A weekend workshop for teachers demonstrates innovation in science education

Science teachers must every so often be ready to prepare lessons for many different subjects. The 15th Science Projects Workshop in the Future Classroom Lab (SPW15), held from 23 to 25 June 2017, provided teachers with training in a great range of science subjects.

Representatives of Ice Cubes Services, a new project funded by the Horizon 2020 framework of the European Union for research and innovation, showed teachers at the workshop how their students could create experiments to be taken up to the International Space Station (ISS) and operated there!

Agata Goździk demonstrated how teachers could make use of the new tools developed by the Edu-Arctic project, also funded by Horizon 2020. This includes online lessons about the Arctic, a Polarpedia, an environmental monitoring system for schools and competitions for students.

Isabella van de Velde, of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, explained how awareness about biodiversity can be increased, as part of the Erasmus+ funded BIOTALENT project. Shockingly, it is estimated that only 25% of teachers in Belgium can explain greenhouse effects. This is why BIOTALENT's consortium is creating a new multilingual e-learning pilot course.

Last, but not least, the teachers were introduced to OpenSKIMR, an EU-funded pilot project in the field of online learning and skills, where a useful algorithm is under construction to help learners assess their skills sets and create their own study and career paths.

Overall, SPW15, co-organised by the Scientix and Amgen Teach projects, proved to be a very successful workshop that brought 57 people from 17 countries together in Brussels, Belgium, for a full weekend dedicated to STEM education, discussions and fun collaborative activities! This included winners and runners-up of the STEM Discovery Week and Amgen Teach competitions.