Robot master class

29 March 2018

March 17 and 22, 2018 first- and second-year students of the Faculty of Physics became the members of the “international” teams of bio-physicists, eco-physicists and theoretical physicists. They created robots that would help to save our earth affected by disastrous human activity. Within an hour, young scientists gave their robots superpowers based on the foremost past and present achievements of physicists and were debating the relevance of different physics theories.

The workshop was held within the framework of the project "Foreign language competence development of TSU students". The participants were to speak English during their discussions and robot presentations. Preparation of materials and groups' pre-training were carried out by the English language teachers of the Faculty of Foreign Languages (Olga V. Nagel, Irina G. Temnikova, Zoya N. Levashkina, Yan R. Chemezov, Alexandra S. Nabiullina). Before this workshop the students had been working on their presentation skills and learning to present the information about well-known scientists and their inventions.

The workshop motto was "Saving earth is the first and foremost responsibility of each physicist, just do it!" The teachers used Storyline method that helps to develop the students' communicative competence. This method enables students to practice communicative skills in non-standard environment where there is no teacher in the traditional sense, but a language assistant. The classroom turns into a creative laboratory and students feel as if they were the part of thinking organism. It stimulates their participating in communication and willingness to support their team. It is a win-win cooperation and there are satisfied students who overcome their fears to speak English.

Dmitry A. Bezrodny, vice dean for academic affairs, who has been contributing to the realization of this project at the Faculty of Physics for a number of years, was an expert at the workshop.

Feedback from students:

Kostya Mazin (05722): The activity was pretty exciting but partly horrifying (for me). But taking into account the experience I’ve got, this is not useless but helpful.

Alexey Nekhoroshev (05722): It was interesting to cooperate with new people. But there was not enough time for me to complete the task with good quality.

Alisa Samarinova (05722): We had a very non-standard, interesting and original lesson. It was so unusual to work in stressful situation in cooperation with other groups.

Anna Lapshina (05742): Firstly, that challenge showed our hidden talents. For example, Ivan was pretty initiative and I had never seen Gleb talking so fluently. Challenge made us do our best. Secondly, tasks were really inspiring and a bit childish. That's what I like most about the activity. We practiced with fun! And the last point is organization: it seems to be perfect.

Tatiana Nazarova (05741): We had an interesting class. It was difficult to speak only in English but it was very good practice for us. I enjoyed it.

Dmitry Zubar (05741): We had a creative class. It was interesting to practice English in real situations. I learnt some new words so the class was useful for me.

Tretjakov Akim (05622): This event was the first of its kind. I remember it because we had to make a poster and speak up on the go. The topics, which we discussed, gave us a field for imagination and thinking. Such events test the knowledge of the language under stress. I hope that this event will be organized again in future.