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Launch of STELLA – Science Teaching in Lifelong Learning Approach

Started in January 2008, STELLA will aim to contribute to the improvement of science teaching in European schools, in particular in order to stimulate young people to undertake science studies and carriers, with a special focus also on girls. The Project has been funded with support from the European Commission within the Lifelong Learning Programme (Key Activity 4 - Dissemination & Exploitation of Results) and it will run till the end of 2009.

The first results will be available in April, when the STELLA web portal will be released addressing all people involved in science education who want to communicate experiences, cooperate, exchange ideas and thoughts on teaching methods and approaches. The core of the web portal will be the “European online catalogue of science education initiatives”, collecting information about initiatives from all over Europe, by means of online questionnaires directly filled in by teachers. The catalogue will enrich and extend the one already created in the frame of the former Socrates project GRID – URL: http://www.grid-network.eu - which now includes more the 500 initiatives carried out in schools from all over Europe.

Communities of Practices
The web portal will also include virtual and open spaces for exchanging practices and ideas among schools, teachers and science education practitioners all over Europe. Users may send articles and information on school projects or other science education initiatives and relevant web sites, as well as participate in the online activities organised on specific subjects. The national communities of practices will be edited in the project’s national languages, while the European Community as well as the Thematic Communities - on science education in Europe and on equal opportunities in science - will be in English, to allow communication among users from different countries.

Multimedia tools
In order to facilitate the exchange of experiences and the transfer of results, a new set of multimedia tools will be developed. Directly downloadable from the web site, these tools will help teachers to describe in an interactive way their projects and activities, by encouraging also pupils and students to take part in the documentation process.

Pool of good practices
The most interesting science education initiatives, included in the European catalogue and described using the set of multimedia tools, will be analysed in depth and become part of the “Pool of good practices” – a specific section of the portal which will also be disseminated by means of a handbook on “Innovative practices in science education for European schools”.

The STELLA project partnership includes private and public institutions from 5 countries: Amitié, a private training and research centre from Italy which is the project coordinator; Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, from France; Private Vocational School for Multimedia, Computer Graphic Design and Animation from Bulgaria; Institute for Innovation in Learning / FIM - NeuesLernen from Germany; and Education Department of Madeira, from Portugal. The project also relies on the cooperation of European Schoolnet.

Contacts and further information: 
Francesca Magrefi – email: fmagrefi@amitie.it
and Sibylle Moebius – email: smoebius@amitie.it

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