IDiverSE - Islands Diversity for Science Education

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Are islands really isolated or do they share unique features that connect them all? In IDiverSE students from different islands of the world collaborate in scientific projects to collect relevant common data from their communities and compare them to find answers for local and global problems.

Islands Diversity for Science education is a project that brings the Design Thinking methodology to schools in islands, promoting an Inquiry and Interdisciplinary approach in the classroom. While implementing the different IDiverSE projects, students contact, communicate and collaborate with their local community, as well as with students from other parts of the world to discover relevant solutions to local and global problems.

After learning about a problem, inventing solutions and creating a relevant final product to promote such solutions, students finally share their work with their school and surrounding community. Throughout their work, students develop key 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking, creativity, communication, problem-solving and collaboration and see their work recognised and used by the community. Learning becomes relevant and contextualised and students' work is made relevant and applicable, and actually makes a difference in their lives and the lives of those around them.

Basic information

Country: Greece, Portugal, Spain

Coordinator: NUCLIO - Núcleo Interactivo de Astronomia, https://nuclio.org/

Programme: Erasmus+

Project Acronym:

Target groups: primary school students, secondary school students, teachers, under school-age kids, vocational school students

Topic: Biology, Chemistry, Earth science, Ecology, Environmental sciences, Geography, Other

Start year: 2017

End year: 2020

Url: https://idiverse.eu/

Contact person: Priscila Doran, priscila (at) nuclio.pt

IDiverSE brings a new pedagogical approach that combines existing innovative methodologies such as Design Thinking, Inquiry-Based Learning, interdisciplinarity, personal geography and skill-based student assessment. Combining all these, the project team creates activities meant to allow students to develop their own projects related to community-relevant topics at local and global level. Examples of such topics are the conservation of bee populations, awareness of the benefits and dangers of UV radiation and how to behave towards it, knowledge about how to be prepared in the event of a natural hazard, marine waste, plastic pollution, the shape of the earth, among others. In all the activities, students follow a common data collection protocol to collect relevant data from their location and compare it with the data collected by students in other parts of the world.

The project outputs can all be found on the project's website: https://idiverse.eu/

Students follow an artistic reflective approach, called personal geography, adapted in the framework of the project as a first step to reflect about who they are, where they live and what their island / community means to them. Their reflection is then directed to a discussion about the community where students are integrated and what are its main strengths and weaknesses. Considering this, students make a survey on important problems that should be solved in their community.

After this, students either follow an already prepared activity targeting such problems or develop their own ideas following the IDiverSE methodology to target other relevant topics in their community. By following the IDiverSE methodology students learn in depth about a problem and how their community relates to such problems, collaborate with students from other parts of the world to learn about the problem at a global level, invent possible solutions, create an output to promote, disseminate and implement such solutions, and share it with the community.

Throughout the whole process, students communicate, collaborate and involve the community to make sure that the proposed solutions are effective, based on community features and co-created by all. While developing such projects students learn about natural phenomena and absorb many scientific topics related to their school curriculum content, teaching them afterwards to others. The learning not only becomes meaningful but also gains a very important feature – it is directly applicable to their lives and they become the change-makers of their communities.

 

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