You are here

Science & Technology Education for boys and girls

ENGINEER – Meeting the challenge of Science & Technology Education for boys and girls.

A new project of the European Union headed by The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem ENGINEER is a unique cooperation of formal and non-formal educational institutions trying to promote science and technology studies to boys and girls alike, by creating challenging missions that are relevant to the children's lives, missions that are helpful to society and encourage group work. The children participating in the project will be exposed to the diverse scientific disciplines, will benefit from the added value of problem solving and the planning process of engineering and will learn about man made artifacts relevant to their daily life.

26 institutions from 10 different countries joined together to a 3 years program, 2012-2014, based on an American model, encouraging and raising interest in scientific studies and careers.

Ten different engineering challenges in ten different disciplines are being developed. Each one composed of two sub-units: missions to the student and teachers' guides. The project will include content development as well as teachers' training. Each mission will start with an introduction followed by 3 additional lessons focusing on the five universal stages of scientific process: Ask (identify the problem), Imagine (brainstorming), Plan (focusing on one idea), Create (test the design) & Improve (reflect on results).

ENGINEER is a 2.8 million euro project based on the American EIE (Engineering is Everywhere) program developed and run by Boston Science Museum that succeeded in promoting children's technology literacy. ENGINEER is an inquiry based education project that was initiated and is run by The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem with 26 partners from 10 states: Sweden, Denmark, Nederland, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Czech and Israel. In each country there are pairs of institutions working together on the development and piloting the project: a local science museum and a primary school, with the development phase in the first year, experimental phase at schools at the second year and conclusions and implementation the project at each state's educational system – at the third year.

Each county is partnered with another one to cross check each other development. Israel (with the Bloomfield Science Museum and Netiv Zvulun School in Modi'in) is partnered with Greece to check and test each other developed unit.

Evaluation of the whole project as well as the different missions, the unique fruitful connections between the formal and non-formal educational institutions in each country, will be done by researchers from West England University at Bristol.

ENGINEER will support the widespread adoption of in Europe of innovative methods of science teaching and provide extensive teachers' training on inquiry based methods. The pilot project of ENGINEER is expected to reach 27,000 10-12 year old pupils, providing training to approximately 1,000 teachers and advocating the unique approach to science and technology literacy towards Ministries of Education in the ten participating countries.

Objectives of the project
- Adapt for European usage EiE's EDP, which has been shown to increase children's technology literacy and raise their interest in science.
- Develop new engineering design challenges suited to European contexts.
- Adapt teacher training materials that will increase primary school educators' ability to teach engineering and technology to their students using IBSE pedagogic methods.
- Undertake an extensive outreach program that will target science teachers, teacher trainers and schools in at least 10 EU member states and associated countries.
- Strengthen the cooperation between schools and informal science learning institutions and enrich formal science education with informal experiences in the science museums.
- Undertake advocacy activities for promoting the long term goal of integrating engineering into science teaching in primary schools throughout Europe.