SNAC School Networks Alert Citizens protection

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The SNAC project promotes open education and innovation in schools and their communities, supports the development of key competences for students who are developing projects and activities serving their communities, and presents innovative whole-school approaches that support teachers’ professional development through collaboration, networking and exchange of good practices.

Europe’s capacity to innovate will decline in the long run if young people’s interest for studies in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) continues to decrease, as a number of studies have indicated in recent years. Since this interest is fostered and developed among young people during their primary and secondary education, radical changes, and innovative practices and methodologies are needed in order to reverse these trends and attitudes.

The partners of the SNAC project believe that schools should be incubators of exploration and invention that promote the concept of Open Schooling. An open school that effectively introduces innovations in science education is an engaging environment. Progressively it brings families, community groups, local businesses, international experts, universities and other stakeholders into an “Open School” culture. An Open School culture imports external ideas that challenge internal views and beliefs and, in turn, exports its students – and their assets – to the community it serves.

Natural disasters and, more specifically, earthquakes cause great concern among citizens, especially in the South Eastern Mediterranean basin, which has the highest seismic rate in Europe. However, in these countries there is little knowledge on earthquake disaster prevention and mitigation. In recent years, education about the phenomenon of earthquakes has entered classrooms in primary and secondary education across the globe. School networks have been developed to study earthquakes and to exchange information and teaching methods related to earthquakes.

The SNAC project, which is built on the concept of Open Schooling, aims at:

  • transforming schools in the South Eastern Mediterranean basin to local hubs of education, innovation and information about earthquakes and disaster prevention, connecting them with local authorities, local civilian protection agencies, local businesses, research and science centres and other local stakeholders in the process;
  • engaging students in real-life projects that propose innovative solutions adapted to the local conditions by employing problem-solving skills, handling and studying situations, and participating in meaningful and motivating science inquiry activities on earthquake disaster prevention and mitigation.

The objective is on one hand to increase children’s and students’ interest in science and how it affects everyday life and on the other to stimulate teachers’ motivation about innovative teaching methods, subjects and practices that are meant to enrich and renew the science curriculum. The SNAC project also provides more opportunities for cooperation and collaboration among schools across different areas and countries and facilitates networking among various stakeholders in both formal and informal education.

Basic information

Country: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Turkey

Coordinator: National Observatory of Athens, Greece http://www.noa.gr/index.php?lang=en

Programme: Erasmus+

Project Acronym:

Target groups: education authorities, general public, parents, policy makers, primary school students, researchers, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, vocational school students

Topic: Earth science, Environmental sciences, Geography, Geology, Geophysics, Physics, Education

Start year: 2018

End year: 2020

Url: http://snac-project.eu

Contact person: Georgios Mavromanolakis, Email gmavroma (at) ea.gr

The project’s partners develop various outputs relevant for researchers during the project’s lifetime.

O1 - Open Schooling Roadmap

The Open Schooling Roadmap is a clear step-by-step outline of a SNAC school and how it can open up to its local community. This is achieved through student-based projects in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). Students engage in real-life projects that propose innovative solutions, adapted to local conditions, by employing their skills to solve problems, handle real seismic data that they have acquired by themselves, manage and study various situations, and participate in meaningful and motivating science activities based on inquiry into earthquake disaster prevention and mitigation.

O2 - Training Programme for Teachers and School Heads

This Training Programme provides teachers and school heads with practical knowledge, background information and guidance, needed to implement the necessary changes. Thus, the training programme helps them to develop an Open Schooling Environment, based on the principles of RRI.

O3 - Open Platform for Scientific Data

The partners of SNAC make use of and expand the existing network of the SSE project’s seismometers. The SSE project established a South Eastern European/Mediterranean School Network of digital seismographs that was ground breaking for the teaching of natural sciences in the region.

O4 - Evaluation Methodology, Analysis of Results

The outcomes and impact of the project is monitored and evaluated. Since the participants are core to the success of the project, the project’s sustainability depends on the degree to which participants benefit directly, in the short-term and long-term, from experiences and services within the framework of the project.

O5 - Recommendations for Future Use

The project’s Recommendations for Future Use give a concise and thorough overview of the project’s overall framework and results. This enables anyone to effectively follow the project’s approach for offering innovative educational activities and teaching practices.

The project’s partners develop various outputs relevant for teachers during the project’s lifetime.

O1 - Open Schooling Roadmap

The SNAC project’s partners develop and offer teachers an Open Schooling Roadmap which serves as a reference document for their work in the project, translated into the partners’ national languages.

The Open Schooling Roadmap is an overview of the implementation of open schooling. It provides a clear description of the necessary steps that schools need to take in order to become hubs of responsible innovation, which bring together as many stakeholders as possible with the aim of producing ideas and solutions that address local issues and challenges. Additionally, it pays attention to seismology education to support the implementation of the project’s activities and the introduction of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in schools’ settings.

O2 - Training Programme for Teachers and School Heads

This Training Programme, which is based on the Open Schooling Roadmap (O1), provides teachers and school heads with practical knowledge, background information and guidance. The training programme helps them to develop an Open Schooling Environment that is established on the principles of RRI. It includes materials and resources that are needed to integrate activities of the SNAC project in schools’ curricula. It describes how the theme of seismology can be integrated in curricula and how it can be used as a reference point for a) the development of whole-school projects and activities and b) the effective collaboration of the school with the external stakeholders.

O3 - Open Platform for Scientific Data

The SNAC partners make use of and expand the existing network of the SSE project’s seismometers. The SSE project built a South Eastern European/Mediterranean School Network of digital seismographs that was ground-breaking for teaching techniques in natural sciences in the region. Core data about seismographic activities was collected during the SSE project and is utilised in the SNAC project and transformed into educational materials and tools.

O4 - Evaluation Methodology, Analysis of Results

The project’s goal is to measure the effectiveness and quality of the training guides and handbooks offered, including the pedagogical framework, the methodological guidebook on implementation in schools and the use of the hardware sensors and related software tools it offers. It will also evaluate the effectiveness, quality and impact of its teacher induction seminars and hands-on workshops.

The plan and methodology mainly aims at mapping the impact and the effectiveness, both quantitatively and qualitatively, of the proposed project at three levels, namely student level, teacher level and finally institutional/school level.

O5- Recommendations for Future Use

The pedagogical guide, educational material and training toolkits that are developed as part of SNAC are aligned with the current curricula reform in the participating countries, especially Greece. In Greece, the Institute of Education Policy is proposing the integration of the science subjects of the last two grades in secondary schools into a new lesson entitled “Inquiry Problems of Physical Sciences”.

The outcomes of this activity are documented in output O5-Recommendations for Future Use. The construction of the output addresses all the necessary information behind the project’s philosophy, goals and strategy from its early phase up to its implementation in school classrooms. It summarises all the work done by teachers and schools in the participating countries and also identifies and presents cases of best practice or cases of achievements beyond expectations, especially from or in disadvantaged areas or schools that face a plethora of obstacles.

 

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