Non-formal Education Renewing Didactics in Science

N.E.R.D.S. is a project funded through the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme. The project is led by InterCollege ApS. (Denmark) and implemented together with 5 other European organisations: University of Calabria (Italy), Kocaeli Provincial Directorate of National Education (Turkey), Zagreus (Italy), InterCollege (UK) and ADEPT (Romania).

Science plays a key role in the achievement of a sustainable world. Therefore, fostering science and innovation is a central priority for the European Union. At the same time, the low percentage of graduates from natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, and information and communication technologies is a clear signal of the loss of interest in scientific subjects that is affecting the EU.

Moreover, a dangerously growing distrust in science seems to be spreading among the population. When people say they do not like science, it can be a result of a bad experience they had during their learning process. This “educational trauma” may turn into a rejective attitude towards scientific subjects and sometimes the scientific community. It is important, then, to foster science education and support the learning process.

The aim of the project is to support didactical diversity in school science education as means to foster student’s engagement and inquisitiveness in scientific subjects and concepts.

The partners of this project consciously have chosen to take best practices from non-formal education, to foster science education that creates participation, learner focus, peer-to-peer focus, reflection, and inquisitiveness amongst students.

Non-formal learning revealed itself to be a powerful tool in the field of education, but when it comes to science a lack of methods is experienced. To reach the aim, the partners of this project have developed a series of methods utilising practices from non-formal education, for supporting the teaching of scientific concepts (addressing Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology and Computer Science) to 11-14-year-old students.

Additionally, a series of 10 videos has been created about the importance of science in society and our everyday lives to foster the interest and trust in science among people.

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