As many schools of different levels had to close because of the epidemic outbreak in Taiwan, the Department of Physics at National Sun Yat-sen University launched an online popular science activity - Demonstration of Daily Life Physics Experiments, attracting nearly 900 students from 34 high schools nationwide. Unlike in the past, this year, high school students had to write scripts and shoot videos showing experiments to explain physics principles. In this way, they gained a better understanding of physics in everyday life and tried out their video-making abilities. The most exciting part for the students was to act as science influencers.
Doing experiments by oneself is a better way to learn than memorizing formulas for three years!, said Professor Feng-Chuan Chuang and Associate Professor Tsu-Chiang Yen of the Department of Physics - the organizers of this online activity. They emphasized that “life is a good source for learning physics” for the students who now study remotely from home. To let students learn physics in life, the event covered 15 theme topics, including physics of game consoles, physics of baseball, GPS car navigation, electromagnetism in life, physics of cell phones, for the participating students to complete physics experiments at home.
Professor Chuang said that this year’s event is different than the one in the past as it has one more challenge for the students: to shoot a video and demonstrate what they have learned. He pointed out that nowadays, during the COVID-19 pandemic, students use the Internet to study remotely and that they can use their phones to shoot and edit videos and use digital technology to show off their talents and abilities. “For the students, analyzing physics through videos is a brand new challenge, as well as a valuable digital learning experience.
One of the participating high schoolers said that shooting a video and explaining physics in daily life is a great learning experience and that every misstep is an experience to gradually improve one’s ability to express themselves more logically and clearly, and understand the physics principles in the experiment better “to connect physics with our lives more, and not only think about it as of a difficult discipline taught in textbooks.”
Professor Chuang said that the event was launched in the beginning of April and will end on June 4. The activity was divided into 6 stages: studying the course website, online exchange and discussion with senior students, shooting videos and examination by senior students, examination by the teachers, examination and exchange with one’s schoolmates, and examination and exchange with students of other schools. Through a series of online examination and exchange, high schoolers could engage in teamwork and experience the joy of sharing knowledge for better learning results.
Demonstration of Daily Life Physics Experiments is a major popular science activity, held annually in Kaohsiung by NSYSU Department of Physics. Since 2017, besides Kaohsiung, the event started to be organized also in other cities – Taipei and Taichung, to show physics experiments to students and citizens. It was highly acclaimed for its educational value. Last year, the event was held online due to crowd restrictions implemented because of the epidemic. This year the popular science event was expanded and scheduled to take place online even before the local outbreak of the epidemic in Taiwan. The Internet connection made geographical distance insignificant and attracted high school students from all over Taiwan to participate.