The “Discover the COSMOS” coordination action aims to demonstrate innovative ways to involve teachers and students in eScience through the use of existing e-infrastructures in order to spark young people’s interest in science and in following scientific careers. It aims to support policy development by a) demonstrating effective community building between researchers, teachers and students and empowering the latter to use, share and exploit the collective power of unique scientific resources (research facilities, scientific instruments, advanced ICT tools, simulation and visualisation applications and scientific databases) in meaningful educational activities, that promote inquiry-based learning and appreciation of how science works, b) demonstrating effective integration of science education with e-infrastructures through a monitored-for-impact use of eScience activities, which will provide feedback for the take-up of such interventions at large scale in Europe and c) documenting the whole process through the development of a roadmap that will include guidelines for the design and implementation of effective educational and outreach activities that could act as a reference to be adapted for stakeholders in both scientific research outreach and science education policy.
Open Discovery Space aims to serve as an accelerator of the sharing, adoption, usage, and re-purposing of the already rich existing educational content base. First of all, it will demonstrate ways to involve school communities in innovative teaching and learning practices through the effective use of eLearning resources. It will promote community building between numerous schools of Europe and empower them to use, share and exploit unique resources from a wealth of educational repositories, within meaningful educational activities. In addition, it will demonstrate the potential of eLearning resources to meet the educational needs of these communities, supported by European Web portal: a community-oriented social platform where teachers, pupils and parents will be able to discover, acquire, discuss and adapt eLearning resources on their topics of interest. Finally, it will assess the impact and document the whole process into a a roadmap that will include guidelines for the design and implementation of effective resource-based educational activities that could act as a reference to be adopted by stakeholders in school education.
The Go-Lab Project (Global Online Science Labs for Inquiry Learning at School) opens up remote science laboratories and their online models (online labs) for the large-scale use in education. Its technical framework – the Go-Lab Portal – offers students the opportunity to perform personalized scientific experiments with online labs, whereas teachers may enrich their classroom activities with demonstrations and disseminate best practices in a web-based pedagogic community. At the same time, owners of the labs may promote their scientific activities providing open interfacing solutions to easily plug-in their online labs and sharing them in the online labs federation.
Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT.net) is a non-profit private operating foundation directed by the technologist Wayne Rosing. The network’s goal is to build a global network of up to 40 longitudinally spaced robotic telescopes for scientific and educational use. The longitudinal spacing would provide complete latitude coverage in both hemispheres to allow continuous observations of any astronomical object.
Núcleo Interactivo de Astronomia is a non-profitable association of professional astrophysicists and amateur astronomers devoted to public outreach and education. It is also an official training center recognized by the Ministry of Education of Portugal. NUCLIO’s activities include: training teachers in the use of new technologies, promotion of real research in classroom where students are introduced to the scientific methods using robotic telescopes and data mining astronomical databases, providing Astronomy and Astrophysics courses for teachers and the general public.
Global Hands-On Universe (GHOU) is a worldwide project, with extensions over all the continents, the root project being Hands-on Universe (University Of California at Berkeley). The project is based on the use of research material in classroom and the reproduction of the scientific method using modern tools and resources (digital and non-digital format). The network benefits from a worldwide network of automatic telescopes operated via Internet and didactic tools. The project in Europe is implemented by a consortia of 14 countries (European Hands-on Universe) were a network of radio antennas, to be use in classroom, is now available. EUHOU has also produced a student-friendly image processing software (Salsa J) that can be used to reproduce methods of research. All this materials are integrated into pedagogical resources constructed in a close collaborative work between researchers and teachers. The resources developed in the course of this project are posted on the Web site.
As a legacy of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, GTTP has the IAU/IYA2009/UNESCO endorsement.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). Its purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the UN Charter. It is the heir of the League of Nations’ International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is a collection of professional astronomers, at the Ph.D. level and beyond, active in professional research and education in astronomy. It acts as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies (stars, planets, asteroids, etc.) and any surface features on them.
The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) was a year-long celebration of astronomy that took place in 2009 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope by Galileo Galilei and the publication of Johannes Kepler’s Astronomia nova in the 17th century. The Year was declared by the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations. A global scheme, laid out by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), was also endorsed by UNESCO, the UN body responsible for educational, scientific, and cultural matters.