One of MIRCLE’s most distinctive aspects is its focus on connecting activities across the school and the museum. To do so, MIRACLE has developed a number of tools and activities to support a learning trajectory that bridges experiences in the different settings. The project team has been actively involved in the design and development of a new exhibition on energy at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology, the Energy Tivoli. A visit to this exhibit is an integral component of MIRACLE's educational program.
Heat Pump Exhibit
The process underlying how heat pumps work is one of the main topics in the students' science curriculum. Our project uses it as a vehicle to connect more general scientific aspects of energy such as temperature, entropy and the dynamics involved in phase transition. As part of this thematic thread, an exhibit about the heat pump was designed and developed. The exhibit involves a simulation-based game that has a physical interface. The goal of the game is to hold the inside temperature of a house constant despite changes in outside temperature. The students can interact and feel temperature changes as the simulation displays a dynamic representation of the inside and the outside of a heat pump. As part of the curricular activities, the students are prompted to record their activities in this and other exhibits and provide with an account of the phenomena they experience. The museum activities, therefore, can be later picked up in classroom activities, where the videos are retrieved and discussed with help of the SciWork platform.
Exploring Sustainability Across and Beyond the Museum
Another important aspect of the curriculum concerns the socio-political aspects with respect to energy management. In this regard, the students are divided in groups that work together along the entire project towards building expertise on a given energy resource. In the museum, the students are prompted by their iPads and iPods to search for information about their respective energy source and that of others. The students record videos and submit tweets that then are distributed throughout SciHub. In the museum, the students will have the opportunity to share their findings with their teacher and peers in a sum-up session. In the classroom, the different products of the museum visit can be retrieved for writing an article for publication in a local newspaper. More about the tweeting activities can be read here.