A delegation of five teachers and project managers recently visited Bodø from Beijing, China, to immerse themselves in the Newton Concept.
After the opening of China's first Newton Room earlier this year, the Newton Teachers from Tsinghua High School in Beijing had the opportunity to get a thorough introduction to the Newton Education Concept in its birthplace. Over the course of five days, the visitors – 3 teachers and 2 project managers – became well acquainted with both the Newton teaching principles and the team in Bodø and Berlin.
China's first Newton Flight Academy Launched
A GOOD LAUGH. There was a joyful atmosphere during the Sustainable Aviation Fuels ethanol rocket demonstration. Dr. Lindsey Hendricks-Franco, STEM Education Manager from NewtonRoom gGMBH in Berlin, on the left.
Dr. Lindsey Hendricks-Franco, STEM Education Manager based at the Newton office in Berlin, travelled to Bodø to pilot the "Sustainable Aviation Fuels" module, which will be ready for the international network in November. In this module, students play the role of sustainable chemical engineers, designing and refining a process to produce jet fuel from plant biomass such as wood or grass. Along the way, they practise real organic chemistry techniques, deepen their foundational understanding of chemistry, and explore the social impact of sustainable aviation.
“They jumped in and learned at lightning speed. In their favourite activity, they fermented sugar into alcohol and launched a rocket filled with ethanol fuel. We could even see the flames!" says an enthusiastic Lindsey, who has a deep background in scientific education and research.
Satisfied with the days in Bodø
Tan Hongzheng is the local project manager for Newton and head of the teachers at Tsinghua High School, where the Newton Flight Academy in Beijing is located.
“What have you learned during your stay in Bodø?”
“We have learned a lot! How teaching is done in Newton, and we have been trained in two Newton Modules, one of which was the Sustainable Aviation Fuel module.
NEWTON FLIGHT ACADEMY. Ole-Morten shows the visitors around Bodø's Newton Flight Academy.
“In addition to what Tan says, we have visited three different Newton Rooms in Norway: the Newton Flight Academy, Newton Gildeskål and Newton Bodø”, says Su Ziyu.
Su is a project manager at YouChange Foundation, a non-profit foundation that promotes education efforts in rural China.
THUMBS UP FOR NEWTON. Tan Hongzheng, project manager for the recent Newton project in Beijing and head teacher at Tsinghua High School, with Su Ziyu, project manager at YouChange Foundation.
Similarities between Norway and China
Su Ziyu and Tan Hongzheng particularly appreciated the Newton Concept and how it is taught.
"Teaching in Newton is very practical and aims to solve real problems in everyday life. It helps students see the magic of knowledge, which can encourage them to pursue it more. I'm also very happy to work in an international network that shares and collaborates across borders," Tan smiles.
Su Ziyu sees similarities between the Newton Concept and YouChange’s projects in China. "Both programs value the role of the teacher in the classroom and want to encourage creative and innovative teaching methods," she says. "It's good to know that new teaching concepts are being developed, not only in China, but also in Norway. We know that the traditional teaching styles may not be the best for all students' development.”
VISITING THE HOME OF NEWTON. From left: Ørjan Snoen and Ole-Morten Mortensen from Newton Norway; Tan Hongzheng, local project manager for the Newton Flight Academy in Beijing and head teacher at Tsinghua High School; Li Ning, Teacher for YouChange; Su Ziyu, Project manager at You Change; Pedrikke Votvik from Newton Norway; Ju Chongyan, Science & Computer Science Teacher at Tsinghua, and Zhang Riyue, Teacher at Tsinghua.
“ How do you think students will react to Newton's way of teaching?
"They will be more open to expressing themselves and feel freedom in a Newton Room because they will experience communication and collaboration. At YouChange, we've found that when schools in rural China use science teaching methodology and work in groups, students are happier, more open and more confident than other traditional schools. Newton values this form of hands-on learning," says Su Ziyu.
Newton’s STEM Education Manager, Lindsey, saw first-hand the skill and dedication of the visiting team.
“It is such a privilege to work with warm, creative, and scientifically adept teachers. They were engaged and curious at every step of the module then even offered great ideas to create a more profound learning experience for students. Their dedication to science and students was on full display. On a personal level, these visitors from our farthest Newton Room took the time to share stories and anecdotes from their culture. I cannot wait to visit them in Beijing someday”, says Lindsey.
Pictures from the visit in Bodø