The EDU-ARCTIC project: Interacting for STEM across countries and curricula

Aspholm, Paul Eric and Gómez, Francisco José and Wam, Hilde Karine and Goździk, Agata (2019) The EDU-ARCTIC project: Interacting for STEM across countries and curricula. In: Proceedings INTED2019 conference Valencia, Spain, 11-13 March 2019, Valencia, Spain.

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EDU-ARCTIC is an open-schooling project, funded by the EU for the years 2016-2019 and managed by scientists, nature educators and computer–technologists. The main aim is to attract young people (13- 20 years old) to the natural sciences. Further, to raise awareness of how everything in nature is connected, and that STEM education therefore in part must be interdisciplinary across normal school curricula. To achieve these goals, EDU-ARCTIC uses innovative online and freely accessible tools, combined with nature expeditions. Four main modules complement each other, but can also be used independently: 1) Webinars, during which scientists conduct online lessons about their own field of expertise. The lessons come as packages with worksheets and online games. The lessons bring youth close to scientists. They can ask questions about research and conditions of scientific works. It is also a valuable tool for teachers to brush up their STEM knowledge and get inspiration for their own teaching. 2) Polarpedia, which is an online encyclopedia of scientific terms used in the webinars. The science is kept easy-to-grasp, with the aim to stimulate the pupils’ curiosity to look for more information. 3) Monitoring system, which uses citizen science and the project’s own app to record observations of meteorology and phenology. Observations are open for everybody to use in their own teachings. 4) Arctic Competitions, which is the module that has engaged the pupils the most. They submit their idea for a science project in winter, work with the project over a few months and present it in spring as an essay, a poster or a video. Teachers come up with innovative ways to fit this work into the normal curricula. A few lucky winners get to join scientists on expeditions to polar research stations. After 2.5 years, EDU-ARCTIC has engaged more than 1100 teachers and educators from 58 countries. There is a language barrier for some teachers, and it is difficult to fit webinars into the school timetable. However, the challenges are minor compared to the interdisciplinary success of having teachers meet across countries and curricula. Here we illustrate this in detail by presenting a way of interdisciplinary teaching (“the beauty of poetry and maths”) developed by one of the teachers in the project, Mr. Francisco José Gómez Senent. Starting from a single poem published in Nature, it innovatively combines mathematics, literature, history and linguistic competences. The teacher originally used it to stimulate curiosity about the aesthetic criterion in science. Science is not only about facts! The approach can be generalized to cover a wide range of curricula, and different teachers can use it in a team effort across classes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
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    Subjects: Research and Education > Institutions
    Research and Education > Projects
    Research and Education > Universities
    Organizations: Europian Union
    Date Deposited: 02 May 2019 09:09

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