Jordi Prims, Spain
Escola Cooperativa El Puig
Subject and Grade Taught:
Mathematics and Science (13-16 years old)
Years in Amgen Teach community:
Participation in Amgen Teach programme:
Fundació Catalana de Recerca, Biomedicine training for high school teachers
A teacher at the Escola Cooperativa El Puig in Barcelona, Jordi has been in education for 19 years and is now responsible for teaching maths and science to 13-16 year olds. His background was mainly in mathematics and geography when he signed up to participate in Amgen Teach through Fundació Catalana Recerca in Barcelona, mainly to improve his abilities in biomedicine and biotechnology. However, he also found the workshop was a great opportunity to discuss methodology and class management.
He illustrates how he has implemented some of the lessons he has learned about inquiry-based learning with a recent example: "A few days ago in the school my students were vaccinated. The day before the vaccination, we talked about why they get vaccinated and how it works in our body. We watched a video from National Public Radio, Flu Attack! How A Virus Invades Your Body, where they 'saw' how you get infected by the flu virus and what we can do about it." Later, the class discussed the pros and cons of national immunisation programmes, as a follow-up activity.
Barcelona is home to a number of biotechnology companies and Jordi has taken advantage of this to obtain information on the subject and make it relevant for students. His school purchased an electrophoresis kit to explore the practicalities of the subject and he arranged for a biomedical scientist to give a presentation, which was followed by a debate about ethics, science and society. Jordi also helped his students engage with the practical application of genetics when they discussed how criminal forensics had helped solve a recent murder.
Another successful inquiry-based learning activity he organised was for the study of a local solar eclipse. Students had to design a way to explain the event to each other and to track it in real time. A 14-year-old girl had the idea of using yellow and white balls to represent the Sun and Moon on the graph students built. Together with a panoramic, 360o photo of the local area that the students took, they used the balls to plot the path of the eclipse.