Combining English language learning and science popularisation, while stimulating students' creativity and fun. This is the clever mix of the "It's not Rocket Science" project developed by two English teachers from the Department of Modern Languages at UNamur.
"It's not rocket science' is the equivalent of 'C'est pas sorcier' in French. We were inspired by this famous show to launch this project for our first year students enrolled in biology, chemistry, medicine, geology/geography and pharmacy who need to learn scientific English. This year, we asked them to form a pair and explain a scientific concept from one of their classes. They had to explain it in 3 minutes in the form of a didactic video, intended for secondary school students," explain Natassia Schutz and Aude Hansel, English teachers at the UNamur. Using their smartphones, the students created almost 150 videos.
A dozen of them, the most convincing, have now been selected to take part in a competition to be held during the Spring Science Week (20-26 March), where secondary school pupils will be asked to vote for the best video!
The pairs selected for the competition were lucky enough to be able to benefit from "professional" coaching by the Confluent des Savoirs - UNamur's scientific mediation unit - as well as from a film produced by the university's audio-visual studio.
"The aim of this exercise is threefold: to offer an overview of what we do at the university, to make young people want to study science and to allow students to approach scientific English in a very concrete way," stress Natassia Schutz and Aude Hansel.