Alexandra Khelil-Schmidl, Austria


BG/BRG 21 Bertha von Suttner – Schulschiff, Vienna

Subject and Grade Taught:

Biology and Physics, Science Lab (10-18 years old)

Years Teaching:

6 years

Years in Amgen Teach community:

1.5 years

Participation in Amgen Teach programme:
National training: Molekularköche und Zelldetektive (Molecular Kitchen and Cell Detective) by Christian Bertsch (PH Wien) and Karin Gerber (Vienna Open Lab), March 2015.
8th Science Projects Workshop in the Future Classroom Lab organized by Scientix in Brussels, October 2016. 
Alexandra is a Biology and Physics teacher from Vienna, who has been active in the Amgen Teach community since early 2015.
After attending the inquiry-based  training, Alexandra commented, "In science  teaching, I believe that students need to be able to establish hypotheses with experiments showing results that either support or contradict  them." In this regard, she believes that Amgen Teach increased her "knowledge of new pedagogical practices based on IBSE" and encouraged her to focus on participative and experimental learning.
During the workshops, Alexandra was introduced to inquiry-based learning  and received teaching material and other useful resources. This prompted her to apply inquiry-based principles to her own science lab classes. "I find it fascinating to hear 10-13-year-old students discussing their own ideas and explanations about an experiment with the help of pictures… they understand how plants collect energy from the sun and transform it into organic substances (photosynthesis)."
According to Alexandra, inquiry-based learning has helped her students to understand how dynamic science is and that debate and discussion help to stimulate new ideas for the future. As a result of this intervention, most of Alexandra's students appear to be much more interested in science and more motivated when it comes to conducting scientific programmes.