Research is, undoubtedly, one of the most important activities linked to science and one of the motors of current social progress. Numerous countries are closely considering it in many ways and a great number of organisms and companies are developing their own programmes. Every year, more researchers are demanded by the XXI C. society. University is the institution where they are trained. In the last few decades, this situation has become an important issue in High Schools, where students may have their first contact with practical science.
The European Commission doesn’t have legislative powers in education, but among its recommendations is included the use of research as an educational tool. The study commissioned by the EU materialized in the Rocard1 report, which is categorical:
- There is a general consensus on the crucial importance of science education. There is a general lack of interest in science and the origins can be found, among other situations how to teach it.
- New pedagogical methods must involve improvements in science education; It should be promoted and actively supported the introduction in schools of research-based approaches, teacher training in this method and the development of networks of teachers.
- The reorientation of the pedagogy of teaching science in school, toward research-based methods, can increase interest in science.
- The renewal of the pedagogy of teaching science based on research methods provides greater opportunities for cooperation among various actors in formal and non-formal education
Local, regional, national and European authorities are becoming aware of the importance of starting early in the preparation of young researchers. There are different events, exhibitions, meetings and contests about it. One of the best known events is the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS), an initiative of the European Commission, which was created “to promote the ideals of co-operation and interchange between young scientists”. Likewise, the objective of this contest and others is to “have the chance to meet others with similar abilities and interests and to be guided by some of the most prominent scientists in Europe. In this way, the Commission seeks to strengthen the efforts made in each participating country to attract young people to careers in science and technology”.
On the other hand, High Schools, Universities and Research Centers do not always collaborate in the academic progress of students. Research is a great opportunity to introduce a secondary school pupil to the university method. As for Universities, it is a way of establishing contact with already experienced and motivated students. We would like to find new forms of collaboration between them.
Similarly, the connection between primary and secondary uses to be too small. Research is again a great way to build bridges. This is demonstrated by other European examples, like Britain, where tens of thousands of students at all levels do research at any educational stage (http://www.britishscienceassociation.org/crest-awards).
It’s clear for this project’s team that we need to adapt our methodologies and introduce research into the daily life of our classrooms and this project poses a serious attempt to do it in the schools of the Association and to disseminate it in their environment.
The main objectives are:
- To develop several research works with groups of students from different countries.
- Develop attractive research workshops for primary students
- To improve the quality of education and the academic results of our students
- To design and introduce long-time programs based on Research in the schools of the partners.
The secondary objectives are:
- To share our research experiences with our partners
- To visit EUCYS and to look at the results of the best European young researchers
- To improve the quantity and quality of individual research works
- To motivate students to follow scientific subjects
- To increase their competence in English
- To use information and communication technologies efficiently
- To promote meetings between people interested in research
- To motivate primary students toward Science
- To improve or to start collaboration between High Schools and other organizations such us City Halls, Universities, Scientific partnerships, etc.
- To be the first step in forming an international group of High Schools working together in the future on common projects
1 Rocard M.; Csermely P.; Jorde D.; Lenzen D.; Walwerg-Henriksson H.; Hemmo V.; Enseñanza de Las Ciencias ahora: Una nueva pedagogía para el futuro de Europa