Noticia | Educación 20.05.2014

“Discover, explore, and explain natural science”: Experimento workshop in Peru

Lima (Peru) was host to an Experimento workshop for teachers and representatives from educational institutions in mid-may. A total of 65 participants were either trained or took part in expert talks under the leadership of Dieter Arnold, who works as a consultant for Siemens Stiftung. The Experimento international education program is being rolled out in Peru during the 2014 school year to ages 4+, 8+ and 10+. Siemens Stiftung is collaborating locally with Instituto Apoyo, which specializes in innovative approaches in the field of education in Peru.

Held at the Carmelita school, the 3-day workshop was intended for teachers and delegates from the Peruvian education system, including schools, universities, and the Ministry of Education. The shared goal of the event was to improve the teaching of natural sciences and technology through the use of innovative teaching methods. On the first day of the workshop, Dieter Arnold introduced attendees to the Experimento program, which is based on the idea of research-based learning. Children and young people engage with natural phenomena through experiments and learn about the relationships between science and technology based on their own discoveries.

Teachers at the event had already experienced the positive impact of teaching methods that apply the principle of research-based learning, and the workshop provided new ideas for enriching the science curriculum. Methodological concepts such as co-construction, the collaborative shaping of the learning process between students and teachers, and cooperative forms of learning, such as mind maps and learning stations, mean that the curriculum can be covered with students in a variety of different ways.

On days two and three of the workshop, attendees were able to try out the materials in the Experimento boxes for themselves. The boxes contain different experiments for each age group covering the fields of health, energy, and the environment. Attendees also discussed questions about the implementation of these methods and experiments in the curriculum, as well as specific topics such as the demands associated with teaching large classes. Developed by Siemens Stiftung, the Experimento program has been adapted by the non-profit think tank Instituto Apoyo to fit the particular circumstances in Peru. Currently the program is being developed in schools in the regions of Chilca, Ilo, and Moquegua.

Coordinator Dieter Arnold has been working on student-oriented teaching concepts since the 1990s and is delighted with the outcomes of this workshop, which will also make a contribution to improvements in teaching: "The school visits that accompanied the training showed a high level of interest and engagement in the classroom among students who are generally accustomed to teaching approaches based on direct instruction."