Xplore Health is a European educational programme offering participative multimedia and hands-on resources with the aim of decreasing the gap between health research and education. The programme promotes inquiry-based science education (IBSE) and student interaction with different social actors so that students may become active citizens who promote RRI in the knowledge society. It is run through the internet, schools, research centres and science museums.
Through innovative multimedia tools and a teacher training programme, Xplore Health aims to bridge the gap between research and education, inspire future researchers, promote scientific literacy and stimulate dialogue that contributes to RRI in healthcare.
The project promotes the inclusion of a diversity of topics, including scientific, ethical, legal and social aspects. Videos, virtual experiments and games are gender balanced. Students are invited to reflect on implementation of RDI results and are then encouraged to contact policymakers, journalists, and the like to suggest improvements. Research and industry experts are interviewed during the exploration phase before students can start contacting other stakeholders.
The website is open to all stakeholders, but it is specifically aimed at and tailored to secondary school students. Xplore Health believes that students themselves can contribute much to openness and transparency; if they are trained to reflect, they can share both scientific and reflexive capital with their communities.
Most of the worksheets on the website invite students to finalise their learning experience by creating a product (e.g., letter, exhibition, communication campaign, community intervention) that is shared with pertinent stakeholders. The changes implemented within these stakeholders’ structures and systems have not been analysed. In response to student topic choices, Xplore Health is adapting by beginning collaborations with different stakeholders; it is also facilitating the application of RDI methodological changes based on student input.
Currently the three clusters of pilot schools located in three areas in Spain are working on projects to implement RRI in schools. During 2014 Xplore Health has doubled traffic to the website (5.000 students visit the portal every month).
Xplore Health showcases an innovative educational infrastructure that helps future generations of R&I-related professionals to learn and apply RRI skills today, while inspiring current R&I professionals to join them.