Pedagogical Guidelines

Introduction

Set up an easy and fun experiment in science relating to petrochemistry, materials and properties. The focus is on classroom and laboratory activities. Students are expected to come up with a small scientific research study on materials and properties found in their every-day lives. Students must research the chosen property, test it through experimentation and explain the results in a clear and structured way which enables others to understand it and learn from the presented experiment.

Experiment examples are available on the www.xperimania.net portal but you can also choose your own experimental setup. All experiments must have material properties (chemical or physical) and/or the chemistry of modern products as a focus. The experiment should engage pupils in an inquiry-based learning approach, which is shown to have a highly positive impact on motivation.

You are then invited to upload your lab report and other files on the portal. All submissions for the competition will be displayed in an online gallery and the best entries will be rewarded with a prize.

Pedagogical and societal value of the project

  • Raising awareness on the role played in our daily modern lives of materials produced by the petrochemical industry.
  • Connecting the academic knowledge of properties with real life uses.
  • Inspiring intelligent and sustainable use of modern materials.
  • Increasing a fun component to science lessons.
  • Encouraging experimental activities with low cost material.
  • Training to use digital tools for science documentation purposes.
  • Promoting pedagogical practices based on inquiry-based methods.
  • Encouraging students to think about a scientific career.
  • Raising awareness of scientific work on objects directly linked to students’ daily environment

Guidelines for teachers

Teachers may assist their pupils to prepare for the activity in the following manner:

  • Engaging pupils in preparatory discussions about the experiments proposed .
  • Identifying a topic to work on.
  • Referring to relevant organisations, such as science museums or companies, finding contacts and arranging local activities such as field trips or presentations at school.
  • Overseeing the experimental activity.
  • Preparing the contribution with the appropriate software.
  • Uploading the contribution to the Xperimania competition portal (click the “Take part” icon). You can upload several submissions at once by selecting the “Upload another entry” option at the end of the submission form.

Rules

Participation:

  • All schools in the European Union, candidate countries and EFTA countries are invited to join in.
  • Participating students must be 10-20 years old.
  • The age group (10-14 years and 15-20 years) will be taken into consideration for the evaluation, but there will only be one set of awards.
  • All entries must be associated with a school or other well-recognised educational institution.
  • All entries must be submitted on the portal.
  • Only teams of 2 or 3 students can submit. Entries from individual students will not be accepted.
  • Teams can submit as many entries as desired; however, only one per property.

Languages:

Entries can be in any of the official Xperimania II languages: English, Bulgarian, Dutch, French, Spanish, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovenian and Swedish. The moderator must provide an English summary of the submission.

Contributions

All contributions must include at least the following parts:
a title
- a lab report:  A lab report is an actual presentation of test results done in a materials lab. Typically, lab reports discuss the main objective of the lab, materials and methods (a brief description of the procedure), results (statement of the overall findings), discussions (proof or disproof of the hypothesis, including an explanation why), and a final conclusion (what you learned about the scientific concept).
an “image”, which can be a photograph and/or a scanned drawing. This will be displayed as a thumbnail.
one property and one or several materials the work is dealing with. The property and material(s) will be selected from a list provided in the submission tool.

Optional:
a second image
- a multimedia presentation and other related files. Related files can be spreadsheets, animations, simulations or other items.

Size of contributions:
Title: Max. 200 characters

Lab report:  
-PDF, MS Word (doc), OOo Writer (odt), MS Powerpoint (ppt), or OOo Impress (odp) file.
-Max 5 MB

Picture image files: 
-Jpg, gif
-Max. 800 pixels wide
-Max. 600 pixels high
-Max 5 MB

Multimedia presentation and other related files: 
-Any of the following file types - PDF (pdf), Word (doc), Excel (xls), PowerPoint (ppt), jpg, gif, OOo Writer (odt), OOo Impress (odp), OOo Calc (ods), Rich text format (rtf), Comma separated values (csv), plain text (txt), video (avi), Quicktime (mov), video (mpg), Windows media (wmv), Windows audio (wma), audio (wav), audio (mp3), Flash (swf) and Zip (zip).

-To submit multiple files, compress into .zip format. 
-Maximum 15 MB file size

Copyright and safety regulations:

Moderators must ensure that:

  • The text is an original text of the pupils and not taken from someone or somewhere else.
  • Quotations are marked as such, with its origin mentioned.
  • The uploaded file is free to use and not bound by any copyright regulations.

All participants declare that they are the owners of the submitted material. In cases where software is submitted, the moderator must declare his/her willingness to publish the software under a Creative Commons license with the right to distribute copies for non-commercial use.

Only the first name and initial of the last name of pupils can be mentioned on the portal in order to ensure pupils’ privacy.

No photos of pupils can be submitted without parental authorisation.