I love the ASE conference. Every year before I have time to get stuck back into my ’real’ job after Christmas I am lucky enough to spend a few days chatting to enthusiastic teachers and others involved in science education about Practical Action’s Education work. I also get the chance to find out what else is going on in science education.
This year we were promoting our new STEM challenge. The Floating Garden Challenge is based on our work in Bangladesh where we show communities how to build huge rafts to grow their crops on. Students have to think about the problem themselves first…that farmers crops get ruined by floods… then design and build a model solution. Teachers and other educators were quick to see the value of the science behind the challenge as well as all the other great cross curricular links, including how it could lead to some great outdoor activities that there seems to be a move towards this year.
For me there is nothing more motivating than when colleagues tell you how teachers and students really enjoyed using your material and Liz Lister from Graphic Science ( aka @scarycurlgirl) got the prize for being the most enthusiastic!!
‘I really really love the squashed tomato challenge’
Was the first thing she said to me as she rushed over. I had to promise to send her a pile of our floating garden posters before she would leave the stand!!
Renewing and deepening relationships is also a real bonus of the conference. I know some people have been coming for years and real friendships have developed as a result. For me one of the highlights of the conference was getting back in touch with friends from Millgate House. By the end of the conference we had hatched a plan to work together on some resources for a new project called ‘Make the Link’, which aims to embed issues around Technology Justice in Science and D & T teaching in Europe. The staff at Millgate House even trusted me enough to give me a member of their team to look after. Ricky is a bit of an adventurer and we are hoping to arrange a trip to Kenya for him to visit some of Practical Action’s great projects there this year.
As it is the ASE’s 50th anniversary this year they will be holding an extra ASE conference in the summer on 27th and 28th June as a summer celebration . I have already got our place booked and can only recommend you do the same…hope to see you there.