Promoting science education through Arctic research
Students across Europe are learning about the Arctic and participating in polar, environmental and climate research thanks to an EU-funded project that aims to raise the attractiveness of science education and future scientific careers.
© Sharon Jones #202705462, source: fotolia.com, 2018
The EDU-ARCTIC project is using the vast, intriguing and picturesque environment of the Arctic as a vehicle to strengthen science curricula, with the goal of encouraging students to pursue further education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Hundreds of institutions across Europe are participating in EDU-ARCTIC, providing students aged 13 to 20 with access to a unique education programme that is enhancing learning about nature, geography, natural resources, history, environmental issues and climate change.
The programme is supported by interactive online activities in different languages, teacher-training courses and novel teaching materials, such as the Polarpedia online encyclopaedia of scientific expressions and educational resources. The programme and tools are designed to enable students to better understand the role of scientific research in the modern world, scientific messages and scientific language.
Through video conferences with scientists stationed at Arctic research stations, students are offered unique opportunities to get to know about different scientific careers and research disciplines. Some will have the chance to visit the Arctic region by taking part in research and innovation competitions conducted by the EDU-ARCTIC consortium.
All participating schools are invited to contribute to a collaborative phenological monitoring system, in which students monitor plant and animal life cycles in their school surroundings. The activities help them to learn how to apply scientific methods and develop crucial problem-solving skills, while exploring environmental and climate issues.
By connecting schools participating in the project to scientists at Arctic research stations and scientific institutes throughout Europe, the project aims to establish strong links between research and education communities, encouraging students to follow STEM careers and become Europes scientists of tomorrow.