Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
Why do I need this chemistry?
Name of the teacher
Monika Pawluś
Country where it took place
School typology
Lower Secondary School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
During my work I used to teach lower secondary school student who almost at every lesson was asking questions like: “How can I use it in my life?”, ,,What for do I need this chemistry? “. Baring in mind, that not only this particular students asked himself such dilemmas, I decided to devote one lesson to explain the meaning of learning chemistry. I asked all the students to try to answer the questions posed by their peer using all available sources of knowledge. The works could be presented in any form. Students created posters, multimedia presentations and papers. Each student could deliver the presentation. It appeared, there were plenty responses. The most important and most general at the same time, responses that appeared were: chemistry is useful to understand the world; it helps to enter the studies; in the future for professional issues; it teaches logical thinking and develops us intellectually; it learns to draw correct conclusions; it is useful in everyday life. Some students gave more detailed and precise answers. Thanks to chemistry we know a.e. why: meat should be put into a pot with cold water, and not into boiling water; water is salted before boiling; burning gasoline shouldn’t be put out with water, but sand. We know how to cultivate the soil to grow plants better, how to erase the grease stain; how to handle chemical substances e.g. for purging pipes. Ability to make chemical calculations allows us to prepare pickle of suitable concentration for pickling cucumbers. Knowing the properties of chemical substances, we know that are good for our body, and which are toxic. It is easier to understand the meaning of protein diet. Water, vinegar and baking soda, are used as cleaning agents for washing windows, cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. They are as effective as ready-made cleaning chemicals available in stores, but cheaper.
After all the presentations, the student, who had dilemmas said that “chemistry indeed could be useful in life”. After that lesson it never happened this student stated such questions.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.10.24

Posted by Lucretia Moruzi (Romani)

That's right. Our students have become very pragmatic. I have noticed that whenever I teach them a new concept they always ask me : why do we learn this? What is its relevance to our lives? They like to apply everything in real life. So we can start from explaining to them the real usages of the issues taught- they will more easily associate the concepts with the real usages. It can be a solution to motivate students.


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.