The joy that I, as physics teacher in the elementary school "Djura Jaksic" in Ćuprija, recognized in classes when the classes were realized in the nearby Moravian park, encouraged me to analyze the advantages of such classes. Physics classes in any park are turned into nature tests, especially when they assume pre-well-designed activities. Thus, using slides as steep slopes, swings as pendulums, climbers as lugs, my students engrossed in tasks created a picture of a future school yard.
When in Niš, in March 2016, in the Regional Center for Educational Employees, within the forum the Best Educators of Serbia, shortly after the awarding of the "Živojin Mišić" Association, it was necessary to present the practice that contributed to the status of the best, I decided to talk about it which were the initial steps in the teaching of physics in my classroom, set according to certain goals, and which were the paths to the goals. The image of the students decorating the Christmas tree with symbols of physical sizes and units, according to the appropriate rules, color and shape alignment, as an illustration of stimulating motivation for work, and pictures from the awarding of awards to the best competitors in the National Assembly, represented the brackets between which the function of teaching was written. In such a presentation of my work, probably with a special emotion, I spoke about the lessons that came out of the classroom and the manifestations that arose from them. After the tribune, I was invited to join the project as a co-author and to have a Knowledge Park in Niš, according to the NIS Community Contest.
In April 2017, the Knowledge Park was opened in Niš, a kind of classroom in the open air.
In the yard of the Regional Center for Professional Development of Educational Staff, today there are educational installations called Archimed's Notebook, Pascal's Throne, Galileo Pendulum, Farade's Magnetic Tunnel, SI Schools, and the track with number π.
Involvement in the understanding of the importance of science and the history of science, meant choosing future installations and defining functions of the same. Starting from the importance of the existence of tasks that can be performed without the presence of teachers, the imperative has become interactive visit to the park. For this reason, each installation contains written tasks to be performed and points to certain discoveries.
Installation “Be Galileo” enables the application of two very important elements of scientific discoveries, observations of phenomena, and measurements of certain sizes. Visitors to the Park are therefore instructed to check whether there are differences in the oscillation of the curvature of equal lengths with balls of equal masses, and whether the change in the length of the pendulum influences the oscillation period. Conclusions can be obtained by observation, but also by an experiment involving certain measurements, on the basis of which further gravitational acceleration values can be obtained at a given site. Educational installation Galileo's vest is accompanied by the info board of Galileo, in which, besides the scientific biography of scientists, photographs of important contributions to science are shown. Also, with the photograph of the scientist, there is a saying that in the history of science, Galileo is unique.
Pascal's trench is enabled to study the pressure of solid bodies, that is, to establish a reciprocal pressure dependence on the size of the touch surface, in a way that involves the courage of sitting on a stool with a nail (facing up to a brave visitor). The information board on Pascal's scientific work is conceived as the Galileo board. Park visitors can be rounded up by discovering the correctness in Pascal's triangle.
SI school is a game in a parter, where you can check the knowledge of the basic physical size and their units in a fun way. The setting consists of two fields, one with seven basic physical sizes, and the other with units of basic physical sizes. One of the games involves two competitors who need to board the board with the appropriate mark on the command of the instructor who pronounces the name of the size or unit.
The visitor from the installation to the installation can cross the path, which in itself represents the installation because the number π with 147 decimals is written along it.
As it always happens, being overwhelmed by an idea, man creates another thousand. While this idea awaits a certain maturation, in the Knowledge Park in Niš, during April and May, classes of different subjects are already being realized. Time is not only realized by the authors of installations, but by teachers who recognize the potential of space.
A park intended for students, teachers, and all citizens of Niš begins to live its mission. A few days ago a couple of installations were announced.And what exactly does it mean to me? When I was rewarded as the best educator in reviewing my work, I encountered unfulfilled tasks, some emotionally equivalent to the desires. The courtyard of the school without the educational installations I imagined, the moment I finished my career at school, reminded me of an uncompleted task. Today I testify to the life of the Knowledge Park, with a larger scope of students than originally given. My view of the Park revives the feeling and obligation "to be the best educator".