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Science Education and Careers

Although their love of gadgets and technological wizardry is renowned, many young people see science as being uninteresting, distant and 'uncool'. Over time, this has translated in a drop in the numbers of young people pursuing science and technology (S&T) studies and careers. Since society's prosperity and well-being depends largely on continuous scientific and technological progress, then this trend may have significant consequences for Europe. The lack of interest of girls in S&T studies and careers is particularly alarming in some countries, and initiatives are required to reverse this trend.

Making science more appealing to young people requires a serious rethinking of the way science is conveyed. Young people attribute their lack of interest in S&T to the way science is taught in schools, the complexity of the subjects, and an apparent shortage of attractive career prospects. Addressing this requires revamping the methodology for science teaching and the related tools, such as making school science syllabuses more relevant to young people's experiences, highlighting the bright prospects S&T offers intellectually and financially, and conveying the important role S&T plays in solving the major challenges that concern young people. In short, it requires hard-wiring science into youth culture and awareness. The Science in Society (SIS) Programme supports research and other activities in order to improve the current state of science education in European schools and stimulate long and fruitful S&T careers. Information on projects it has funded under the Sixth and Seventh Framework Programmes (FP6 and FP7) is available through the e-Library here . Among these programmes is SCIENTIX , the community for science education in Europe.

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