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Report about the Learning and Teaching Methods and Knowledge Technology Section of the 34th Nationwide Conference of Scientific Student Associations in 2019

The Learning and Teaching Methods and Knowledge Technology Section of the 34th Nationwide Conference of Scientific Student Associations was held between April 15th and 17th, 2019 in Esztergom, at Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

During the opening ceremony of the Conference, Bereczky-Zámbó Csilla, Muzsnay Anna és Szeibert Janka, students at Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Science, prize winners from our Foundation in 2018, received the opportunity to report about their participation and experience at the 42nd Annual Meeting of Psychology of Mathematics Education held in Umea, Sweden, in July 2018. You can see the presentation here (PDF, PPTX). The report provided the participants of the Conference with relevant and interesting information about the details of a high level international conference.

At the Learning and Teaching Methods and Knowledge Technology Section of Nationwide Conference of Scientific Student Associations, 158 students participated and presented their work, altogether 149 lectures were held in 22 divisions. Our Foundation offered a special prize again this year to support participation and holding a lecture at an international conference of teaching methodology or education technology in natural sciences or mathematics. The decision about the winner was made by the Professional Committee of the Learning and Teaching Methods and Knowledge Technology Section.

Last year’s awardees of the Foundation, Bereczky-Zámbó Csilla, Muzsnay Anna és Szeibert Janka, have again come up with an outstanding performance. In four divisions (Theory and practice of developing study materials in teaching special subjects; Methodology of mathematics teaching; Learning and support in higher education; Integration of learning areas), they held five lectures, and gained two first prizes, one second prize, and two special prizes (in one of the papers, together with Török Tímea, also of Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Science). The Professional Committee could hardly have made any other decision but awarding the Foundation’s prize to support the international conference participation to them.

Congratulations to all of them and their supervisor, Dr. Szabó Csaba, Professor of the Department of Algebra and Number Theory of Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Science, Institute of Mathematics. We hope that our support may contribute to their successful career of teaching and research, and we will be very interested to hear their insights about another international experience.

Annual Reports

Annual reports:

Szabó Szabolcs Natural Sciences Challenge Cup

Preliminary Announcement

Announced by: Foundation for Natural Sciences Education in Memoriam Szabó Szabolcs (http://sz2a.hu/)

Objectives of the competition: Primary school pupils primarily from the countryside and across the border would compete in solving natural sciences problems and challenges.

Participants: Teams of four members, coming from 7th and 8th grade of Hungarian and trans- border schools (Teams must have two seventh and eighth graders and two boys and girls each).

Time: November 15-16, 2019 (Friday and Saturday)

Venue: Kossuth Lajos Primary School, Veszprém (8200 Veszprém, Budapest út 11.)

Expenses:

  • no registration fee
  • expenses of accommodation and meals will be paid by the Foundation
  • with the involvement of sponsors
  • support to travel expenses may be requested

Expected challenges: Students are expected to solve different kinds of problems so that they can amply demonstrate their skills and knowledge.

1. Preliminary challenge: To produce a poster in an interdisciplinary natural sciences topic, which this year is: “manifestation of the laws of physics in the movement of living creatures”. We will provide ideas on the webpage of the competition (http://sz2a.hu/vandorkupa/), but the teams are welcome to develop their own ideas.
The size of the poster should be A0 and prepared by hand or computer. The poster should include the names and school of the authors, and the applied forms. The digital version of the poster (which may also be a photo) will have to be sent by November 6 to vandorkupa@sz2a.hu e-mail address. The posters will have to be brought to the competition. Criterion for the assessment of the posters will be published at http://sz2a.hu/vandorkupa/ , based on which the jury will evaluate the products.

2. Poster presentation: Teams will present their posters at the venue. This time the jury will only evaluate the mode of presentation, based on pre-announced criterion (http://sz2a.hu/vandorkupa/).

3. Written round: Teams will solve problems linked to experiments and interdisciplinary topics, in 90 minutes. Only calculators and periodic tables may be used.

4. Oral round: Students will answer questions in a quiz set-up. In this round, speed is also essential.

We will recommend literature (articles, textbooks) for the preparation on the competition’s webpage (http://sz2a.hu/vandorkupa/).

Preliminary agenda:
November 15, 2019, Friday afternoon and evening: arrival, registration, written round, evening cultural program and fun.
November 16, 2019, Saturday morning: poster presentation, quiz, oral round, announcement of results

We provide accommodation, meals (dinner, breakfast, and lunch), and free time program, for the students and one accompanying teacher.

Awards: The best team will win the Cup until the next round of the Challenge Cup, and the members will receive a prize of a study trip. We will strive to give out awards for each round separately too. Participants may receive gifts of our sponsors. The winner team receives the right to organize the next round of the Szabó Szabolcs Challenge Cup. This is not an obligation, and schools may apply if they are unable to undertake this. However, we would encourage them and give all help and support in organizing the next event.

Preliminary declaration of intent: Applications for the competition will take place in September 2019. We would like to receive preliminary declarations of intent by April 15, 2019, from schools that plan to nominate a team. These can be sent to: vandorkupa@sz2a.hu.

Further information: Will be available on the webpage of the Challenge Cup (http://sz2a.hu/vandorkupa/).

The complete announcement can be downloaded as a PDF file.

What We Took and What We Brought

Report on participating at international conferences

The Foundation for Natural Sciences Education in Memoriam Szabó Szabolcs published a tender in March 2018 to support participation and holding a lecture at an international conference. We awarded stipends to four young researchers. The students reported about their work presented at the conferences and their experience at an event of the “Methodology Tales” series, organized by the Scientific Student Association of Eötvös Loránd University Natural Sciences Faculty on November 8, 2018. The title of the event was „What We Took and What We Brought”.

The “Methodology Tales” series operates within the framework of the Learning and Teaching Methods and Knowledge Technology Section of the National Council of Scientific Student Associations, and is organized by the Mathematics Knowledge Theory and Psychology Research Group. Its aim is to provide a permanent scientific forum for those in teacher education. Its success is underlined by the fact that several projects initiated by the „Tales” received awards at Nationwide Conferences of Scientific Student Associations.

Presentation were held by:

Edina Malmos (Debrecen University, participant at the 6th Teaching & Education Conference of the International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences in Vienna, Austria, https://www.iises.net/past-conferences/teaching-and-edication/6th-teaching-education-conference-vienna)

Csilla Bereczky-Zámbó, Anna Muzsnay and Janka Szeibert (Eötvös Loránd University, participants at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education in Umea, Sweden, http://www.pme42.se/)

Malmos Edina

First, Edina Malmos presented her research titled „THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE PROBLEM-SOLVING BEHAVIOUR AND PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE OF BIOLOGY STUDENTS”, which she presented at the International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences6th Teaching & Education Conference in Vienna, Austria, in October 2018. The main topic of the research is the question of link between problem solving skills and lexical knowledge. Edina’s presentation covered not only the research but, more generally, her experience at the conference, including facultative programs.

Bereczky-Zámbó Csilla, Muzsnay Anna és Szeibert Janka

As regards the second conference report, here we supported a joint participation of a team of three students. At the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education 42th Annual Meeting in Umea, Sweden, in July 2018, 627 presentations of approximately 1000 authors took place, which covered a broad spectrum of mathematics education presently and in the future and new trends. Detailed presentations of individual research areas were held as well as discussions of more specific, shorter topics. Poster presentations and personal consultations were also used in presenting research results. The team we provided financial support to had the opportunity to hold one lecture presentation and have two poster presentations, the topic of which, with the title „Testing is the mother of knowledge”, was considered as a novelty among the conference topics.

Based on the reports, the most important takeaway from the conferences is that methodology research in Hungary is behind the international elite to a significant extent, both as regards volume and coverage of methodology. It is very important therefore that we can share the topics and experience of similar conferences in Hungarian education, and raise attention and interest among further students in methodology research.  This way, we can help develop education standards by adjusting the structure and methodology of education to the demand of a fast changing world. Based on what we have heard, there are good topics and interested students, so it is essential that the importance of methodology research gain more acceptance.

Our Foundation would like to help and support university students interested in education methodology, in order to secure an international audience to present their research and for them to gain experience and inspiration for further work. Therefore, the Foundation has published its next offer for a special prize among participating students at the Learning and Teaching Methods and Knowledge Technology Section of the Nationwide Conference of Scientific Student Associations in 2019, to support again participation and holding a lecture at an international conference of teaching methodology or education technology in natural sciences or mathematics: http://sz2a.hu/en/special-prize-at-the-nationwide-conference-of-scientific-student-associations/.

Finally, this is what Anna, Csilla and Janka wrote to us:“We have experienced that if we want to fully take advantage of the possibility of participating at such a large conference, then it is very tiring but at the same time provides such a depth and breadth of information and new knowledge which is simply unavailable at university courses. So we are especially helpful for the possibility and support.”

Memories by Ildikó Hobinka

Szabolcs Szabó (1966–2017)

Szabolcs Szabó, our friend and colleague who died at a shockingly young age in February 2017, was a chemistry teacher at the Budapest Fazekas Mihály and then at Városmajori High School, and the recipient of the Prize for Hungarian Chemistry Education.

I got to know Szabolcs in 1981, at his age of 14 as a freshman at Fazekas High School, at that time as his teacher. From then on, we worked a lot together until almost to his death. He was a talented and diligent student who liked to make experiments in our school lab in preparation for competitions. Already as a freshman, he reached the national finals of Irinyi János Chemistry Competition in Győr. Then he gained 3rd prize in his senior year at the National High School Competition in chemistry, while also being successful in mathematics and physics. He was also an active sportsman and made friendships here for a lifetime too. He understandably ended up as a natural sciences teacher, and graduated at Eötvös Loránd University as a chemistry-mathematics-physics teacher. The management of Fazekas was glad to have him back immediately to teach at his alma mater, as we well knew that his professional qualification was excellent while the science and art of teaching was in his blood. Szabolcs was my direct colleague for 17 years.

In line with one of the main profiles of the school, he recognized and supported in every possible way the students to deploy their talent. He got involved in the extracurricular chemistry activities at once in his first year, and five of his students reached the national final of Irinyi János Chemistry Competition. He had students in the Irinyi finals every year; more than 40 students altogether participated successfully during his Fazekas years. Also during these years, more than 30 of his students reached the finals at the National High School Competition in chemistry, 17 of whom were among the top 10 finalists. One of his students got a golden and a silver medal at the International Chemistry Olympics in two consecutive years. All these successes made him even more enthusiastic. With his students, he got also involved into project competitions of environmental protection – they received the bronze medal at the International Environmental Project Olympiad in 1999 and gained the possibility to participate at the environmental protection world competition in Hanover in 2000. His students received first prizes at the Nationwide Conference of Scientific Student Associations in 1999 and 2004.

He continuously followed the latest literature in chemistry, tried all new experiments, and learned all new information. He was perhaps the first to learn all details of the Obendrauf syringe experimental techniques, which he then introduced into the everyday practice of his teaching, and educated his teacher colleagues as well. We led the continuative training of chemistry teachers in Budapest for long years together, and we passed on our knowledge about new chemistry pedagogical methods also in regional education in the country. We started the “mobile lab” concept, driving around the country (in our own car), carrying chemistry tools and reagents, so that the joy of experimenting could reach remote, more disadvantaged places. Szabolcs even got to Csíkszereda (Transsylvania, Romania) to the Bolyai Summer Academy, to present low cost experimentation to teacher colleagues of that region. All in all, he was an excellent teacher and a superb colleague. To award his successful activities, he received the Prize for Hungarian Chemistry Education in 2005.

At a later stage, the requirements of his family and his search for new challenges drove him to applied informatics for a short period of time. This did not turn out to be a lucky choice, as he did not find his place as well in his new environment at an insurance company as previously at school with students. Although he found the joy of being a chemistry teacher again for a short time at Városmajori High School, problems in his family life led to bouts of mental and physical illness. And now he unexpectedly left his family, friends, colleagues, and his ever-passionate students.

On behalf of all my chemistry teacher colleagues, I must say farewell to my kind student and colleague with a broken heart.

Ildikó Hobinka Published in: Középiskolai Kémiai Lapok, 44. évf. (2017) 3. sz. 181–182.

Memories

Szabolcs

Szabolcs Szabó

Photos

Special mathematics class, Fazekas Mihály High School, 1981-85c

Mobile Lab

Mobile Lab

Commemoration

Memories by Ildikó Hobinka


Prizes, Publications

Chemistry Education Prize of Richter Gedeon Foundation
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Tender publication to support participation at international conference – March 2018

The Foundation for Natural Sciences Education in Memoriam Szabó Szabolcs (the Foundation) publishes a tender, among participants at the Learning and Teaching Methods and Knowledge Technology Section of the 33th Nationwide Conference of Scientific Student Associations in 2017, to support participation and holding a lecture at an international conference of teaching methodology or education technology in natural sciences or mathematics.

Sum of the Support:

The support may be used for covering the conference registration fee and travel and accommodation expenses. The planned sum of the support is HUF 400.000, which may be modified according to the applications received. The support may also be used for post-financing (conference participation already under organization).

Terms of the Tender:

Students, PhD students and practicing teachers may apply. The applicants must briefly describe the international conference they wish to participate at. They need to prove why the conference is relevant, what kind of new knowledge they expect to gain, and what the prestige of the conference is. They shall agree to hold at least two lectures in Hungary, one about their own research by presenting their paper, while the other about their general experience and results of the conference.

The Foundation expects the following from the applicants:

  • Description of the research to be presented, the written paper;
  • A CV with activities and results achieved;
  • Description of the selected conference, with webpage access
  • The sum requested and its planned use.

The Foundation covers the conference registration fee and travel and accommodation expenses up to the sum approved.

Terms of Decision-Making:

Applications that do not answer the items above may be excluded. The Review Committee decides about giving out the support within its own authority. The Review Committee reserves the right to pronounce the tender void and not to give out any prize, or to split the sum among several participants. Applicants are preferred if:

  • they have already received a prize at a Nationwide Conference of Scientific Student Associations;
  • they have already published a referred research paper;
  • they agree to deliver a lecture in a foreign language at an international conference.

Schedule:

Deadline for Applications: April 13, 2018.

Expected decision-making: May 4, 2018.

Applications are to be sent to kapcsolat@sz2a.hu.

Applicants will be contacted via e-mail after decision-making.

Decisions

You can read about decisions made in the next item.

„Kis Kavics” Cup – 2018

The “Kis Kavics” Cup of 2018 was held at Budapest Fazekas Mihály Elementary and High School on March 12 2018. We were delighted at the opportunity to sponsor five rural teams to gain awareness, travel to and successfully compete alongside 6 teams from Fazekas and 2 others from Budapest. The five teams of enthusiastic, talented students of 7th and 8th grade hailed from Veszprém, Pápa, Sárospatak, Pécs and even Nagyvárad (Oradea, Romania).

Having talked to the students and their teachers, it was a special experience for them to participate at the competition at Fazekas, and several students gained a new momentum as regards their further education. It is a special joy that the team of the Veszprém Kossuth Lajos Elementary School, behind three teams from Fazekas, reached the prestigious 4th place, and received the study trip special prize from the Foundation. Congratulations to them, to all participating students and teams. We hope to continue from here next year!

Detailed report, the test and the answers may be found here (in Hungarian): http://kemia.fazekas.hu/?page_id=1363

Pictures of the competition:

the team from Sárospatak in its school
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