Italian through Science and Technology

If you teach Italian and you love science and technology, or you teach science and technology and love Italian, join us Friday April 29, 12-4pm, to discover how you can use science and technology in your Italian classroom or introduce elements of Italian in your science and technology classroom.


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Variations on Leonardo's Vitruvian Man (Perfecto e virtuale l’uomo vitruviano di Leonardo,


This seminar is offered to K-12 teachers in existing Italian programs as well as to individuals and schools that may be interested in establishing a new Italian program. It will lead K-12 teachers on an exploration of the use of science and technology a) to introduce students to the study of the Italian language and culture; b) to introduce or reinforce specific grammar structures, communicative situations, and cultural themes, with work aimed at developing all four language skills – listening, speaking, reading, writing - at different levels. The seminar provides Act 48 credits in Pennsylvania.

The seminar is structured in a series of presentation by experienced University of Pennsylvania faculty and invited speakers, followed by a workshop that will offer the opportunity for small group brainstorming and to create activities at different grade levels. A light lunch will be served during the presentations.


Click here for the REGISTRATION form to be returned by April 25 via e-mail,, or by post to 


Center for Italian Studies at UPenn

Williams Hall 549

255 S. 36th Street

19104-6305Philadelphia, PA



12:00  General Introductions


12:15  New Tools: Language MOOCS - Ed Dixon, University of Pennsylvania


12:45  Clamor to the Cloud: Make the Internet your Playground for Multi-sensory Language Learning - Jesse Berg, Visual Leap

 In this session we will explore approaches to multi-sensory language learning in the second language classroom using Internet based tools.  From reading comprehension to speaking and listening to subject matter area literacy, participants will gain practical ways to increase in all domains of language learning. In this session we will explore practical and engaging ways to delve into the 4Cs of education: critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity.


1:15  Bring Your Own Dispositivo: Web Apps for the Language Classroom - Aaron Gutter, Conestoga High School

With more and more schools adopting 1-to-1 device initiatives, distance learning, and flipped classrooms, the pressure to adapt to tech culture is building fast. While language teachers do not want to find themselves losing the human connection that is so critical in language instruction, the times demand the development of tech-savvy teachers who are open to using technology in instruction.

 This “apps-on” presentation puts you in charge of navigating the world of web apps that support, challenge and entertain learners in while maintaining rigor. In this presentation, we will test drive some recent apps that can dramatically change your instruction and engage learners in unique ways. Participants should bring a device to play along.


1:45  Alla ricerca delle ricerche: Discovering Italian Science and Technology - Lillyrose Veneziano Broccia, University of Pennsylvania

How can we help our students discover that Italy is home not only to culinary, musical, and artistic treasures – but that it is also a cradle for developments that are not traditionally numbered among its contributions to the world?  This presentation will offer examples of how to introduce students of Italian Language and Culture to the wealth of scientific and technological advances pioneered by Italians.  It will offer ideas for meaningful learning objectives; step-by-step lesson planning strategies; interactive task-based activities; research prompts; and preliminary outcomes.

2:15  Comparing American and Venetian Ingenuity in Battling the Forces of Nature: A Case Study of New Orleans and Venice in the Intermediate Italian Classroom - Helen McFie Simone, University of Pennsylvania

Venice and New Orleans are well acquainted with the problem of flooding.  A study of the power of water and the technology used in both cities to battle the surges of water and keep the city residents safe is the aim of this class project.

Students of an intensive intermediate course in Italian offered in the Penn in Venice program, live the life of a Venetian for six weeks of the summer and can see first-hand how the phenomenon of “acqua alta” has informed the way Venetians go about their daily lives.  Using information from the Commune of Venice website and an Italian blog on the city of New Orleans, students learn about the building of both cities, as well as the ongoing MOSE Project meant to keep Venice safe from the raging waters of exceptional high tides in the Adriatic. This technology is then compared to the levees used to protect New Orleans, with special focus on the catastrophic flooding of the city in 2005. 

2:45  Coffee break


3:00  Brainstorming workshop


Parking around Penn: click here for parking availability


This seminar is sponsored by a grant from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia


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29 April 2016
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Cherpack Seminar Room, 543 Williams Hall - 255 S. 36th St. Philadelphia
Science Technology Registration.pdf180.35 KB