Thematic STEM Debate for Primary Schools

The Science Centre (Pembroke) within the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes is launching the 4th edition of the Thematic STEM Debate within Primary Schools. The aim of this initiative is to engage students to become active critical thinkers and skilled debaters. Through active participation in the debate, students will:

•Examine ideas, reports, audio-visual material and policies;

•Verify the value of evidence for concepts;

•Recognize strengths and weaknesses of arguments;

•Engage with opposing views and speak strategically.

This year’s Thematic STEM debate for the primary sector will focus on Space Exploration. In preparation for the Thematic STEM debate, student participants together with their mentors are requested to carefully read and analyse the document Space Exploration: Is it worth the investment?’. The document, which includes related audio-visual resources and links for further research/reading can be accessed through the Primary Science website under the section Thematic STEM Debate. The following criteria will be used by a team of professionals to adjudicate the debate:

•organization and clarity –main arguments and responses presented in a clear/orderly way;

•use of argument –response given to support the arguments;

•use of cross-examination and rebuttal –identification of weaknesses in other’s arguments and ability to defend own arguments;

•presentation style –tone of voice, clarity of expression, precision of arguments.

The Thematic STEM Debate will be held on Wednesday 25th January 2023 from 10.00 am to noon at St Clare College, St Julians Primary School. The full programme of events can be downloaded HERE. Each school can nominate one Year 6 student by accessing the registration LINK by Friday, 16thDecember 2022. Registrations are on a first come first served basis. Kindly note that travel to and from the venue should be coordinated by the participating school. Three participants will be presented the Top Debater Award. Winners will be announced towards the end of the debate. Certificates of participation will be presented to all students while winners will be awarded a set of Wireless Headphones each, sponsored by the HSBC Malta Foundation.

Any queries can be put forward to Mr Christopher Buttigieg, Head of Department, Primary Science on christopher-john.buttigieg@ilearn.edu.mt.

Scientix Webinar

Scientix (the largest community for science education in Europe http://www.scientix.eu/home) Malta will be organizing a webinar for educators regarding animal welfare and the three R’s (refinement, reduction, replacement) . The webinar may be of interest to educators teaching early years, primary, middle and secondary school who would like to learn more about how to communicate values and knowledge related to animal welfare and the three R’s. The three R’s are principles which need to be respected by scientists and researchers conducting testing which may involve the use of animals. Further information about this European project may be found here: http://www.scientix.eu/pilots/pilot-3rs

The webinar will explore both principles related to this subject as well as various resources available on the Scientix platform. The webinar is going to be delivered by Alexia Micallef Gatt, an ambassador for Scientix in Malta who has worked on this project with Scientix as a Pilot and Lead Teacher. For more information you may contact Alexia on alexia.micallefgatt@gmail.com.

Registration and application

The webinar is going to take place on the MS Teams platform on the 5th of December between 4.00pm and 5.30pm. Registration can be completed by submitting this form: https://forms.gle/WvXmyqitXyftv7YX9

Mathematics Activities for Gifted and Talented Students (Year 10)

The Science Centre within the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes is organising four Mathematics Activities for Gifted and Talented Students. These activities target students who have an interest and keen aptitude in Mathematics. The four after school activities will be held between 16.00 and 18.00 at the Digital Literacy Unit, Joseph Abela Scolaro Street,Ħamrun. Each activity is held on a Friday with a repeat session on the following Monday on the dates indicated below:

Heads of Schools are kindly requested to nominate not more than three Year 10 students. Please register the names of the students who will be participating in the four activities, via the link Gifted and Talented, by not later than Friday 25th November 2022. Kindly note that a limited number of participants will be accepted. Students who attend all four sessions during this scholastic year, will be awarded a certificate of participation. For further information kindly contact Ms Mariella Galea, Education Officer Mathematics (Secondary) mariella.galea@ilearn.edu.mt

Junior Science Club 2022 – 2023

The Science Centre, Pembroke within the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes is currently launching the 8th edition of the Junior Science Club. This after-school programme has been extended further and will be held in eleven different localities in collaboration with Għarb, Ħ’Attard, Ħal Lija, Ħaż-Żebbuġ, Marsaxlokk, Naxxar, Pembroke, Victoria, Żabbar, Żejtun and Żurrieq and Local Councils. The Junior Science Club aims to provide young students (ages 7 to 11) opportunities to experience science investigations and practical science-related activities that extend their learning beyond the classroom environment. During the sessions, the students practise science-related process skills and nurture problem-solving, critical thinking, communication and self-appraisal skills and competences. A pilot Junior Science Club for Early Years children (ages 3 to 6) and their parents/guardians will be held in collaboration with Victoria Local Council. The aim of the pilot Junior Science Club in the Early Years is to provide children and their caregivers the opportunity to spend quality time together doing hands-on science. The Junior Science Club will run on a weekly basis from the end of October 2022 till the end of May 2023 as per schedule below.

Further details about the specific Junior Science Club within different localities and relevant application forms, can be obtained from the respective Local Council and from the Junior Science Club Facebook page. Applications will be received on a first come first served basis. A maximum of 20 students per club are accepted.

A Bilingual Glossary of Mathematics Terms

The consultation document A Bilingual Glossary of Mathematics Terms (Glossarju Bilingwi ta’ Termini tal-Matematika) which was published by the National Literacy Agency within the Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation, provides words and expressions that can be used as part of bilingual communication of Mathematics at the Early and Junior Years of education (ages 3 – 11 years). The resource has been developed keeping in mind already existing classroom practices and provides a bank of words and expressions in English and Maltese.

The glossary was compiled by Prof. Marie Therese Farrugia (Department of Early Childhood and Primary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Malta), Mr David Muscat and Dr Lara Ann Vella (National Literacy Agency) and Ms Melanie Casha Sammut (Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes, MEYR). The document can be accessed here:

Termini tal-Matematika

The consultation process has been extended to the 18th of November 2022. Feedback can be sent using this form:

Feedback Form

Thematic STEM Debate for Year 10/Year 11 Students

Heads of School are kindly informed that the Science Centre within the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes, is organizing the fifth edition of the Thematic STEM Debate. The aim of this activity is to engage students to become active critical thinkers and skilled debaters. Through effective participation in the debate, students will:

▪examine ideas, reports, audio-visual material and policy documents;

▪verify the value of evidence for concepts; ▪recognize strengths and weaknesses of arguments;

▪engage with opposing views and speak strategically.

The theme to the debate is ‘Medical technology is here to stay: What is the future of medical technology and how will we overcome the challenges?’. In preparation for the Thematic STEM debate, student participants together with their mentors are requested to carefully read and analyse the documents listed hereunder:

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Malta Junior Science Olympiad 2022/2023

The ninth edition of the Malta Junior Science Olympiad(MJSO) for scholastic year 2022-2023 is scheduled for Saturday19thNovember 2022. It will be held at St Nicholas College, Dingli Secondary School. The theme of the ninth MJSO edition is Climate Change. The MJSO (2022) will include two parts namely:

•Part A: a comprehension related to Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

•Part B: a set of investigations related to Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

Part A comprises 25% of the total mark while part B makes up the remaining 75%. A second circular with further event details and registration links will be issued towards the beginning of scholastic year 2022/2023.

Scientix Seminar for Mathematics Teachers

The science centre in Pembroke recently organised the Scientix Seminar. The seminar engaged Mathematics teachers to explore the newly designed SEAC Maths Resource packs and share the positive experiences of educators planning mathematic activities within an applied setting. Ms. D. Scicluna Bugeja (Assistant Director – DLAP) welcomed the seminar participants and highlighted the educator’s pivotal role to adapt resources, thus facilitating students learning and achievements.

Ms. Katya Borg and Mr. Martin Galea shared their positive experiences of using the SEAC resource packs in year 9 and year 10 classes.

Mr. Mario Muscat (EO – Integrated Science) delivered a presentation related to the Scientix network and encouraged seminar participants to browse the Scientix portal to discover a range of shared teaching tools and STEM projects.

During the second part of the seminar, the participants engaged in hands-on workshops to discuss and use a range of activities from the resource packs. Educators are encouraged to browse the Scientix website www.scientix.eu or contact the Science Centre for further information related to forthcoming initiatives and seminars. Mathematics teachers that are interested to receive a copy of the SEAC Maths Resource Packs can contact Ms. Miriam Bugeja (EO – Mathematics Sec).

Celebrate National Space Day: Webinar for Yr 9 – Yr 10 students

National Space Day was created to inspire all of us in the pursuit of knowledge and progress. To celebrate this day, Esplora teamed up with GLOBE Malta and the U.S. Embassy to organise a virtual webinar for students focusing on Space Exploration and Earth Observation.

Participating students will have the opportunity to meet with Peter Falcon, and Earth Science Education and Communications Specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as well as Gordon Caruana Dingli, who recently published a book on the Apollo programme and the locals’ response to it. Moreover, educators and students will have an opportunity to meet with Ramona Mercieca to discover how they can become citizen scientists by collecting data for NASA scientists.

Target Audience: Yr 9 – Yr 10 students

Day: 6th May 2022

Maximum number of participants: 3 classes

Session Duration: 1 hour, to be held between 11am and 1pm.

The exact time will be agreed upon with educators upon booking to ensure that a common time slot can be found among all classes involved. The Webinar is free to attend and will be delivered in English.

The Hunt: Kids’ Virtual Science Quest

The Science Centre (Pembroke) within the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes is launching the 3rd edition of The Hunt: Kids’ Virtual Science Quest. The aim of the initiative is to engage young students in problem-solving and research competences. This STEM initiative targets primary students in Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6. The Hunt engages students in an exciting virtual science quest with clues related to scientific skills and competences.

The Hunt will take place virtually via Microsoft Teams on Friday 3rd June 2022 according to the following schedule:

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