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Cooperation between Science and Language classes

English and Chemistry teachers from Zespol Szkol Integracyjnych no 1 - PG no 17 in Bialystok, Poland, have used the multilingual Xperimania (www.xperimania.net) chats to combine teaching their subjects. Bringing language teaching and science classes together has inspired both the teachers and the students, and brought up important subjects such as recycling of plastics.

Before the Xperimania chat “(Petro)chemicals – who needs them?” held on 20 January 2009 Malgorzata Zajaczkowska (English and Chemistry teacher) and Piotr Klosowski (Chemistry teacher) decided to join their forces. The common goal of the teachers was to make their lessons more interesting and show the pupils (aged 13) that science can be fun and enjoyable. Also another Chemistry teacher, Anna Roginska and Grazyna Gajlewicz, IT & Chemistry teacher, participated in the project.

Before the chat, the teachers explained the topic of the chat in their classes. Malgorzata Zajaczkowska used the background article written by the chat expert Andy Brice as teaching material in her English classes, and petrochemicals were handled as a topic in the Chemistry classes.

As an extra activity, the pupils collected items from their daily environment made of petrochemicals.  “The Wall of Petrochemicals” was constructed to show how many of the daily objects are developed and produced by the petrochemical industry, and how they should be recycled. After the chat the wall was destroyed:

“The students really LOVED destroying the wall”, says Piotr Klosowski, the Chemistry teacher involved in the activity.

“It also taught the pupils about recycling and sorting out the waste – still a rare subject in Polish schools. For us, the chat was a good opportunity to start the waste sorting in our school.”

Both the students and teachers enjoyed the chat a lot. It showed how already slightly different lessons with new ideas and activities are very attractive to young people. The teachers will continue their successfully started co-operation also in the future.

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