Teaching The Natural Sciences Differently
Cirkus Naturligvis is a communication programme that actively contributes to teaching the natural sciences to student in grades 4 to 10 at primary and lower-secondary schools in Sjælland, Lolland and Falster. The aim is to create a sense of wonder and fascination for pupils and thereby heighten their interest in the natural sciences.
Cirkus Naturligvis carries out such activities as fun science experiments at schools. Incorporating the learning objectives for primary and lower-secondary schools, it develops both preparatory and evaluation material such as articles, quizzes, films, games, questionnaires and assignments for the individual activities.
Cirkus Naturligvis often brings along special equipment and material for the activities that the individual schools do not normally have or know how to use.
A special characteristic of Cirkus Naturligvis is that it uses university students as teachers and role models for the school pupils, and this gives the university students experience in teaching.
A Cirkus Naturligvis visit supplements the regular classes by heavily reinforcing the natural science elements of the selected topic. An important goal for Cirkus Naturligvis is building bridges between primary and lower-secondary schools, upper-secondary schools and universities. An encounter with Cirkus Naturligvis can lay the foundations for interest in the natural sciences by individual pupils when they choose an educational programme in the future. Cirkus Naturligvis teaches about 11,000 pupils annually.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded DKK 3.7 million to Cirkus Naturligvis to expand the programme’s activities, including visiting schools and developing web-based material to be used in schools across Denmark.
Cirkus Naturligvis is part of the SCIENCE educational services division of the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.
Dagnia Looms, Head of Strategic Awards of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, says:
“Young people today have many educational options. If they are thinking of choosing the natural sciences, their interest should be piqued early. In awarding the grant to Cirkus Naturligvis, the Novo Nordisk Foundation wants to play its part in creating a sense of wonder, fascination and greater interest among pupils, thereby stimulating them in the long term to choose a career in the natural sciences.