EIROforum European Science Teachers Initiative
A network for teachers engaged in "Science on Stage", developing teacher courses and promoting science-school collaboration.
The EIROforum European Science Teachers Initiative (ESTI) was an integrated programme of major events, training courses and other support designed to:
- improve science teaching in schools throughout Europe
- establish links between research and education
- create novel educational resources
- make science more attractive to students.
The main idea behind ESTI was to continue the national and international Science on Stage teaching festivals and integrate them into a broader programme. The activities carried out included:
- laboratory courses for teachers
- placements and summer schools for teachers
- ask-an-expert service
- science ambassadorships to give students direct contact with inspiring young role models.
ESTI also started publishing a European science teaching journal, "Science in School", promoting and disseminating good teaching practice and informing about the latest developments in science.
Country: France, Germany, Switzerland
Coordinator: European Space Agency, www.esa.int
Target groups: education authorities, researchers, teachers, trainee teachers, university students
Topic: Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Nuclear technology, Physics, Education
Start year: 2004
End year: 2008
Contact person: Francesco Emma, European Space Agency, The Netherlands, Francesco.Emma (at) esa.int
ESTI created new mechanisms to involve researchers directly in education programmes, giving the next generation of scientists practical skills in teaching and communication.
ESTI was a part of (EIROforum) in support of the aims of the European Research Area and comprised three main activities:
- the execution of two international "Science on Stage" science teaching festivals, with associated national and international activities, covering approximately 30 countries;
- the establishment of the European "Science in School" science education journal, published on a quarterly basis;
- the development of educational resources related to modern biology under the Volvox project.
The Science on Stage programme offers European teachers the chance to exchange successful and innovative teaching methods and materials. It is directed towards science teachers and students in Europe's secondary schools.
The project addresses the content and format of science teaching in European schools, seeking to improve the quality of teaching and to find new ways to stimulate pupils to take an interest in science.
Two series of national and international events for science teachers took place under the title "Science on Stage". The first international festival took place on 21-25 November 2005 at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland and the second on 2-6 April 2007 in Grenoble, France.
The participants in the festivals were selected through national competitions and events in 29 European countries, during which many thousands of science teachers and school pupils exchanged their ideas and demonstrated their projects. The most inspiring contributions were selected and sponsored to attend the international festivals, bringing together 450 science teachers and education professionals and around 50 scientists from the EIROforum institutions.
The European journal "Science in School" (www.scienceinschool.org) features news about the latest scientific discoveries, important science topics, teaching materials, projects, interviews with inspiring teachers and scientists, and many other useful resources for science teachers. It is published quarterly and it is freely available online; 5000 print copies of each issue are distributed across Europe at no cost to the recipients.