SCIENCE IN SCHOOLS TESTIMONY Rainbow workshops in Martinique.

Alan Davies and Diane Crann

We really enjoyed our week visiting children in eight primary schools in Martinique in January 2018 on behalf of The British Council.

 

We were overwhelmed by the kindness and hospitality shown by the teachers and the enthusiasm and excitement of the children. Most classes sang to us when we arrived; a mixture of English, French and Creole songs, some about Rainbows, one specially written for our visit and others just to welcome us. Two schools performed an outside tableau with other classes as well as the class we joined.
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Most schools had prepared for us in other ways as well – with posters, understanding vocabulary and practising drawing circles and measuring angles with geometrical instruments.  Classrooms had rainbow pictures and posters around the rooms and one class had a huge Welcome notice (in rainbow colours) attached to the outside of the classroom.

 

After some initial shyness, the children were very forthcoming, attempting to answer questions in both French and English. Their behaviour was impeccable and this gave us the confidence to push them a little further than we had expected. They copied words, repeated phrases, offered answers and we felt that they understood much more than even the teachers had expected. We felt that their pronunciation and accent was amazing – we could understand their English words and phrases much more than we found when we did similar workshops in the French mainland.

 

At the end of many sessions, children came up to us, just to talk and practise speaking English with much more confidence than at the beginning of the session. We do hope they gained some invaluable experience and they look forward to learning more science in their English lessons and English in their science lessons.

 

We also enjoyed working with the teachers on the Wednesday morning.  We felt that their English was exceptionally good and we didn’t feel the need to have any of our presentation translated, although we were happy to help with any misunderstandings, and enjoyed discussing individual topics at the end. We do hope that they enjoyed our ideas and will take them back into their classrooms.​


SCIENCE IN SCHOOLS Renewable energy? We’re big fans

Getting started

In January 2018, Jack Bevan and I were invited to deliver a week’s worth of engaging STEM workshops (in English) to primary school children in Martinique as part of the Science in Schools initiative.

Having worked together at the University of the West of England (UWE, Bristol) for the past two years on a similar outreach project, we both accepted instantly and ideas began to form in our minds. First thing’s first: which project to choose?

Globally we are becoming more and more dependent on renewable and sustainable energy. Wind turbines are an icon for clean energy, and also, it turns out, pretty fun to build out of recycled materials.

Our aim was to invite the children to consider the impact that we as humans have on our planet, and also to begin ‘thinking like an engineer’. That is: focus on your objective and try, try, and try again.

Having designed central hubs and provided DC motors to measure any potential voltage generated, it was now up to the children of eight different schools in Martinique to design and produce their very own turbine. The competition began.

 

A Welcome Surprise

On arrival, we were warmly welcomed by Catherine Ciserane (Academic Delegate for European and International Relations and Cooperation) as well as the exotic sights and sounds of the beautiful Caribbean island of Martinique. Once I had confidently conquered driving on the right (wrong) side of the road, and settled into our hotel, it was time to visit the first of our many schools; Ecole Constant Eudaric.

It has to be said that we were absolutely delighted with the warmth of our welcome from all of the schools that we visited that week. Students were rushing to us immediately with greetings in English, and offers to help carry our heavy equipment. Teaching staff were equally enthusiastic and hospitable, ensuring we had plenty of delicious fruit and sugarcane juice, as well as pastries and chocolates (a staple component of every teacher’s diet).

Once teaching began, we were impressed with the students’ levels of English, and the confidence with which they spoke. Some pupils at Case-Pilôte school had even prepared a welcoming song for us in English, as well as a message of thanks to send us on our way.

Getting Stuck In

At the beginning of each of our workshops, we set the scene for the children. Imagine a world where there was no electricity, and it was your job to make your own energy using only whatever materials you had available to you (in our case: cardboard, egg boxes, and plastic cups).

 

Once the scene had been set, students rushed to begin building their designs, taking inspiration from other wind turbines around the world. Each and every workshop is different and we are constantly amazed and impressed with the originality of the designs that the children produce.

 

Using a multi-meter, we are then able to test the amount of electricity (volts) generated by the various turbines. Although some students were disappointed to find their turbine didn’t turn, they had ample opportunity to refine their prototypes and return for another test, often racing to front of the queue!

 

After some time, our mini engineers were able to generate upwards of 40V electricity. Enough to power an LED light, and even charge a mobile phone (how else could you check your social media during a power cut?).

Looking back

As well as working with school children, we also had the opportunity to provide a ‘Master Class’ for a collection of professional science communicators and educators across Martinique. We were able to share with them the challenges in STEM that we have faced and the ways in which we can overcome these problems together.

We found that the adults got very into our turbine workshop – it was literally battle of the engineers – but were unsuccessful in beating one child’s high score of 47V!

 

We received very positive feedback from everyone we encountered, and have faith that our passion and enthusiasm for such a critical and pivotal subject has been instilled into all of the schools we visited.

 

We are very thankful for this opportunity and would like to encourage any others to embrace the adventure and show their support for the Science in Schools initiative.

Biographies

Katherine Bourne is a biologist specialising in science communication. She has worked at the University of the West of England for three years, designing and evaluating engaging science workshops for students across the South West of England. She is hoping to complete her secondary school science teacher training in 2019.

 

Jack Bevan is a mechanical engineer with a passion for widening participation in all STEM subjects. Based at the University of the West of England for two years, he is committed to delivering fun science workshops in both the school and community setting.

Mois des Langues en LP

 

Le mois des langues a été l’occasion de mettre en lumière de multiples talents chez les élèves comme chez les professeurs. Trois actions retiennent notre attention cette année :

1) La semaine des langues du LP Place d’armes

Cette action a offert à l’intégralité des équipes de LVE, LCR et DNL l’opportunité de s’impliquer dans un projet commun d’animation culturelle et linguistique sous la direction de Madame la Proviseure.

On a pu voir à l’œuvre élèves et professeurs qui s’exprimaient en anglais, créole, espagnol et /ou en français, dans des domaines variés : cuisine, karaoké, slam, salsa, bèlè, arts appliqués.

Deux intervenants extérieurs ont accompagné les lycéens au sein d’ateliers de langue créole et de danse traditionnelle, le lundi 15 mai : « An Nou Palé Kréol , englé ,epi frensé » et le vendredi 19 mai : « An nou dansé bèlè » en  Classes de seconde professionnelles : 2nde ARCU (Accueil relations clientèle usagers) 2nde Commerce,2nde vente : soit 66 élèves environ.
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2) La semaine du numérique en classe de langue à la SEP du LPO La Jetée

C’est autour des outils personnels de l’élève que 20 professeurs d’anglais et de portugais en collège et lycée ont été amenés à réfléchir au sein d’ateliers s’appuyant sur un questionnaire de l’inspecteur Général de langue vivante sur les BYOD ( Bring Your Own Device)/ ATAC (Apporte Ton Appareil en Classe) pour apprendre les langues:

  • Quand et comment enregistrer ou faire s’enregistrer les élèves ?
  • À partir et à propos de quoi ?
  • Pour leur faire travailler quelles compétences, précisément ?
  • Pour quel diagnostic ? Diagnostic fait par qui ?
  • Et pour quoi faire/quoi leur faire faire, ensuite ? etc.

Un état des lieux de l’usage du smartphone a été réalisé et un échange sur de bonnes pratiques a conduit les stagiaires à s’accorder sur une Charte du bon usage du smartphone en classe.

Les professeurs ont été mis en situation, comme des élèves, et ont dû produire ce qu’ils exigent de leurs élèves pour ensuite projeter leurs réalisations. Ainsi, la méthode actionnelle et la différenciation ont pris davantage de sens à leurs yeux.

3) Une pièce de théâtre trilingue jouée par les élèves de CAP du LP ALIKER :

Menée parallèlement à des expositions de travaux en anglais au CDI du lycée, cette action a été proposée dans le cadre du Mois des Arts. Il s’agissait pour les professeurs de mettre en lumière l’association entre les Arts et les langues vivantes. Les élèves de CAP ont présenté le fruit du travail accompli toute l’année au cours des ateliers de la pause méridienne ; la pièce intitulée, Charles Villaroy’s Murder , a ravi le public du Centre culturel de Fonds Saint Jacques.

Valoriser le plurilinguisme, découvrir la langue au travers d’une ouverture culturelle, développer les compétences transversales des élèves, développer le sentiment d’appartenance chez les élèves, fédérer les équipes et favoriser les collaborations entre les équipes disciplinaires et transdisciplinaires : tels étaient les objectifs affichés par les équipes qui ont pleinement rempli leur mission.

Bilan présenté par M.F. BERNARD SINSEAU, IEN Lettres-Anglais

CONCOURS D’ELOQUENCE et MINISTRE JUNIOR DU TOURISME

Le Prix d’Éloquence en Langues Vivantes distingue l’équipe qui, de l’appréciation d’un jury indépendant, s’illustre par son éloquence et réalise la meilleure prestation lors de la grande finale de la Semaine des Langues.

Ce concours qui vise à promouvoir et développer les aptitudes et qualités oratoires des étudiants en langues (Anglais, Espagnol, Français et Créole) s’adresse à tous les élèves du lycée général, professionnel et technologique qui constituent leurs équipes après avoir motivé leur participation.

Cette année, vingt-deux élèves se sont confrontés et ont rivalisé d’imagination dans un esprit de compétition et d’entraide sur des thématiques très variées autour des grandes notions d’Espace et d’Echanges, de lieux de pouvoir, de mythes et de héros. Le jury composé de membres de la société civile et placé sous la présidence d’honneur de M.Jude Duranty, écrivain, conteur et musicien a désigné comme lauréate l’équipe de la classe de Terminale Economique et Sociale composée de BARCLAY Aurélie,BELORGANE Emmanuelle, CHARLES-ALFRED Angela et MARIGNAN Anaëlle.

 

 

L’équipe lauréate

 

 

 

 

Les trois équipes finalistes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le jury

 

 

ÉLECTION DU MINISTRE JUNIOR DU TOURISME

La cinquième édition  de l’élection du Ministre junior du tourisme, en  partenariat avec le C. M. T. (Comité Martiniquais du Tourisme) s’est tenue à l’IMS (Institut martiniquais du Sport)  le mercredi 31 mai 2017.Les 25 candidats, âgés de 14 à 17 ans ont été évalués sur leurs compétences communicatives en anglais et en français, sur leurs connaissances des ressources touristiques de la Martinique et de la Caraibe et sur leur capacité à se projeter dans la fonction de Ministre junior du tourisme. Une ministre junior a été élue : Coraline PAIN. Elle devra représenter la Martinique au Tourism Youth Congress, organisé par la CTO (Caribbean Tourism Organization) à l’île de Grenade, au mois d’Octobre 2017. Elle sera aussi associée à des évènements touristiques locaux organisés par le Comité Martiniquais du Tourisme (CMT).