“Agencia de Nanocrític@s vs Fake News II”
To train participants in the search for solutions developed by their own means, enabling them to think critically and be able to make better decisions; this is the main purpose of the project “Agencia de Nanocrític@s vs Fake News II“, aimed at students of Pre-school, Special Education, Primary, Secondary and Baccalaureate in Aragon. The main novelties this year include the creation of a story and an open access teaching guide for each educational level, the introduction of two types of “Nanocrític@ Detector” competition and a monthly section in social networks under the name “Atomic Fake News Agency”.
Funded by the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT) – Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación y el Instituto de Nanociencia y Materiales de Aragón (INMA), CSIC-UNIZAR, the initiative seeks to introduce the necessary didactic elements to continue innovating through the renewal of attractive and updated formats. The ultimate aim is to maintain the interest of the target public in this activity and to pay special attention to the adaptation of some of the resources generated for Special Education.
After the success achieved by “Agencia de Nanocrític@s” and “Agencia de Nanocrític@s vs Fake News”, this new edition will once again include workshops in both face-to-face and digital formats. They are 100% practical and the students take responsibility for solving the problem proposed to them. Participants learn the methodology by applying it to solve a situation by their own means, thus fostering their intellectual autonomy. The contents are adapted to the educational levels and the contextual topics have been specially designed to capture the attention of the target audience.
In this sense, the theme for Infant, Primary and Special Education is called “Dinosaurs and nanotechnology”. Students have to find out how and why the Earth is populated by dinosaurs overnight, and what to do to survive by applying the steps of decision-making and evidence-based enquiry. Meanwhile, for Secondary and Baccalaureate the theme is called “Space travel and nanotechnology”. In this case, young people must apply critical thinking and evidence-based enquiry to survive on Mars and make it back to Earth.
This project includes several didactic tools that optimise and reinforce the learning process. For example, to help participants in the initial stage, the works presented in the previous edition are made available to them. In addition, the digital and printable story is intended to help students learn how to detect dubious facts, contrast them and search for their own information.
On the other hand, the “Detector Nanocrític@” competition seeks to assess the skills acquired by students through a challenge. Likewise, the “Agencia de Fake News Atómicas” is a space for reflection and collaborative opinion in order to promote the creation of a network of students and their own information in order to encourage the creation of an open access network of people and educational centres interested in the topics exposed through social networks.
Finally, the didactic guide (adapted to each educational level) for teachers to promote critical thinking in the classroom contains a presentation that introduces the project and justifies its importance, basic concepts of nanotechnology, considerations to the experiments, learning activities to promote critical thinking and tips with recommendations to promote it in the classroom.