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CASE HISTORIES

CIENCIA VIVA (Portugal)

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Launched in June 1996, the Ciência Viva programme is the contribution of the Ministry of Science and Technology to the promotion of a scientific and technological culture among the Portuguese population.

Ciência Viva was established as an open programme, promoting alliances and fostering autonomous actions through the definition of three fundamental action tools:

1. A support programme, aimed at the experimental teaching of science and at the promotion of scientific education in the school.

Ciência Viva elected the school as its intervention priority, focusing its efforts on strengthening the experimental teaching of science and on mobilising the scientific community and its institutions to work towards the improvement of scientific education. For this purpose three main lines of action were launched:

  • An annual national project competition in the field of scientific education
  • A programme Fostering the twinning between schools and scientific institutions
  • A programme for the scientific occupation of teenagers

2. A National Network of Ciência Viva Centres, designed as interactive spaces aimed at creating an awareness of science among the population.

The Ciência Viva Centre in the Algarve, created in 1997, initiated the establishment of a network of interactive centres for the promotion of science and technology throughout the country. The Planetarium of the Astrophysics Centre in Oporto, the Infante D. Henrique Exploratorium, in Coimbra, the Ciência Viva Pavilion, of Knowledge at Parque das Nações, in Lisbon and Centro Ciência Viva de Vila do Conde are already part of this network.

3. National scientific awareness campaigns, fostering the creation of science associations and providing the population with the opportunity to make scientific observations and to establish a direct and personal contact with experts in different fields of knowledge. Among these campaigns the following stand out:

  • The Science and Technology Week, which takes place every year in November Astronomy during the Summer; Geology during the Summer, and Ciência Viva com os Faróis during the period June until September.

© Ciencia Viva, Portugal

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