Network to improve non-Formal Science teaching in Europe

NetS-EU aims is to collect, elaborate, diffuse and exploit, in Europe, ways of applying non-formal methods and Inquiry-Based Learning approach to science education at school. Non-formal and Inquiry-Based practices will be shared at European level and exploited as innovative tools for science teaching.

Young people in Europe are losing contact with science and the number of science students in universities has decreased. This has strong effects on the quantity of students that chooses scientific professional careers and, at the same time, in this context a gender difference exists too: girls appear less interested in science and technology than boys do. The aim of the NetS-EU project is to build a network to share and exchange information, innovative tools and experiences on non-formal learning methods in science, with a particular focus on the Inquiry-Based Learning approach. Science Centres, institutions and organizations collaborating with schools for science education, including research and training centres active in the field of guidance to science careers, constitute the project’s partnership. Such network focuses on the possible ways to make science and technology studies more attractive to students; to provide teachers and students with information on scientific and technological studies or careers; to help to reduce the gender imbalance in science education and careers.

The NetS-EU project lasts three years and involves eight partners from different countries. The network activities include: the building of a social network, a “web place” where it is possible to connect people interested in nonformal science teaching/learning and to exchange information and discuss on project’s findings; the production of three annual reports on the state of the art in science education; the organization of three Comenius Conferences (2011: Italy, Naples; 2012: Portugal, Lisbon; 2013: Belgium, Brussels) to connect and exchange information among all Comenius activities working in the field of science education.

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