“WOW…!” This is an exclamation we often get to hear during our science lab activity time. The pupils who come and participate are amazed to see the wonders of natural science. Every Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 4 p.m. Veronika and I offer “Activity Time” in the science laboratory where the pupils can conduct experiments and discover natural science phenomena practically.
The science laboratory was finished in January 2016 and since then it has been equipped with more and more utensils, models, and chemicals. This provides the teachers and us with a great foundation for our practical work with the pupils in the laboratory. However, it still is not comparable to what would be accessible in a science classroom in Germany.
Therefore, we need to be creative and think of ways how to conduct experiments with everyday material. In our series of experiments on the topic of CO2 , for instance, we used cement to produce limewater for the limewater proof, which is used to show that a gas is CO2. Since the laboratory also does not have gas bottles with gases like CO2 , we used fizzy tablets to produce CO2 , which could then be used for the experiments we did. Thorsten, the volunteer for the science laboratory before us, organized a lot of material for common experiments for the secondary classroom that we can use now.
We are very happy that the Ban Phang Heng secondary school has this room and we have the facilities to experiment with the pupils. The science lab “Activity Time” offers the pupils the possibility to not only hear about scientific phenomena theoretically, but also to experience them practically and conduct experiments by themselves and be fascinated by the outcomes – as you can see in our recent little Pageflow movie “How to make your own volcano”.
We hope that in the future the laboratory will be used more often for practical science classes by the Lao teachers and that it will be used regularly to enrich the theoretical science lessons.
Text & photos by R. Dengler