T-expeditions as New Complex Activities for Gifted in Talnet Paper
Author(s): Stanislav Zelenda, (NIDV, Czech Republic)
A family of online/blended long or short-term activities for gifted pupils (age 13-19) interested in STEM offered in Talnet (Czech project for GE) organically expanded from the simplest online supported field trips (T-excursions), 4-8 months lasting online courses, and team physics research activities supported online by adding new T-expeditions.
T-expeditions are designed for teams (pupils as researchers and guarantors) to prepare and carry out a week multidisciplinary research expedition in the field. The expedition should bring results and outputs worthy of continuing research and interesting not only to the team but also to the local or regional bodies (e.g. a community, a museum, a school, a company). The T-expedition is prepared for a year online by pupils with some methodological help of an instructor. Researchers and guarantors suggest, discuss and specify problems, set up research tasks, design methods, invite subject experts and other researchers. The activities of pupils and their readiness to take their appropriate role in the research expedition team are stimulated by imposing a structure of assignments. It consists of problem related to factual and procedural knowledge, specific (research, inquiry) and general methodological knowledge and special assignments for guarantors. Namely the latter stimulate creativity and multi-perspective thinking of pupils.
The results from recent years “T-Expedition Yew-tree” into the region of reserved natural areas with world known paleobotany fossils (e.g. a Lepidopholios Acerosus of 3 m height) near a small town Radnice illustrate possibilities of these type of activities in cooperation on local – nation level of gifted education (pupils and mentors) and might inspire an international cooperation in GE.