Welcome to SIMPLE,
many international reports (e.g. Science Education in Europe: National Policies, Practices and Research – Eurydice – 2011) identify the potential shortage of human resources in key scientific professions and call for modernising science teaching in school. There is a generalized need for modern societies to have more and more people specialized in scientific subjects, and on the contrary a little number of students who choose scientific subjects in secondary school or at university, together with a high number of students who have difficulties in scientific subjects and drop them in the course of their studies. How is it possible to raise the motivation of pupils, to increase their interest in science, and at the same time, to increase attainment levels? This is the common objective that the schools of our project have set for themselves. Then, of course, every school has different specific needs and also different skills that can be used to tackle the problem, so we can learn from each other. Due to different school- systems, we focus on different ways of learning. The aim is to find out, by comparing and evaluating the methods of the other schools, a new and better way to motivate the students especially for natural sciences and to enhance the knowledge of basic skills. The objective of our project is to increase interest in natural science among students of secondary schools, so that we can ultimately achieve for them a high degree of independence in learning it. Our target groups are mainly students aged 13-18, and specifically those aged 15-16.
The project should be carried out transnationally firstly because secondary schools in different countries have various ways of fostering the study of science, therefore every country can learn from other countries and find new ways to reach the final objective; then because trying to achieve this objective through the cooperation with other European countries will imply the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), and the use of Foreign Languages and CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) methodology, therefore reinforcing also these other fundamental key competences.
In practice we want to focus on the one hand on observation and analysis first concerning the teaching methods, but on the other hand we already have ideas for pratical work with students. Through the different tasks they will be asked to achieve, the students will take initiative, develop an enterprising mind, and learn to work with European partners. The teachers will analyse their own teaching methods and they will be in contact with other science-teachers and have the possibility to learn from each other.
Our project is divided in four parts. Two parts address mainly students (No 1 & 3), one part addresses teachers (No 4) and one part addresses students and teachers (No 2). We focus on activating students and on leading teachers to review their teaching methods.
1.1. national part I: The students find a subject of research, invent an experiment, realize it, evaluate it and present it on a poster
1.2. national part II: The best students take part in the “google Science Fair” on the Internet.
1.3. international part I: The students adapt the poster into English and make of it a presentation for the other schools
1.4. international part II: The students present their posters to the other nations of the project and a winner is selected.
2.1 in every partner school, the students make videos to explain something they have been working on
2.2 these videos are used by the students in the partners schools to work on something new. In other words, the students teach their partners (simple) things they have just been taught .
3.1 During the meetings and also during the exchanges the students follow workshops with a scientific subject. The workshop should be done in a specific place and concerning a specific subject what would not be possible in the mother-country.
Visits of companies/enterprises/laboratories that are typical in the area but not common for the other countries are arranged. The aim is to open the mind for new ideas of application of science in the professions.
3.2 students visit companies in their own country to have an idea of using science-knowldge in professions (all countries)
4.1 Questionnaires are formulated and given to the students to evaluate their motivation in science at the beginning of the project and to understand about their difficulties in the subject from their point of view;
4.2 During the meetings or during the exchanges teachers of the different countries participate in science lessons with the aim to compare, discuss and evaluate the different teaching methods. For a better evaluation we use an evaluation sheet created during the first meeting.
4.3 Questionnaires are given to the students again, to verify the effectiveness of the activities on students' motivation and their attainment levels;
4.4 Videos of the most effective activities and methods are collected in teaching kits for further use and dissemination.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commision. This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author, and the Commision cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.