CIAAU: Chemistry Is All Around Us


CIAAU analyses and compares strategies for communicating chemistry and develops educational materials for learning and teaching chemistry at all educational levels.

The overall objective of the CIAAU project is to stimulate interest and enhance learning of Chemistry both in primary and secondary education and lifelong learning.

The initial stage of the project focused on analysis of strategies for promoting Chemistry in six participating countries to identify barriers and success factors in lifelong learning of Chemistry-related subjects. Building on the results of the analysis, the project partners developed a European strategy for communicating Chemistry and promoting learning and teaching Chemistry at schools. In the final stage, the project produced pilot educational and training materials for interactive, inquiry-based learning of Chemistry.

Drawing on these data and results, the follow-up project “CIAAU NETWORK” aims to create a networking and knowledge-sharing platform among the project partners  – educational institutions in eleven  European countries. Discussing and sharing of experiences gained at national level, the project partners will address the main factors affecting young people’s interests in Chemistry, difficulties faced by chemistry teachers and strategies and learning resources for innovative, inquiry-based methods of teaching chemistry.

The networking activities include primary and secondary schools and teachers as well as researchers and education experts.

Two international conferences are foreseen to support the community and discuss the preliminary results.

Basic information

Country: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey

Coordinator: Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy,


Programme: LLP

Project Acronym:

Target groups: education authorities, policy makers, primary school students, researchers, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, vocational school students, youth clubs

Topic: Chemistry, Education

Start year: 2010

End year: 2014


Contact person: Anna Mittnerova, Anna.Mittnerova[at]

Each participating country produced a national report on the main barriers to lifelong learning of chemistry and identified successful initiatives and programmes promoting chemistry related subject at the national level. 

The reports are complemented by number of case studies from each country, documenting the issues described in the national reports. They focus on the perspective of a teacher at primary or secondary school and the perspective of an adult learner.

The national reports and case studies provided data for the Transnational Report, examining the most common difficulties in communicating and teaching chemistry across Europe and identifying best practices in promoting lifelong learning of chemistry-related subjects.

The final result of the project’s research activities is the Strategy for the Promotion of Lifelong Learning of Scientific Subjects, summarising and analysing the data gained in the national reports and the Transnational report.

The follow-up project “CIAA Network” focuses on three specific issues: (1) Motivation of students, (2) Teacher training and (3) Best practices. The materials will be available online on the CIAA Network website.  

Within the CIAAU project, six training packages on the topic of chemistry have been produced. The topics of the packages are as follows:

Chemistry concepts in everyday life 

Chemistry at Home 

Chemistry and Environment

Chemistry and Art

Chemistry in Science Fiction

Materials for Special Uses

The aim of the training packages is to provide learners (i.e. chemistry students at school level and adult learners) with basic knowledge and skills on Chemistry related issues. 

The CIAA Network will identify existing best practices and resources for teaching Chemistry, with a special focus on inquiry-based approach and the use of information technology in teaching chemistry.


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