A collaboration between Scientists for Tomorrow and the FPEM – Escuela de Formacion de Profesores de Educacion Media – Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala

During the summer 2017, Marcelo Caplan, associate professor in the Science and Mathematics department – Columbia College Chicago, and leader of the program Scientists for Tomorrow participated in the XVIII Encuentro Internacional Virtual Educa, organized by the Organization of American States (OEA) that took place in Bogota – Colombia. In this event Marcelo presented in a plenary sessions, organized one and presented in two symposia, and also presented two full workshops for teachers from several countries in the Americas.

During the event, Marcelo Caplan and Professor Waleska Aldana Segura started a discussion to find ways to continue the mission of SfT outside of the boundaries of the United States. During this conversation was decided to explore the possibility to make “virtual” classes where the instructor will be in one place (USA) and the students will be in the second place (Guatemala) and will be communicated through a video-conference link. The schedule was decided and the content and activities included in this experience where selected to provide to a cohort of more than 25 future middle schools teacher an exposition to the SfT teaching and learning methodology, when building low cost artefacts.

Following the designed program on September 19th  Marcelo presented a full two hours workshop titled: Energia y Espectros Ultravioletas,  in which participants learned about the light spectrum, electricity, how Light Emitter Diodes (LEDs) works and built a device that power a Ultra-Violet LED to explore the impact of different light frequencies in fluorescent and phosphorescent materials and paints. The participants in Guatemala had, at their reach, the same materials the instructor was using, and therefore they were able to produce the artifact when they were learning, and test the results.

On September 25th , Marcelo presented a second two hours workshop title: Jugando con las leyes de Newton (Playing with Newton’s Laws) in which the participants developed low cost artifacts to explore the three Newton’s Laws, from building a simple Hovercraft with a CDrom and a balloon, to build rubber band lunchers for carts and simple rockets propelled by pressured air. As in the previous workshop, the participants in Guatemala had the materials to implement the activities and build the artifacts.

The last activity implemented on October 2nd 2017 was a Concert-Conference titled: La Fisica de la Musica y las Matematicas del Sonido, (The Physics of Music and the Mathematics of Sound), a collaboration between Dr. Julian Felix from the Elementary Particle Physics Institute, University of Guanajuato, Mexico, Dra Waleska Aldana Segura, Escuela de Formación de Profesores de Enseñanza Media – EFPEM, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala and Marcelo Caplan from the Science and Mathematics Department at Columbia College Chicago. The activity included live musicians from the Orquesta Sinfonica Juvenil Alaide Foppa. Through videoconference technology, Julian introduced the relation between Music, Science and Mathematics, and Marcelo implemented with the audience and the musician several activities and experiments to support the explained concepts. The auditorium was pack and counted between the participants with the authorities of the University San Carlos de Guatemala. This activity was included in the calendar of  “El Portal Educativo de las Americas”, a site supported by the Organization of American States (OEA) to promote the collaboration in the education between the countries members. http://portal.portaleducoas.org/es/noticias/f-sica-m-sica-matem-tica-del-sonido

We are planning to continue this collaboration and extend it to continue promoting STEAM education in all the Americas!!

Some pictures from the presentation