BRINGING THE “WOW” FACTORS IN SCIENCE CLASSROOM TO INCREASE STUDENTS’ INTEREST

J.M. Fernández Novell1, C. Zaragoza Domenech2

1University of Barcelona (SPAIN)
2Institut Obert de Catalunya (SPAIN)
Interest in Nature, in Nature laws, in science, has been a constant for humankind that has encouraged reflection and learning process. Furthermore, scientific method is leading us to knowledge and progress in our civilization. However, since decades, the European students' interest for science studies is decreasing year after year. The concept of ‘Science for All’ was widely accepted as an urgent educational priority in 1983 and it remains a priority because science and technology continue to affect our everyday lives in so many different ways.

What are the WOW factors? WOW shows surprise and sometimes pleasure. It is a feature extremely impressive. These factors provide many approaches for stimulating interest in students’ science knowledge.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biomedicine Department at University of Barcelona has been offering many science sessions and summer courses. These sessions have designed to students from primary, secondary and university levels and others social groups, which the aim to improve their interest in general science.

The objectives of these activities are: Motivate students towards science; introduce students to the scientific method by doing research; enhance the contact of students with the laboratory; make students feel and think like scientists but always performing Wow experiments.
This educational method wants to perform experiments to encourage interactivity and co-operation among students. In addition, to involve girls and boys in science requires that teachers reduce the remaining distance between them and the scientific world. In this way, students are learning on the applications in real life, as well as some relationships around gender topics.