Nets-EU: network to improve non-formal science teaching in Europe
NetS-EU (2010-2013) aims to collect, elaborate, diffuse and exploit ways of applying non-formal methods and the inquiry-based learning approach to science education at school.
The aim of the NetS-EU project is to build a network to share and exchange information, innovative tools and experiences on non-formal learning methods in science, with a particular focus on the inquiry-based learning approach.
The network consists of science centres and research and training centres promoting science careers; its objectives are:
- to explore possible ways to make science and technology studies more attractive to students;
- to provide teachers and students with information on STEM studies and careers;
- to produce three annual reports on the state-of-the-art in non-formal science learning methods in Europe
- to help to reduce the gender imbalance in science education and careers
The main networking platform is the Nets-EU community website, which facilitates discussion and information exchange; it is open to anyone interested in science education. However, the project also organises three international conferences (2011: Italy, Naples; 2012: Portugal, Lisbon; 2013: Belgium, Brussels) and several teacher workshops in the participating countries.
Country: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia
Coordinator: Fondazione Idis-Città della Scienza, Naples, Italy, www.cittadellascienza.it
Target groups: primary school students, researchers, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, university lecturers, vocational school students
Topic: Education, Other
Start year: 2010
End year: 2013
Contact person: Alessandra Drioli, drioli (at) cittadellascienza.it, Fondazione Idis-Città della Scienza, Naples, Italy
The project reviewed and collected best practices examples in non-formal and inquiry-based science education (IBSE), and the best resources available online. The selection criteria for the resources were:
- Accurate and balanced scientific information
- Appropriate message and content
- Non-formal and IBSE approach
- Content in English
Research activity also included a questionnaire survey among teachers and experts from the partner countries. The initial aim of the survey of teachers is to gain more information about:
- Teachers' general perception about formal, non-formal and informal education concepts and the inquiry-based learning approach.
- The methodologies most frequently used by teachers in the classroom.
- Teachers' main training needs.
The teacher workshops organised by the project aim to work as multiplier training sessions for teachers and teacher trainers on inquiry-based science education. The methodology of the workshops is focused on the use of the science content as a vehicle to develop skills in information processing and problem solving.