This year’s award was dedicated to the focus topic of digital media as a benefit for STEM teaching. Dr. Nadja Belova, academic adviser at the University of Bremen, and Dr. Moritz Krause, lecturer at the University of Bremen as well as teacher at the Schulzentrum Geschwister Scholl Gymnasiale Oberstufe Bremerhaven, received a prize of 2,000 euros.
How Young People Debunk an Imaginary Product
The award-winning teaching module is aimed at young people in ninth grade and up, and is based on an imaginary product. The pupils get to know HIQO water containing a conductivity extract, which supposedly makes people smarter. “We created a web presence for the product with an Instagram account and produced labeled bottles that contained ordinary mineral water,” explains Belova. In class, the teachers introduce the HIQO water with its supposed effect to the young learners. The pupils then collect information found on social media and develop criteria for the credibility of the product. Once the fake product has been debunked, the young people are given criteria to enable them in the future to independently assess the credibility of science-related posts on social media.
The Bremen researchers evaluated the concept with 106 young people from upper secondary school. “We found that their ability to reflect on the use of social media was significantly better than that of their peers who had not completed the module,” says Krause.
About the Polytechnik Prize
With the Polytechnik Prize, the Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft honors didactics specialists and teaching/learning researchers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The prize is awarded for outstanding achievements in the research and development of good teaching practices in mathematics, computer science, the natural sciences, and technology. The award falls under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
www.polytechnik-preis.de (in German)
Dr. Nadja Belova
Academic Adviser at the Institute of Didactics of Science Education
University of Bremen
Tel.: +49 421 218-63284