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Schools as Living Labs

About

A concrete new way to approach science education programs by fostering collaboration between schools and local communities based on an open-innovation methodology.

The scope

While the world is undergoing deep transformation, formal education is still using 19th century approaches to learning. This calls for new forms of education to foster the competencies that societies and economies need, today and tomorrow. New emphasis must be placed on connecting innovation and science education strategies to societal needs and global developments. Therefore, education systems are called to go beyond teaching subjects to new approaches of learning. Schools need to re-invent themselves and this is by no means an easy process.

The vision

The Schools As Living Labs project proposes a new framework based on open innovation methods for schools across Europe to approach their science education programmes in a new light. Our objective is to make STEM teaching more relevant, systemic, and inclusive and to do that for all of our students.

SALL adopts the concept of open schooling in science education where schools, become agents of community well-being by creating new partnerships with other local actors and addressing local issues relevant to them. 

SALL proposes to transform schools into living labs. This open-innovation methodology puts people in charge of the innovation process. It involves different kinds of partners in a private-public-people partnership and integrates research and innovation processes in real-life communities and settings. This methodology has been widely tested and has proved to be capable of nurturing meaningful collaborations between actors with diverging interests but with common objectives. Together, they build new products, new services, new uses, etc. through a cycle that typically comprises: Co-creation, Exploration, Experimentation, Evaluation phases. 

SALL brings together school communities, including teachers, students, and their families, research institutions, policy-makers, science engagement organisation and other non-formal learning and open innovation spaces. School communities will be engaged in intensive dialogue and mutual learning activities. They will address local issues linked to the food system in all its dimensions, a very topical challenge faced by humankind as well as a relevant topic for science education that is high in the European political agenda.

THE approach

Schools As Living Labs, coordinated by Ellinogermaniki Agogi, roots its approach in existing open-schooling methodologies, such as OSOS, and other Living Lab initiatives. The project will create a living-lab-based methodology and develop training and support materials. The methodology and the materials will be tested and evaluated in 42 pilot school communities across 10 countries. The project will then carry out a larger-scale implementation of the living-lab-based methodology involving additional 370 schools, reaching 412 school communities in 10 countries.

Through SALL’s research-practice approach, the methodology will be adapted and new tools will be created and tested to support school communities in designing and implementing living lab activities. SALL will also prepare the ground for sustainable living-lab-based open schooling activities in Europe’s schools through strong community-building, networking, dissemination, as well as policy-oriented interventions. 

From this, the gap between schools, the research community, and society will be bridged, assisting students to develop 21st-century skills and to raise their awareness of science and innovation.

Project partners

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Ellinogermaniki Agogi

Overall coordinator & National coordinator - Greece

EA is a school in the greater area of Athens, Greece. Its Research and Development Department focuses on the design, implementation and support of pedagogical and technological innovation in educational practice, through work within the school and through national, European and international collaborations with numerous educational and research institutions.

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Ciência Viva

National coordinator - Portugal

Ciência Viva is the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture in Portugal. Since 1996, it has promoted public awareness of science and technology at a national level, with a particular emphasis on young people.
 Ciência Viva develops activities along 3 complementary streams: science education, public awareness of science and a network of 20 science centres.

The European Network for Science Centres & Museums counts 322 member institutions located in 30 countries. It facilitates co-operation among science centres and museums – establishing standards, sharing expertise, disseminating best practice, and developing training programmes. Ecsite members’ convening power draws more than 40 million citizens each year to science-related events.

INTRASOFT International S.A. is a leading European company in the area of Information Technology and Communication services provision with strong international presence. It offers innovative and added-value solutions of the highest quality to a wide range of international and national public and private organizations. 

The Lisbon Council for Economic Competitiveness and Social Renewal is a non-profit association set up to intellectually accompany the Lisbon Agenda, Europe’s original growth and jobs programme. The organisation positioned itself as a “go-to-place” for unconventional, out-of-the-box thinking and research. 

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NEMO Science Museum

National coordinator - The Netherlands

At NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam, adults and children discovers how fascinating science and technology are. The museum is an interactive and informal science learning environment and owns a significant historical collection. NEMO Science Museum spreads its activities beyond the museum walls: in schools, nationwide events and online. 

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ORT Israel

National coordinator - Israel

ORT Israel is the largest educational network in Israel. It operates a department for research, development, and training, one of the largest of its kind in the world. The department supports the development of innovative models, updated content, and advanced teaching and learning methods in the fields of scientific and technology education.

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TRACES

National coordinator - France

TRACES is a think-and-do tank on science, science communication, science education and science in social contexts. Its actions revolve around three main axes: interdisciplinary reflection on science and its social impacts; training in science & society and science engagement; consulting on Responsible Research and Innovation, Open Science, Open schooling, science and society.

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University of Cyprus

National coordinator - Cyprus

The University of Cyprus is a public university with approximately 4000 undergraduate, 1000 masters and PhD students and 350 members of the faculty. The ReSciTEG group (Research in Science and Technology Education Group) conducts a coordinated program of research in innovative learning and is involved in a series of teachers training programs.

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University of Deusto

National coordinator - Spain

The University of Deusto is a Spanish private and fully recognized university with 997 members of staff and more than 12,000 students. Academic excellence of the University of Deusto is reflected in its commitment to innovative methods of learning.

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Center for the promotion of science

National coordinator - Serbia

The Center for the Promotion of Science (CPN) is a public institution, established in 2010 by the Serbian Ministry of Science. CPN’s mission is to develop science literacy by bringing together all relevant actors and the general public in the research and innovation processes.

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Science Centre AHHAA

National coordinator - Estonia

AHHAA is the largest science centre in the Baltic states. AHHAA’s aim is to introduce science to everyone and encourage studying through the joy of discovery.  More than 3 million people of different ages have visited our exhibitions and other science events

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Blue World Institute

National coordinator - Croatia

The Blue World Institute protects the marine environment in the Adriatic See by operating three programmes: research, education and conservation. Research focuses on large marine vertebrates with an aim to contribute to the protection and conservation of the marine environment through public awareness and education. 

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