If someone glanced into the auditorium 702 in the House of Nature on 18 and 19 January, he would be presented with an unusual scene. Teachers side-by-side with university professors pretending they are students in a classroom: doing experiments with mirrors and pendulums, writing something on a small whiteboard, presenting results in front of the audience, making mistakes, arguing, asking questions, erasing, drawing again, watching and doing more experiments.

It turns out that was a workshop on Modelling Approach to Physics Education conducted by Dr. Mark Lattery from UW Oshkosh (US). The essence of this approach is: "If we want to teach students how to do science, we must recreate the process of scientific discovery in the classroom as early as possible."

The topics covered reflected the broad spectrum of participant interest and breadth of modelling approach: from techniques to make students comfortable when speaking in front of a classroom to philosophical ideas of what scientific modelling is and how scientific discovery happens; from experiments on harmonic motion to role of imagination in analysis of experimental data. Some of the activities produced so much discussion – a couple more minutes of that and the participants would head out to write and publish scientific papers. 

Pouring a coffee, drawing a graph, speaking to teammates, grabbing a snack, creating analogies – two days passed quickly and everyone went home with new ideas how scientific modelling may be used in their classroom.