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Paper: Interdisciplinarity, Debate And Movie Clips As Highly Motivating Factors In Live Shows—Five Years Of Success
Volume: 443, Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach
Page: 193
Authors: Stengler, E.; Sirera, J. M.
Abstract: A live show on any subject that includes experiments and continuous interaction with the audience is a well known approach for EPO activities that many are carrying out all over. We present such an initiative with some added ingredients such as interdisciplinarity, the use of movie clips, and especially the debate between the two presenters, a debate that is all the more attractive to the public if it not fully staged but closely represents their actual points of view. José Montesinos, from the “Orotava” Canarian Foundation for the History of Science, is and plays the role of the more mature math professor who has grown weary of the overrated value given in science to mathematics and its consequences. This poses a constant challenge to his colleague, Erik Stengler, from the Science Museum of Tenerife, the young down-to-earth hands-on scientist, who defends the usual view that science and technology are to be judged by their achievements, which have brought about the advancement of modern society. With this approach and as a collaboration between our institutions, we have produced and toured highly successful activities on: Einstein and Relativity (from 2005 to 2008, “Einstein Goes To School,” including a theatre play); circularity, the number π, forces of inertia and the Newtonian revolution (in 2008/2009, “The Tension Between Circularity and The Straight Line”); and the foundations of modern astronomy (in 2009/2010 “Kepler and Galileo, Messengers of the Stars”). Audiences were very varied—students, adult students, general public, prison inmates, teachers—and all appreciated the presentations as fun, thought-provoking and highly motivating, and valued especially the interdisciplinary character of the activity. Movie clips have shown to be especially useful to recover the attention of the young when they lose the thread due to the short attention spans they presently have.
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