Interview: Marie Caillaux talks about her experience “sharing science” with elementary-school children
Categorie(s) : Education, Innovation & Society, Interviews, News
Published : 1 June 2019
First-year Phelma student Marie Caillaux talks about her experience “sharing science” with elementary-school children
Why would a 20-year-old engineering student want to get involved with a bunch of ten-year-olds?
I liked the idea of having to figure out how to explain things and convey my passion for science. I chose “sustainable cities” as my topic. We worked with my partner (another Phelma student) and high-school juniors involved in the project to focus in on the home and heat insulation. The kids really liked it.
How did you address the scientific aspects of your topic?
We kept the focus on hands-on learning, with simple experiments on a cardboard model of their school. We used a lamp to represent the sun, which we moved around the model. The kids had to measure the temperature and light with the sun at different positions. We compared the temperatures measured on a slab of raw concrete and a wooden board with one end immersed in cold water. Next, we added a polystyrene panel and took the measurements again. This got us talking about the impact of construction and insulation materials.
What were the key points of the report you wrote on the project?
The kids already had a lot of knowledge, and they were right about many things—like the physical and thermal properties of different materials—and they want to learn more. Going into the project, I had no idea how complicated it would be to organize the two post-project presentations, which were attended by around 300 people. I learned a lot about planning and being patient!