it. Many times it was caused by fails in human factor. The world as it is so obvious for them that they are surprised by any question and answer.

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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.