What is Scientia?
Scientia – Abbi il coraggio di conoscere (Sapere aude) is a science communication project that encompasses multidisciplinary topics. Founded on October 1, 2020, its main objective is to engage students in the preparation of social media content (Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok). Scientia content consists of mini-lessons on biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to intrigue and support the study of such subjects. They are short and dynamic, but at the same time clear and precise. They consist of simple and intriguing experiments done by students at home. It can help students learn about the importance of research, organising, selecting and verifying sources, as well as developing key EU citizenship skills: improving language skills in their mother tongue; learning how to learn, planning, communicating, collaborating, and participating.
Vision & Mission
Science is a culture of uncertainty, doubts, questions, problems and admitted errors. In our science communication project, we pay attention to gender equality, because it is not only a fundamental human right but the necessary condition for a prosperous, sustainable and peaceful world (Goal 5 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations: denying women their role in science impoverishes science itself). STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) “constitute a key set of competencies that play a fundamental role in understanding the many mechanisms underlying civic and social life. STEM indicates, in fact, the set of scientific and technological disciplines that today more than ever permeate our daily lives” (https://pikaia.eu/scienziate-evoluzionismo/). We use innovative ways to communicate science designed by students to engage peers.
Students conducted research on topics of hygiene, anatomy, physiology and pathology and were assisted by their anatomy and pathophysiology teachers. During the activities, students collaborated to search for information and select sources on the net. Then, they became familiar with Canva to produce infographics directed specifically to peers. At the end of the project, we published them once a week on Scientia – Abbi il coraggio di conoscere (Sapere aude).
The main aim of the project was to engage students using interactive and collaborative methods, research examination, brainstorming, scanning sources, gathering information, peer learning, and sharing ideas. A pre-test was done before to measure the background knowledge of students. It was used as an enjoyable game-based learning tool Kahoot! It was challenging and fun at the same time.
The topics that were covered included osteoporosis, doping, equity and equality in health, goals 3 and 5 of the 2030 Agenda, overshoot-day, the importance of sun cream, effects of physical activity on muscles, and lordosis-kyphosis-scoliosis. For this reason, students were divided into 8 mixed teams. The teacher clarified the roles of the activity and suggested national and international institutional websites (such as the website of Istituto Italiano di Sanità). Students gathered information from the internet and books and organised it. Then, they transferred their work to Canva models to create Instagram posts.
Students learnt how to collaborate, share ideas, and accept and respect disagreement. They also discovered new web tools and learnt basic skills of scientific communication on social networks. This project improved their ICT skills and showed their creativity. The project was published on Instagram using the account Scientia – Abbi il coraggio di conoscere (Sapere Aude). The students that were involved in this project showed it to other students thanks to their personal social network accounts.
We hope to repeat and improve the experience with new students.
Carmen Troiano holds a Master’s degree in Neurobiology from La Sapienza and a PhD in biomedical sciences at the University of Padua in 2020. Since October 2019, she has worked as a science teacher in Italian secondary schools. She has been involved in science communication writing for Pikaia and ScientifiCult. She is a co-founder of Scientia – Abbi il coraggio di conoscere (Sapere aude).
Ilenia Apicella holds a Master’s degree in Physics from the University of Salerno and a PhD in Physics at the University of Padua in 2020. She has completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Naples Federico II. Recently, she started to work as a physics and maths teacher in Italian secondary schools. She was also involved in science communication with a TV program about physics in 2015. She is a co-founder of Scientia – Abbi il coraggio di conoscere (Sapere aude).
Tags: digital education, Education, engineering, Facebook, Instagram, maths, Project, Science, Scientia, SGDs, social media, Social Media Content, STEM education, sustainable development, sustainable development goals, technology, TikTok