Teachers for a day
"Un giorno da chimico in Lamberti"
Within the initiatiative "Un giorno da chimico in Lamberti" 16 colleagues divided in 3 teams had the opportunity to become the science teachers of 180 young students aged from 9 to 12 years of the local schools of Albizzate and Valdarno, the communities closed to our main plant.
The initiative, started in 2016, this year was even more difficult for our colleagues. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was not possible to carry out the event in presence but only online.
We have collected a couple of suggestions from our colleagues who have been involved.
Learning by doing
I am Martina Lavazza, a Biotechnologist by education an a Researcher at Lamberti Spa in the Natural Polymers area. Every time I have tried the experience of teaching I have put a really genuine enthusiasm into it and I have always found the same enthusiasm in return: young students and I had fun and, sometimes, they discovered a piece of the beautiful world of Science.
This year I was a bit perplexed to be able to convey this enthusiasm through a screen because using this method of communication all facial and bodily expressions, so characteristic of the italian people, are excluded. Another doubt, maybe the most important, about the effectiveness of the experience was the consciousness that I always assimilated best what I learned by doing.
When I was a student I wasn’t aware that I was experimenting a real method, but now I know.
“Learning by doing” is a method used by two important personalities of the world of education: Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the movement of Scouts, and Maria Montessori, one of the most important pedagogyst from whom the “Montessori method” derived.
When you learn something by doing it and even better having fun during the experience, the notions and the concepts come out of the closed box with the label “school” and enter the wider network that goes under the name of knowledge, where there are no more closed boxes and labels but everything is connected.
The importance of respecting the environment
I am Serena Gazzo, an R&D Researchers. This was my the second experience as a science teacher of the students of the schools of Albizzate and with my team we made a lesson and some experiment on the Enviroment.
The transition from in-company experience to online experience, forced by the pandemic, has certainly reduced teacher/student interaction but this inconvenience has allowed us to devise new solutions to increase the engagement of both usand the students. For example, the possibility of replicating the experiment we were presenting at school was much appreciated.
I found this experience very rewarding: the feedback we receive at the end of the day shows us that the students have become aware of the importance of respecting the environment around them.
As scientists used to modifying nature to meet world needs, we can never forget to value and respect the enviroment. Being able to convey this concept to young generations who will be responsible for it in the future is certainly a great responsibility.