The pupils in class 9a from Moelv School in Norway were warmly welcomed by the Newton Teachers, Tone and Anette, at Newton Ringsaker when they came to participate in the educational module "Plastics - from Macro to Micro", one of six Newton Modules on offer.
In this module, students learn how microplastics are formed, and then go on to find and analyse microplastics in water/soil samples. Our writer got a chance to catch up with the group and ask some questions.
Newton Ringsaker is centrally located in Brumunddal, with large windows facing a pedestrianised street.
Anette Kjelsrud and Tone Sigurdsen are Newton Teachers and were the driving force behind establishing this Newton Room, which opened in 2020. The two committed educators are proud of what they have achieved by working close together with the municipality.
LEADING THE EDUCATION IN THE NEWTON ROOM. Tone (left) and Annette developed the Newton Module "Plastic - from Macro to Micro".
During the current school year, approximately 2,200 students visit the room or are visited by Newton Ringsaker at their school.
"How busy is your Newton Room?
“We have a full calendar until next April, so there is no doubt that there could have been Newton Rooms in several of the municipalities around here as well. In the first year, we had some free capacity for schools from the neighbouring municipalities, but now we have to prioritise students from Ringsaker, says Anette.
Tora, Ida, and Tilde thought it was an inspiring environment and a fun experience to visit the Newton Room.
" What was the best thing about being here today?
“Not being at school”, says Tora, and all three students laugh. She continues “No, it's because we are doing something else, we're still learning – but in a slightly more fun way than at school. When you pay more attention, then you learn more”, says Tora.
“It's a more fun way of learning. Since there is more varied teaching, it is easier to follow along. We do different things with exciting equipment, and don't have to sit and watch at the teacher talking”, says Tilde.
Enough for everyone
Tone and Anette believe that one of the special things about a Newton Room is that it is well equipped.
"What do you think makes a Newton Room stand out from a normal classroom?
“Here there is equipment not just for some students, but for everyone. The groups are small enough that everyone can participate, and no one needs to be a "third wheel". As teachers, we are also confident and have good training in using the equipment.
At the end of the day, we have ask Adrian, Maja, and Astrid how their day has been.
“Here we learn in a different way because there are much equipment we can use”, says Astrid.
“Yes, it makes it a little easier to learn”, says Maja.
“I think that, for example, being in a laboratory means that you get up more often and are more active in learning, and don't have to just sit at a desk”, says Adrian.
Anette and Tone are happy with the group of young people visiting the room today.
“They were committed, worked in a structured way, and collaborated well in the lab.”
"Why do you think a municipality should have a Newton Room?
“A Newton Room is an important part of the municipality's STEM investment. The municipality can gather equipment and expertise in one place, and be a resource centre for school owners, school managers, teachers, and pupils.
“There will be continuity and predictability for the schools as well, where they know that in the Newton Room, their students can be curious, or go there to have a slightly different type of teaching”, says Anette, “I think that all municipalities should have a Newton Room!
“The teaching in a Newton Room corresponds very well with the new curriculum in Norway and provides room for interdisciplinarity, in-depth understanding, and a practical approach in the science subjects”, Tone adds.
“Yes, it is very positive to see that the new curriculum confirms Newton's principles for good teaching”, concludes Anette.