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This page was published on 16/06/2006
Published: 16/06/2006

   Success Stories

Published: 16 June 2006  
Related category(ies):
Science in society


Couldn't be without it

Young people's rucksacks are full of high tech gadgets: mobile phones, CD and MP3 players... But what do they really know about what goes into these devices?

“Couldn’t be without it” first set about identifying those objects and gadgets on which young people are so dependent, and then went about demonstrating the role that science plays in defining the performance and functions of these objects of desire!

The aim of course was not just to expose the embedded science and technology in these devices, but also to make real links with the basic science taught in schools.

Strong partners for a strong project

Funded by the Science and Society programme of the European Commission, the EIROForum institutions ESA, ESO and EMBL found themselves a competent coordinator with CERN.
This strong cooperation produced strong outcomes.

The Top Ten and the Teaching Kit

Taking youngsters as a starting point, the project first established what technologies young people love to use on an everyday basis.

This survey resulted in a Top Ten list of children’s favourite technical devices, namely the CD player, MP3, the microwave oven, TV, the mobile phone, the computer chip and the refrigerator and, of course, the Internet.

Based on these top favourites “Couldn’t be without it” links the young people’s interest to the science subjects they learn in school by integrating their favourite technologies into a hip teaching kit.

The teaching kit and its contents

The actual teaching kit consists of 3 parts
- the CD player and how it works
- the Malaria project
- Energy and its role for all of us

Explaining the work of a laser in the CD player, the kit also offers a music game and a quiz.

Download a sample of the teaching kit (PDF)

The quiz (PDF)

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