Big Bang Aarhus 2016 

Thursday and Friday, part of the teacher training campus in Aarhus was taken over by Denmark’s annual science teacher conference.

Along with the usual conference fare of suppliers and stalls, there were workshops, hands on demonstrations, lectures and keynote speeches.

One of the most difficult decisions to make was how to distribute my time. I was visiting the conference alone so I couldn’t coordinate with a friend. 

I attended a discussion about a European space competition, a demonstration of an evolution activity, a workshop on recycling, a workshop on teaching students to code and a lecture on a project evaluating the quality of geography teaching of climate.

Mostly what I got from the event was inspiration. The evolution activity was too slow and too complicated for the age group I teach but maybe I could make them a spreadsheet to automate away the tedium. The recycling workshop was more for a design teacher but I did find out heaps about inspiring innovative thinking. The coding workshop was marred by unfriendly people who sat at my table and refused to look at me (so I left and played with robots on the exhibition floor) 

The climate lecture was my second choice because the physics fun workshop was too popular and despite getting there 20 minutes early, other conference goers were more willing to shove me out of the way than I was willing to shove them. I thought that the lecture would give me tips on what to do based on brand new research but it was just an outline of what is wrong with teaching in Denmark with little editorialising on how to improve. 

My favourite bit was playing with robots, especially when the project leader told me anout a school project where students designed robots to help residents at a care home. Sounded really inspiring and exactly what I want to do with my classes.

So, next year I will: stick to workshops and avoid lectures. Take a colleague with me. Get more freebies.


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