Science education plays an important role in motivating and encouraging young people to pursue science careers. We all want more young people to aspire to a career in science, and to be able to think scientifically in their everyday life. Yet the traditional curriculum results in too many students thinking that ‘science is not for me’.
What can we do?
According to recent research, these students lack ‘science capital’, especially those from disadvantaged groups. They may not see themselves as future scientists due to:
Low cultural familiarity with science
Lack of role models
Limited opportunities to participate in science outside formal education
The solution is to add more opportunities into the curriculum for these students to see what scientists do, to talk science with their families, and to appreciate the impact of science on the world.
This is where CONNECT comes in: the project supports secondary schools to adopt open schooling, integrating science-action in the core-curriculum and using participatory-science with the community: families, universities, and enterprises.
CONNECT will provide useful and interesting add-ons to existing units that tick many curriculum boxes and are easy for teachers to use:
Future-oriented support from a scientist
Engaging family activities
Fun tasks to apply science ideas
Inclusive strategies for teaching skills
CONNECT's main pillars:
OPEN SCHOOLING enables schools to create a flexible and inclusive learning environment inspiring the students to explore the world through science.
SCIENCE-ACTION encourages students to learn and use scientific knowledge, skills, and attitudes to benefit their lives, their community, and society.
PARTICIPATORY SCIENCE increases students’ interest in science through engaging families, universities, and enterprises to be part of school-life activities.
CONNECT targets secondary schools and teachers offering an inclusive and sustainable model to increase students’ confidence towards using science, bringing them together with science professionals and engaging family members to improve their attitudes towards science careers. In other words, installing the conviction that “science is for me”.
CONNECT will facilitate partnership interactions in Europe, Africa, and South America, for productive learning linked to R&I, maximising the value of partnerships, and making science careers more inclusive for disadvantaged learners by creating:
a structured partnership system to give partners a step-by-step process to follow, with induction and coaching
a partners-projects database to provide participants with information and best practice guidance about partnership options
a Care-Know-Do framework for embedding a science-action within a science topics
Customizable project resources about future-orientated scenarios
Partnership policies for schools, universities and enterprises.
Catalogue of inspiring resources - a catalogue of open schooling and stakeholders’ engagement approaches that can be implemented in the design of educational materials. The 32 inspiring resources included in this catalogue exemplify approaches to innovate in STEAM education with open schooling resources that have been selected according to a set of previously defined inclusion criteria.