Science Education Refreshed: SciKids' and SciFest

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Ilkka Jormanainen's presentation in the Digital Storytelling, Crowdsourcing and Science Education for International Research and Training -symposium, August 29, 2013.

Text of Science Education Refreshed: SciKids' and SciFest

  • 1. Science Education Refreshed Ilkka Jormanainen University of Eastern Finland School of Computing Joensuu Science Society
  • 2. Motivation Technology is reshaping also education in many levels Growing gaps in use of technology Genders, generations, developed and developing countries, What is role of science and technology expertise in the future?
  • 3. SciKids Combination of a technology club and research laboratory environment Administrated currently by Joensuu Science Society Founded in 2001 as Kids Club Based on regular club meetings twice in a month during school semesters at the universitys premises
  • 4. SciKids objectives To provide a meaningful hobby for school children To get diverse students, and particularly girls, excited about technology To provide a platform for educational technology research To develop tools and methods for technology education in collaboration with schools and teachers
  • 5. SciKids pedagogy Based on modern views on learning Modern learning environments, such as educational robotics Concretization of the problems let the children to make their mental models explicit How does the modern society work? Encourages children to think creatively through inventive, problem- based learning
  • 6. SciKids participants Participants are between 9 - 16 years (typically ~10 of them) Researchers from the department Volunteer tutors (students of computer science and education, mainly teacher students) Parents, local teachers, other collaborators
  • 7. SciKids research Platform for educational technology research How to concretize programming with the robotics? How does the technology-rich environment affect in special education? How to tell a story with robots? What is innovation process with with kids? Fresh and ethical research agenda
  • 8. SciKids innovations Various spin-offs R&D projects for technology education Total funding about 1million+ Seniors Club SciFest festival for science and technology Topics for thesis, IT-projects etc.
  • 9. SciKids outreach TekkiKids at Meraka Institute (SA) TEDITE Kids Club in Zambia Kids Club Mozambique SciKids Uganda Dissemination has been very successful in many terms Motivated students and participants have been a key to success
  • 10. SciKids future plans New SciKids hubs New clubs in different contexts Networking the clubs all over the world Innovative development Being one or two step ahead schools technology education Providing fresh ideas with good quality to the community: theather robotics, SciHouse,
  • 11. Breaking through boundaries in (and with) science education
  • 12. SciFest in a nutshell International science and technology festival Organized in Joensuu since 2007 Idea imported from South Africa Four days, 8100 visitors (2013) 100+ workshops, lectures, competitions, science shows, movies, etc SciFest is much about going beyond conventional boundaries
  • 13. Breaking the attitudes Who says that teenage girls are not fascinated about science, or that kids from less developed countries could not master technology?
  • 14. Breaking the distances The longest (?) tug-of-war in the world between Finland and South Africa
  • 15. Breaking the language barriers Their English may not be very fluent, but still Taiwanese students surprise us year after year
  • 16. Breaking the boundaries of the earth Dr. Harrison Schmitt went to moon with Apollo 17 and came to SciFest 2009 to tell us about it
  • 17. Breaking out from the comfort zone Science must be taken out from the labs and chambers, and it must be enjoyable and concrete for kids and adults too!
  • 18. SciFest 2013 video available online soon!