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Relevant initiatives

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Title of Initiative / Project
Ampere and the history of the electricity
Name of Organiser
Christine Blondel
Start and ending date of the Initiative
Was the initiative carried out in the framework of a funded project?
Type of deliverables
Video, Didactical resource
Thematic area
Language of the deliverable
Other EU
Target Group
Teachers, Students
Description of the initiative
Ampere and the History of the Electricity is an upgradeable web-platform. It addresses to researchers, teachers, students and whoever is interested in the subject delt with.
The first part of the website is dedicated to André-Marie Ampère’s (1775-1836) life, studies and written productions.
The second part of the website focuses on the history of the electricity and of the magnetism.
The Historical Path (“Parcours historique“) provide with about fifty multimedia dossiers containing some videos on historical experiences. This Path is based on first-hand resources gathered within the “Source primaires” section (articles from the Encyclopaedia by Diderot and D’Alambert, texts from Dufray, Volta, Maxwell, etc.).
The Historical Laboratory (“Laboratoire historique”) offers examples of discussion and repetition of historical experiences that pose still nowadays some questions to the historians and to the physicians.
More Information
This initiative offers the union between storic retrospective and didactic proposal, recognised from many sides as highly educational.
The storic parallelism is the connection also in the paths, activities and workshops that are proposed in this portal, which concerns electricity and magnetism.
Certainly, users will find useful and interesting
the path “miti e leggende dell’elettricità e del magnetism””( ).
Besides they will find workshop challenges to prove that ancient glass could be better electrified than the present glass ( ). Other activities and more resources are available at the link .
Teachers’ Opinion
The website is very rich of materials and really well-finished under many aspects. I appreciate it very much because I think that the history of the Physics is an essential guide for the construction of didactical proposals. Proposals should not aim at reaching simply notions but at providing the real meaning, the conceptual tools and the awareness about the scientific process.
The strength of this website is that it builds concepts and experimental laws through a path supported by video of experiments (not simulated but real experiments!) that are well prepared and are the repetition of historical experiment. According to me, for example the videos on Coulomb’s torsion balance and on Volta vs. Galvani’s dispute on animal electricity are very useful.
I largely used the section “Un parcours la boussole à la Fée électricité” (you can access directly from the homepage). I really would like that many teachers and students can use such a precious resources.
The website is mainly in French and this is a limit for the foreign users. Some pages are translated in Italian and, however, the texts are very easy to understand and the teachers can manage to translate them before using in class.

Potential transferability in class:
As above mentioned, during last years I largely used this website dealing with the electromagnetism. The videos available are thought for didactical scope and they have a specific focus on important features of the experimental equipment.
The part on the hypothesis and the experiments that lead Ampère to interpret magnet phenomena is very interesting. Also the part on the discovering of the electromagnetic induction is fundamental as well. I only regret that in class I have not time enough in order to fully use all the resources available!
Students’ Opinion
Strengths, the experiments are presented very well through high-quality videos.
Weakness: the website is in French and for this reason it is hard to understand.

Comments on this Relevant initiatives

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Date: 2015.03.10

Posted by Sandro Gomboli (Italia)

This site is important because it provides a series of scientific experiments relevant from a historical point of view , educational and cultural well- organized in thematic groups .
The site is easily accessible and its popular nature makes it especially useful for students and for further research.


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.