Cosmos: An Advanced Scientific Repository for Science Teaching and Learning

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The COSMOS project aimed to give students more challenging and authentic learning experiences by creating a new experimental science laboratory and expanding the existing teaching resources.

The main objectives of the COSMOS project were:

  • To develop a user-friendly online repository of both scientific and educational resources by unifying some existing educational tools and on-line materials for science teaching (Discovery Space Portal, and the educational repository of the Schools Observatory Project).
  • To complement a set of tools (COSMOS Toolbox) for enriching educational content with relevant metadata and for designing new learning activities.
  • The development and validation of a series of innovative educational scenarios for the use of the digital resources.
  • To test the COSMOS Portal service in real-world environments throughout Europe at secondary school and university level.
  • To formulate a recommendation for a European Quality Certification for Science Education Content.
  • To contribute to the development of a new generation of citizens who are scientifically literate and thus better prepared to function in a world that is increasingly influenced by science and technology.

Basic information

Country: Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Sweden, United Kingdom

Coordinator: Q-Plan, Greece, www.qplan.gr

Programme: Other

Project Acronym:

Target groups: college students, education authorities, general public, researchers, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, university students, university lecturers, youth clubs

Topic: Astronomy, Applied sciences, Chemistry, Earth science, Maths, Technology, Education

Start year: 2007

End year: 2009

Url: http://www.cosmosportal.eu

Contact person: Menelaos Sotiriou, info (at) scienceview.gr

The COSMOS project started with an analysis of requirements and user needs, moving on to the development of a pedagogical framework that guided the pilots in real environments throughout Europe, and was completed with the implementation of the systematic evaluation and validation methodology.

The main outcomes of this work are the COSMOS Tool-Box and the Roadmap for the implementation of a pan-European educational service, which includes recommendations for European Quality Certification of science education content.

The COSMOS project provides materials both for secondary and university level science teaching. The COSMOS Portal contains educational material in the form of educational content (photos, videos, animations, exercises, graphs, links) and learning activities (structured lesson plans organized according to specific pedagogical models complying with the IMS Learning Design specification).

  • Secondary education: educational materials are easily accessible for creative, hands-on interactive science lessons to meet the needs of school curricula. These are suitable for small-group collaborations and include automated image acquisition service and/or observatory control as required to complete the lessons, plus the use of copyright material on our project’s portal.

 

  • Universities: The databases of the observatories of the COSMOS network can be used to improve the quality of science instruction at university level, while offering students the opportunity to realize their own projects and carry out independent scientific research. Students of astronomy (or related fields) can use COSMOS services to learn practical astronomy laboratory techniques and research astronomy courses. Essentially optical observational techniques can be taught.

 

Users can search for the educational materials in the "Explore COSMOS" section or upload their own materials to the COSMOS Repository, using the "Share your Content" tool.

The "Go Observing" section offers an opportunity to create and develop new content based on astronomical observations that could be realized through the network of the COSMOS robotic telescopes.

Through the Mobile COSMOS service the COSMOS Educational Content is also available for mobile phones (see http://www.cosmosportal.eu/cosmos/node/14461).

The COSMOS planetarium and the COSMOS Repository can be experienced in a realistic context through the COSMOS Camp in Second Life. At http://secondlife.com/support/downloads.php you can download and install Second Life Viewer which is used for entering COSMOS Camp in Second Life http://bit.ly/Cosmos

 

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