Urban Science - Integrated Learning for Smart Cities
Urban Science delivers a means to teach pupils how science can develop solutions for sustainable cities, motivating them to view the positive benefits of science for the urban environment.
The project aims to meet the needs of an urban Europe, where scientists of the future will need the skills and knowledge to create healthy and sustainable cities. Urban Science focuses on how science can develop solutions to urban issues, so motivating pupils to view the positive benefits of science for the urban environment. Urban Science supports teachers with exciting and innovative ways to teach science that has real-life meaning for their pupils. It also meets the needs of pupils to be competitive in a rapidly changing world where scientific understanding is vital.
As a result:
- More pupils will be motivated to study science and view it as a career option
- Greater access to high-quality learning resources for teaching science
- More active participation in society and the desire to support healthy cities
- Improved levels of skills for employability in science-based businesses
- More schools and teachers will deliver science education that raises the attainment of all learners, especially those at risk
- Greater opportunities for teacher professional development
Urban Science partners develop learning modules which promote hands-on inquiry-based science engaging learners in everyday issues that have relevance and meaning. The project uses the urban environment as ‘living laboratories’ where pupils explore how science can help create healthier places to live and work. The focus is put on mobility, energy, green spaces, water, air, buildings and waste. For example, studies on urban air pollution could lead to discussions on green roofs to absorb carbon, redesigning urban space to reduce the build-up of pollutants and using algorithms to plan more effective journeys to and from work. Rather than focusing on single issues, the project’s approach develops understanding of the city as a series of interactions, an urban ecosystem.
Country: Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, United Kingdom
Coordinator: Wild Awake, www.wild-awake.org
Target groups: secondary school students, teachers
Topic: Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, Energy, Environmental sciences, Physics, Other
Start year: 2017
End year: 2020
Contact person: Richard Dawson, richard (at) wild-awake.org
The Urban Science project is based on the IBSE framework which integrates inquiry-based learning and sustainability competences. A full report is available via the project website.
Comprehensive teaching resources are being developed for ten urban science themes, all with a central focus on sustainable development and climate change. The ten themes are:
- iChange – introduction to climate change
- Grow Wild – urban biodiversity
- In the Shade – UV light
- Sounds in the City – managing unwanted sounds
- Move It – mobility and transport
- Living Walls – green walls and insulation
- Zero Waste – making your city waste-free
- The City Below our Feet – soils and flooding
- Breathing In – air quality
- Let it Grow – biodiversity