Project Partners Enthusiastic About Successful Project Completion
The Third Transnational Partner Meeting of the Erasmus+ Eco-systems of Open Science Schooling Project (“Eco-OSS Project”), which is led and coordinated by Wittenborg, took place virtually on 29th August 2022. This was the final occasion for the Knowledge Partners, Wittenborg and University of Eastern Finland, and the Practice Partner schools from Lithuania (Pasvalio Levens Primary School), Poland (Liceum Ogólnokształcące z Oddziałami Dwujęzycznymi im. Adama Mickiewicza), Turkey (ITU ETA Foundation College) and Romania (Gheorghe Titeica School), to come together to discuss the final project-related works to be carried out in September ahead of the project completion at the end of September. The agenda for this meeting consisted of discussion regarding the finalisation of the Intellectual Outputs (“the IOs”); preparation of the Multiplier Events; financial administration, and the progress of the final report.
The main aim of the Eco-OSS Project, which started in October 2020, is to help secondary schools and science teachers change traditional science teaching into science learning through science missions in collaboration with permanent eco-systems of open science schooling resources. This approach is expected to engage students in brand new ways and to help them create new and different images of what science is and could be for them. There are four IOs, which will be disseminated as outcomes from the Eco-OSS Project, namely a Guidance Pack (IO1), a Student Video (IO2), a Policy Paper (IO3), and a Research Paper (IO4).
During the meeting, the first draft of IO1, the Guidance Pack, was viewed and discussed by the partners. This innovative guidance document is designed to act as a tool to assist schools with implementing open science schooling in their respective schools and wider communities. It includes details on the project consortium, an introduction to the eco-system and its benefits to the schools and wider communities. It also details the step-by-step guide on how to build the eco-system, including how to connect and engage with potential partners. Some examples of eco-system partners and perspectives from students, teachers, and partners were also given as well as some illustrations of the skills and knowledge acquired by the students through their science mission activities.
Overall, there was a positive response and some helpful suggestions from the partners on the content and presentation of the Guidance Pack. It was also confirmed that a YouTube channel is in the process of being created where all the videos that the students have created throughout their school missions will be available for viewing, and a link to this channel will be available in the Guidance Pack as support material. The Guidance Pack will be published on the project website.
Malavika Jaikumar from the University of Eastern Finland shared the project’s IO2, the Student Video. The Student Video consists of eighteen minutes of footage from interviews with students from the four Practice Partner schools, encapsulating the students’ learning experience of completing their science missions within their respective schools and communities. Jaikumar commented that by creating the Student Video, “the hope was to capture each country’s essence in the manner it was supposed to showcase” and that while conducting the interviews “the students have been quite interested in talking about everything.” The feedback on the Student Video was very positive, with partners commenting that it was a wonderful, authentic, sincere, and exciting presentation, with Team Romania highlighting that the Erasmus spirit for excellence in education in Europe was evident throughout the production. Team Turkey also noted the positive aspect of students not only talking about science but also the world around them, communicating with each other and having human-to-human contact. The video has been uploaded to YouTube and can be accessed here.
Project Quality Assurance partner, Mireia Masgrau, of Working with Europe/Treballant amb Europa Associació, updated the partners on the progress of the IO3, the Policy Paper. The paper entitled “What (More) Does it Take to Make Open Science Schooling a Reality?” will introduce and set out the framework for the project and will present the schools and students as drivers of change and innovation in the community. It will also highlight the science resources in the community as well as the science missions in schools as re-engaging the students interest in science.
IO4 is the Research Paper which is being prepared by Wittenborg staff, Dadi Chen and Hanna Abdelwahab. The focus of the research is to highlight the challenges of OSS, such as knowledge and guidance shortages that prevent schools and science teachers from undertaking OSS. Once finalised, the paper will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.
Grand Finale of Eco-OSS Project: The Multiplier Events
The grand finale of the Eco-OSS project is the Multiplier Event, which has to be carried out by each partner in their respective countries. The aim of this event is to increase the awareness of the project in general and most importantly to share the project progression by promoting and disseminating the resulting Intellectual Outputs of the project to a wider audience. The Multiplier Events will take place throughout September in the respective countries; in Poland on 15 September hosted by Liceum Ogólnokształcące z Oddziałami Dwujęzycznymi im, Adama Mickiewicza, in Finland on 23 September hosted by the University of Eastern Finland, and in the Netherlands on 26 September hosted by Wittenborg. This latter event will take place in NewTechPark, Apeldoorn, where local educators in the scientific field and local schools have been invited to hear about the works of our Practice Partner schools and where attendees can participate in a workshop to learn how the region can benefit from a similar project and how they can integrate the Eco-OSS project results into their respective industries and school curricula. To register to attend this event, if you are a Wittenborg student, please use this form; if you are an external guest, please use this form.
The target audience for the Eco-OSS Multiplier Events is broad, ranging from mission partners, science teachers, students, management representatives, local authorities, civil associations and groups. The agenda for the Multiplier Event consists of introducing the eco-systems through one of the science collaborators; science teachers presenting the Guidance Pack and how it can be used; the student teams presenting their video and explaining how they made it and what it means to them; reactions from the audience on how they see the open schooling initiative and how they think this form of science engagement can be used in the community; and finally open mobilisation – determining who would like to support and engage the eco-system of open science schooling and agreeing on a workshop for interested players after the multiplier event. The student teams will also follow up the interest and introduce new resources to the eco-system. Each partner is free to adapt the agenda and design their respective multiplier event in the most suitable way for their particular purposes and all of the partners attending the virtual meeting were very enthusiastic about their planning, preparing and delivering their upcoming Multiplier Events.
Reflections on Erasmus+ Project
Reflecting on the project progress, Livia Popescu, from Romania, commented that the project created “an ecosystem of friendship” between all the partners and that it was “really different from any other European project” in this regard. Mustafa Aydın, from Turkey, also echoed this sentiment of mutual collaboration and shared an anecdote about winning the hearts of and attracting prospective students and their parents due to the availability of Erasmus+ projects and activities within their school. All partners aspired to participating in many more projects together in the future and it was emphasised that the Practice Partner schools have now gained valuable project experience as a result of participating in this project and are now prepared to write project applications and proposals in their own right.
More information about the progress of the project and the individual schools’ activities can be found at the Eco-OSS Open Science Schooling website.
by Selina White and Hanna Abdelwahab, with contributions from partner schools.