Jonathan Keogh, Ireland
School: Glenstal Abbey School, Co Limerick
Subject and Grade Taught: Biology, Mathematics, General Science
Years Teaching: 20 years
Participation in Amgen Teach programme: National training in Limerick and the 15th Science Projects Workshop in the Future Classroom Lab
Jonathan is an experienced Irish teacher, who joined the Amgen Teach Community during the third year of the programme.
When asked about how Amgen Teach has enhanced his ability to use IBSE in the classroom, Jonathan responds by saying, "The energy stick is a simple inexpensive piece of kit, which I first came across in an Amgen Teach seminar earlier this year. It grabs people's attention straight away. When everyone in the group holds hands, the current flows, and the lights flash. It's a surprising discovery, especially with younger students."
Jonathan also explains, "I now consider inquiry absolutely central to establishing critical thinking in groups of students and encouraging debate. The many demonstrations, such as those on static electricity, have been a useful addition to my repertoire. These will serve as a platform for inquiry experiments to engage students in the future."
Currently, his students are engaged in projects like thee electrolysis of water. For this, Jonathan is using small glass graduated cylinders over the positive and negative electrodes in order to enhance visualisation. "What is simply amazing about this is that because the cylinders are upside down over the electrodes, they actually read as if you were measuring a liquid, instead of a gas. This means that you can see that if you have 5 mls of oxygen you will have 10 mls of hydrogen, or if you have 10 mls of oxygen, you will have 20 mls of hydrogen etc.", he explains.