Partner 4 Nicolaus Copernicus University (UT)


UT due to the close collaboration with science teachers has developed 5 case studies. All these case studies are concerned with optics issues. We have conentrated mainly on the most important events from history of optics (which are not so well known by society), but are very important for deeper understanding of some physics and astronomy concepts and their applications. Furthermore, introducing of the historical elements aims to encourage students to learn "from bases", stretching to the beginning, the first things, the basic concepts and definitions. We think that only then knowledge of students will be complete and reliable.
We have selected the following topics:

Case Study 1. Witelo's studies on rectilinear propagation of light.
Fundamental lesson on this topic can be divided into two parts:
the first - in which using replica of Vitelo equipment and today known methods we evidence the rectilinear propagation
of light, the second - during which students are acquainted and also “play” with the consequences of such phenomenon.
Description of Case study Polish
Scenario of lesson Polish Polish1
Questionnaire analysis Polish

Case Study 2. The contribution of Nicolaus Copernicus observations to the reform of calendar.
In this Case Study students have opportunity to repeat the observations of the famous, born in Torun astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus and by the way to learn about gnomonic reflection method used for construction of sun astronomical table. By performing this experiment students are gaining the interdisciplinary knowledge from physics and astronomy, history, philosphy and geography.
Description of Case study Polish
Scenario of lesson 1 Polish
Scenario of lesson 2 polish

Case Study 3. Telescope at school, that is as to be Galileo...
Proposition of this lesson is based on real historical astronomical instrument - Galileo optical telescope, reconstructed by us and also placed at the interactive exhibition on: "FIAT LUX - from Vitelo to optical tomography". Lesson is aimed at knowing by students how refractors and reflectors are operating and what kind of images they can generate.
Description of Case study Polish
Scenario of lesson Polish Polish1

Case Study 4. The glasses as a simple optical instruments or from what it started...
As an motivating mean an excerpt of movie "The name of Rose" , based on novel of U. Eco was used in this lesson. It raised the question: "Is the story you have seen in the movie fictious or has real historical basis?" and provoked lively discussion. Furthermore,
after this lesson students should know and apply the concept of focus, the focusing ability, and the lens focal length as well as understand what kind of corrective glasses should be used by People with seeing defects.
Description of Case study Polish
Scenario of lesson Polish
Questionnaire analysis Polish


Case Study 5. Optical microscopes since the first to the contemporary one.
This lesson focuses on the development of ideas connected with the use of lens, construction of first microscopes, microscope's magnification. At the lesson the following methods were used: multimedia presentation, completing of worksheets and real microscope's observations of different objects.
Description of Case study Polish
Scenario of lesson Polish
Questionnaire analysis Polish

Selected publications:

J.Turło, G.Karwasz, K.Służewski, A.Karbowski, K.Przegiętka, INTRODUCTION OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE ELEMENTS FOR CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT, 7th IOSTE Symposium for Central and Estern Europe, Proc. 2009, pp. 165-171.

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