An increasing number of STEM teachers all over Europe and beyond has already started discovering the universe of Scientix, the Community for Science Education in Europe. Scientix is so full of projects, resources and tools that even some STEM community pioneers don’t know exactly the amount of projects and resources you can find in the portal. The principal reason being that the Scientix website is continuously updated with new materials.
Becoming confident with Scientix and exchanging ideas and tips with colleagues at your school or in the Scientix CoP and Forum, opens new horizons to the use of Scientix beyond STEM subjects and adds value to the scientific environment of Scientix.
First, all materials are perfect to be used for CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning). In fact, all resources are provided in English although only three requests are enough to have them translated in one of the 30 languages present in the portal!
Another possibility are their online courses. Here’s how it works: A maths teacher, who is looking for a Moodle course on GeoGebra -a software for dynamic geometry- discovers another course on Twitter that can be really useful for his history colleague, who is currently looking for a way to attract lazy students to contemporary history. Curious to know more? Then, explore the Moodle platform, full of tips and tricks for the next school year: Creation of crosswords, use of Google Forms, new tools for presentations and for activities like Prezi and Hot Potatoes and many other.
In the Scientix website you will also find a very rich STEM resources repository, in the Resources section. Among all the materials, you will also find reports and training courses directed to teachers and other STEM professionals. You will also discover the Learning Resource Exchange (LRE), a portal for schools where you can find open educational resources and assets from many different countries and providers, including 18 Ministries of Education.
The web is full of materials and contents but, often, the resources will not validated so you will have to verify the source. On the other hand, all resources available in Scientix are provided from public founded projects, with Creative Commons Licence and, as I mentioned, containing the possibility to use the translation on demand service.
There are hundreds of projects and materials able to increase students’ interest towards STEM subjects, to involve students as makers, designers or inventors, or simply to motivate them and make them develop critical thinking skills and growth of competences. I especially like those resources that are able to conjugate contents, methodology and technology, because they allow to reach all students!
The first difficulty a teacher faces in a class is related with the number of students: no less than 25 – 28 in the first mandatory cycle of education. In each class, there are students with different needs, in terms of learning potential: Students with learning difficulties or gifted students that often are not stimulated enough, immigrants facing a language barrier, children at risk of social exclusion, girls with difficulties in STEM subjects, etc. Because of this heterogeneity, it is really important for teachers taking in account different needs that they can find in their classes.
I found great inspiration from some projects like iTec, inGenious, the Creative Classroom Lab, GoLab, (Especially for their innovative concepts and tools centered around innovation in teaching and learning) Roberta and Science it’s a girl thing. Furthermore, they provided me with a great basis to engage girls in maths!
To me, as a maths and a science teacher, what is more important is to engage my students and attract them towards STEM subjects. During my last three years, working with many resources and tools from those projects made me realize that some of the Scientix practices and tools are perfect to achieve a very important goal: Inclusion!
It’s fair to say that Scientix is not only for science!
Article written by: Tullia Urschitz, Scientix Ambassador