It seems easy to float, but is it really? Α Teaching unit for buoyancy
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The teachers’ prior practice indicates that the conceptual understanding of buoyancy among lower secondary school students is often deficient. Therefore we introduced a new teaching sequence in which students are actively involved and they experience a cognitive conflict. Pre-test analysis shows that students are acquainted with the definition of buoyancy, but their understanding of the phenomenon is rather weak. To expand their conceptual understanding, we designed the activities in such way that students experience buoyancy as a relevant concept for daily life. The proposed student activities are based on team work, hands-on experiments and discussions. The aim of the new approach is to gradually expand students’ understanding of buoyancy based on their intuitive notions and pre-knowledge. This context-based approach aims to bring the students’ learning closer to their own experiences and share characteristics that make the learning of physics more meaningful. The results of the new approach are evaluated by semi-structured interview.