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Reflections from a Skype Classroom

 
 
Picture of Vicki Pettit
Reflections from a Skype Classroom
by Vicki Pettit - Tuesday, 26 August 2014, 11:13 AM
 

Dr. Michelle Dickinson of the University of Auckland also known as 'Nano Girl' Skyped us and answered our science questions. We all agreed that we felt both very excited and nervous at the same time.  It was our first experience in a Skype classroom and we were going to talk to our science hero. We have followed her experiments, conducted our own chemistry experiments and explored electrical circuits. We were so excited that we knew about electrical currents, static electricity and chemical reactions and we could understand the conversation. Below are some extracts by 4TMF students, reflecting on their learning in a Skype classroom.

"I was very inspired when Casey asked his question and we found out that it could be possible to really fly, and you need really cold shoes.” - Maddy

"When I asked my question about super conductors and how cold the shoes would need to be to make the shoes fly, Nano Girl said -109 Celsius. The material she would use to make the boots is Yttrium, which acts as an insulator inside her shoes so that her feet wouldn't get cold.” - Casey

"Nano Girl inspires people to try new things. She tries to make New Zealand and the world a better place.”- Padric

"Nano Girl was engaging with her smile and made me feel relaxed and calm when asking my question.”- Caitlin

"It was almost my turn; I felt so nervous. What if she couldn't answer my question? What if I mucked up and said the wrong question? But when I was in front of the microphone she smiled a very kind smile which took away my nerves. I wanted to know what advice she would give someone who wanted to be a scientist. She said "Just do science all the time!”- Jenna

"I took a deep breath and read my question: 'If you had to choose one subject science or maths, which would you like more?' She answered chemistry because she likes blowing things up, then she added maths at the end. I love maths too.” - Kinda

"She smiled and waved and always knew what to say.”- Chloe

 I asked, "What was the first machine that you saw in the fractal mechanics laboratory at university.” She told us it was a charpy machine that is like a hammer, used to break things into very small pieces. Of course the first thing we wanted to do was research what a charpy machine looked like and see what it did.” - Sam

"She said that collaboration and team work were important to meet your goals. I thought that she was very inspiring because she follows her dreams and I think that her advice was great.”- Caitlin "Nano Girl wanted to be a superhero when she was little. I was nervous talking to Nano Girl but she gave an encouraging smile and I felt confident and asked "What is your latest creation and why did you make it?” She said "Delightful, well it's not really science but my latest creations are these butterfly wing earrings.” I was really surprised, but Ginny wasn't surprised a bit! We had lots of questions after the Skype session. We wanted to find out what a 3D printer that could print the earrings looked like. We are studying shapes in maths so we want to find out. We only have a 2D printer at school. We couldn't wait to look at the periodic table to find Yttrium. Yttrium is a chemical element symbol Y. It is a silvery-metallic transition metal and is called a "rare earth element." It is the answer to insulating our shoes so our feet won't freeze when we put them on to fly.” - Jedd

"There were lots of laughs because Nano Girl made science fun.” - Tom

We can't wait to Skype a world expert again.

Year 4T