Teacher Training 

Since 2018, INAF has been providing – on the platform SOFIA of MIUR (Ministry of Education) – three training courses for teachers of both primary and junior secondary schools: i.e. a course of coding with Scratch and educational robotics, a course of tinkering, and a course of Astronomy with  “making” activities. For further informations, please contact the researchers responsible for each course (name.surname@inaf.it).

The coding course with Scratch and educational robotics, addressed to teachers of both primary and junior secondary schools, aims at providing knowledge and skills in order to effectively carry out a coding actvities in a classroom with Scratch and mBlock, as well as propose a few applications using Makey Makey and mBot, so as to develop knowledge connected with the interaction between computer, outside world, and robotics. We plan to provide teachers with tools which may helps develop problem solving skills, as applied to coding; encourage computational thinking and learn to program with Scratch; acquire experience and skills so as to offer pupils class projects in the course of the school year. The competence acquired will be not only logical-mathematical, but also social, since all the projects will be focused upon the development of team-working. The total duration of the course is 28 hours. We also propose shorter courses, which can be realized in the interested schools. A detail of the course can be found on this page. The person in charge of this course is Maura Sandri.

Tinkering aims at providing those teachers – who want to hand down this new interpretation of technical-scientific culture – with cultural, technical and material tools in order to successfully manage this task. Tinkering is a new educational method for learning STEM disciplines, with a high potential for the development of innovation, creativity and motivation. Nowadays, tinkering is considered effective in involving people with different levels of experience and interest in exploring concepts, practices and phenomena tied up with Science and Technology. For years, INAF has been testing this method in the school classes of Bologna and, last year, at the Museo del Patrimonio Industriale (PAT – Museum of Industrial Heritage) of Bologna with Officina degli errori (Workshop of Mistakes). In this course, after an introductory lesson, teachers engage in tinkering sessions and get involved as facilitators. The ultimate goal of the course consists in giving pupils the chance to develop the so-called 21st century skills. The total duration of the course is 25 hours. The person in charge of the course is Sara Ricciardi.

The aim of the Astronomy course, addressed to teachers of both primary and junior secondary schools, is to provide scientific insights and operational tools in order to connect astronomical phenomena with the children’s daily life, as well as with school programmes, thus enhancing the Inquiry-based learning approach. In the first three meetings, participants are involved in laboratories – which can be replicated in the classroom – upon the following topics: motions of the Earth and of the Moon; Earthly and planetary atmosphere; the Sun, stars, and constellations; planets of the Solar System; searching for extraterrestrial life and communication systems. Each participant will test on his/her own what they have learned with their class, and the results will be documented, so as to become the subject of discussion and evaluation during the last meeting. The total duration of the course is 25 hours. The person in charge of this course is Sandro Bardelli.