EducationSchool Initiative

Learning Together at Verdala Secondary School

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St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala, CCP Science Form 5 students perform very well in their Science practicum about balancing forces and bridges

CCP Science Form 5 (year 11) students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua had their second Science practicum assessment test. During their practicum, students had to design both an arch bridge and a suspension bridge, label its main parts and explain the exerted balancing forces on it. This exercise was related to their science study unit about forces and stability.

Science drawings are not the same as artistic drawings. Instead, science drawings represent a model of a real object or even an idea that in science we rely heavily upon.

Inviting students to draw a simple arch bridge and a suspension bridge was very beneficial because it served as a learning tool and as a diagnostic tool. In fact, after drawing a model of a bridge, students were able to compare what knowledge they gained. It was also helpful to the teacher to determine what students understand, what gaps they have, and if there are any misconceptions.

The other benefits of drawings in science education are:

  • It can be used in any grade level
  • Images help English language learners, and students with special needs understand better and better express the information.
  • Visual representations help everyone collect, process, and understand information better.
  • It requires metacognitive thinking skills such as when analyzing an object, evaluating which parts to include, deciding where to place elements, or making judgments about the size, colour, and shape.
  • Students are more motivated and engaged.
  • It assists in the development of visual-spatial thinking.
  • It is a hands-on, minds-on activity.
  • When incorporating writing, you can use transitional words when showing sequence, process, and cause/effect relationships.
  • It helps the brain make connections that are necessary for longer retention.

Students enjoyed their assigned science task and while assisted and supervised by their science teacher and LSE’s; they performed very well and scored high.