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Xplora Newsletter Issue 12
June 2008

Welcome to the twelfth issue of the Xplora newsletter!

The summer has come and the schools are closing their doors all around Europe. Check out the new projects, competitions and events presented in this Xplora newsletter when planning your activities for the coming year - new European science projects and upcoming events have something to offer for you as well! Enjoy the reading!

Would you like to be featured in our newsletter or send us a contribution? Just get in touch.
Johanna Snellman, Xplora Web Editor

Click here to download the newsletter in pdf format.


In this issue:



Call for contributions for the next newsletter
To ensure the diversity and actuality of the next Xplora newsletter, we would like to invite you to send us your contributions! We would be grateful for short references with a link to additional information of news, events, awards, best practices etc. relating to maths, science, technology and environment education.
Please send you contributions by the 30 September at johanna.snellman@eun.org


Educational tool for sustainable development
Sustain.no is an educational tool for sustainable development. The site includes activities complete with guidelines for how the pupils can investigate, discuss and communicate their results. When the results are submitted to the network, they are made available for others to view.
Read more

Biologie online
The website Biologie online was developed by a free alliance of German students of medicine and biological science. It is intended to give an overview of the most important issues in biological studies, i.e. genetics, botany, or physiology. The source of information is scientific study material.
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Search for other science resources at:

Visit the Xplora science education library at:


Historical experiments
Elena Kyriaki is a high school Physics teacher from Belgium. In the article below she tells us about her experiences in a Comenius III project “Hands on Science”, where teachers reproduced historical experiments in the school laboratory.
Read more


Xperimania continues in October
The first year of “Xperimania – From molecules to materials” was a success: The competitions collected all together 450 submissions from 18 European countries! The winners will be awarded in the prize ceremony on 16 September in Brussels. Xperimania will be continued next school year. Besides the old activities – choose your experiment, create a timeline of material discoveries, and the popular chats – new competition will be launched. Further information will be published on the Xperimania website after the summer holidays.
Read more

Updates on the Volvox website
The Volvox project team is a group of biology teachers and specialists from ten countries across the European Union. The trial Volvox web site aims to provide secondary school biology teachers and others with proven laboratory protocols, simulations, classroom activities and numerous other educational resources. This includes resources to download and use in the classroom or school laboratory plus computer simulations to use on-line. All of these resources are free for non-commercial use by teachers. Recently the resources have been updated, and the whole web site will be completed in October 2008.
Read more

Hats Off To Science
This new feature on the Planet Science website wants to show how science education has much more to offer than just facts: it allows students to develop many transferable skills such as good communication, team working and problem solving, which are valuable in the job market in general.
Read more

Sweden’s Teknikens Hus celebrates
“You don’t stop playing because you are old, you grow old because you stop playing”. In 2008, Teknikens Hus in Luleå Sweden celebrates its 20th anniversary. The science centre opened in May 1988 and has until today welcomed over 3 million curious visitors of all ages. To celebrate the anniversary, a series of new features will be presented.
Read more


PREMA - Reflecting & acting on the Maths Gender Gap
Girls have equal abilities to boys, they often even get better grades. True as this may be, gender differences in the area of maths education still exist. Promoting Equality in Math Achievements (PREMA) aims at understanding the socio-cultural and pedagogic factors responsible for this gap, which in turn effect women’s under-representation in professions that relay on maths.
Read more

Launch of the STELLA Web Portal
The STELLA web portal (http://www.stella-science.eu) wants to address all people involved in science education who want to communicate experiences, cooperate, exchange ideas and thoughts on teaching methods and approaches. Are you a teacher or a school head? Are you carrying out or managing a science education project? Submit your initiative to the European catalogue of science education initiatives!
Read more

ICT industry alliance launches TeachToday initiative
Fourteen leading mobile operators, mobile content, social networking companies and internet providers have launched a website TeachToday.eu, designed to help teachers encourage children to use the internet and mobile technology responsibly and safely. Available in English, Czech, French, German, Italian and Spanish, TeachToday provides teachers with a wealth of information. This includes lesson plans, case studies, reporting procedures, as well as outline policies which are designed to keep them abreast of the changes in communication technology. The website facilitates teachers to guide their pupils to take advantage of the opportunities and avoid the risks of new technology.
Read more

European Pupils Magazine is looking for new writers
EPM (European Pupils Magazine) is an international periodical about the History of Science and Technology, written by European students aged from 14 to 19. Students have an opportunity to write articles about a great number of scientific arguments treated from a historical point of view. Currently EPM is looking for writers for its new issue. Participant pupils and teachers can win a trip to EPMeeting held in one of the project countries.
Read more


Write an article and take part in the EPM Award Competition!
European Pupils Magazine (EPM) is currently looking for writers for its second issue of 2008. Participating pupils and teachers can win a trip to EPMeeting held in one of the project countries.
Read more

Council of Europe’s Wild Web Woods game hits one million milestone
The number of connections to Wild Web Woods - Europe's first internet safety game for children - has topped one million worldwide and is expected to grow even further. The Wild Web Woods game has been developed to help children learn the rules of internet safety in a fun format, using familiar fairy tales to guide children through a maze of potential dangers to the fabulous "Kometa". The game, mainly for children between 7 and 10, was launched in English at the end of last year. It is hosted on the Council of Europe website and can be played in 14 different languages.
Read more

Games in Schools
European Schoolnet has just launched in close cooperation with the Interactive software federation of Europe (ISFE) the first European study on the use of games in schools. Twenty eight countries will be screened and a more detailed analysis will focus on Denmark, Estonia, Spain, France, Italy, Lithuania, Austria and the United Kingdom.
Read more


CERN Programme for High school Physics teachers
29 June – 19 July
Geneva, Switzerland
CERN is now accepting applications from Physics High School Teachers to attend its spring 3-day weekend and 3-week summer residential programmes. The programmes are open to teachers from all CERN member and observer states, as well as from other countries subject to funding availability.

Science Education and Sustainable Development
3-5 July
Aveiro, Portugal
This seminar, in Portuguese and Spanish, aims to promote dialogue and cooperation between institutes, researchers, teachers and other education professionals with an interest in science, technology and society in the Ibero-American countries. It will deal with science, technology and society issues, trying to integrate them more into the practice of Ibero-American science teaching and reviewing the latest research results.

Summer School on Educational Resources in Technology-enhanced Science Learning - Discover Cosmos
6-11 July
The Greek Ellinogermaniki Agogi school organises on 6 - 11 July 2008 a summer school titled "DISCOVER COSMOS: Educational Resources in Technology-enhanced Science Learning". The summer school aims to facilitate European science teachers in using efficiently existing tools and services for creating, sharing and searching reusable educational resources, so as to support and improve their day-to-day teaching activities.

Imagine Cup:  Women in IT 
7 July
Paris, France
Microsoft together with UNESCO, INSEAD, the Women’s Forum, the SciTech Girls and European Schoolnet, will be hosting a high level roundtable and debate to raise awareness and policy attention to the need of promoting deeper participation of young women in technology and science studies. The “Women in IT” event will take place on 7 July 2008 during Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition, organised in Paris 3-8 July 2008.

European Molecular Biology Laboratory: Training course: ELLS LearningLAB
9-11 July 2008
29 September - 1 October 2008
Heidelberg, Germany
The European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS) is an education facility to bring secondary school teachers into the research lab for a unique hands-on encounter with state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques. ELLS also gives scientists a chance to work with teachers, helping to bridge the widening gap between research and schools. The three-day courses are designed to enable the participating teachers to explore a range of activities, which they can practice in the lab and then take back to the classroom.

Student course: European Space Camp
July-August 2008
Andøya Rocket Range, Andenes, Norway
The European Space Camp is a summer camp in English for high-school students, aged 17-20, interested in space and science, and having a background in physics and mathematics. The participants will spend a week doing technical experiments involved in a rocket campaign, working as real rocket scientists, learning how to exploit knowledge they already possess, and broadening their understanding of applied science. Working in groups, they have to use their creativity and learn to cooperate. The programme includes hands-on activities related to the rocket launch, lectures and social activities.

Comenius course: Design of on-line/blended learning sequences for integrated teaching of Science, Mathematics and CLIL
14-18 July
Alicante, Spain
Recent EU reports show an alarming decline in the interest and recruitment of young people into Science and Mathematics studies at a European level. On the other hand, the Rocard report stresses the need to change the way in which science teachers are working. Finally, more educational centres are moving towards open-source software and collaborative IT tools and CLIL based approaches. Taking into account this context, ISSUE Comenius 2.1 project is organising a European course "Design of on-line/blended learning sequences for integrated teaching of Science, Mathematics and CLIL” in Alicante, Spain on 14 -18 July.

ESOF 2008 - Science for a better life
18-22 July
Barcelona, Spain
The mission of the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) is to provide both the European and the international science communities with an open platform for debate and communication. It presents and profiles Europe’s leading research trends in the sciences, humanities and social sciences giving  an opportunity to discuss and influence the future of research and innovation in Europe.

Petnica International Science School
20 July – 2 August
Petnica, Serbia
Petnica International Science School 2008 is a summer program devoted to out-of-school science education. The focus of the program is on critical and creative thinking in sciences and scientific research.

Conference: Acting with Science, Technology and Medicine
20-23 August
Rotterdam, Netherlands
The four-yearly joint conference of The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) will take place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands from 20th to 23rd August 2008. As with previous 4S/EASST conferences, the conference welcomes contributions on topics from the range of disciplines found within science, technology and innovation studies communities. The theme for this conference is “Acting with science, technology and medicine”.

ETHICSCHOOL Innovates Techno-Ethics Education
24-29 August, Enschede, Netherlands
21-26 September, Romrod / Alsberg, Germany
Ethicschool organises two summerschools on ethics of emerging technologies. Both will present a mixture of lectures by leading researchers with remarkable visions on ethics of nanotechnology or converging technologies; workshops where all participants should contribute to the debate on responsible technology development; and master classes where researchers are welcome to table their strategy for investigating techno-ethics for discussion with keynote speakers and other participants.

2nd International Conference "Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online"
18-19 September
Warsaw, Poland
The second international conference “Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online” will be held in Warsaw, Poland on 18- 19 September. All interested are kindly requested to complete the online application form till 29th August 2008. The conference is organised within the framework of the European Commission Safer Internet Programme, co-funded by the European Union.

Danish Science Week
22-26 September
Danish Science Communication (DNF) was established in January 2001 by the people and the organisations behind the Danish Science Festival. DNF is an independent, non-profit organisation with the purpose of increasing public awareness and understanding of science and technology through new and innovative initiatives in science communication.

Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati: Training course: Incontri di Fisica
1-3 October
Frascati, Italy
Organised by INFN Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Incontri di Fisica is a three-day training course for secondary-school science teachers and people involved in science communication. The goal is to provide teachers with further professional training, and to encourage interactive and hands-on contact with the latest developments in physics, as well as direct contact between teachers and researchers.

"GENIALE - Macht Euch schlau!"
3-11 October
Bielefeld, Germany
Discover the fascinating world of science in the city of Bielefeld! The new one-week-science-festival "GENIALE" will turn the town into a swirling campus full of ideas, challenges and lots of fun. Eight universities and colleges will be offering an interdisciplinary program for families with kids between 8 and 18.

The European e-Skills 2008 Conference
9-10 October
Thessaloniki, Greece
The conference will bring together experts from government, ICT industry, social partners, academia and other stakeholders. The conference will present and discuss best practices, flagship projects and report on progress.

Science Days
9-11 October
Rust, Germany
"Europa Park" in Rust/Germany, Germany's biggest and most successful theme park in the Southwest of Germany will host Science Days on 9-11 October 2008. After the highly successful Science Days 2007, which fascinated more than 22,000 visitors from all over the region and adjacent areas, this time the main topic will be "Math makes fun!" and "The fascinating world of water". More than 100 institutions, which will offer workshops, hand-on experiments, science shows, etc. Welcome to Science Days!

5th International Conference on Hands-on Science. School Science Education and Informal Learning
13-17 October
Olinda, Brazil
After the success of previous annual conference of the European Network Hands-on Science held in different parts of the EU since 2004, the fifth edition will be held in the warm welcome town of Olinda, Recife in Brazil.

Science on Stage Germany festival 2008
23-26 October
Berlin, Germany
The German Science on Stage festival taking place in Berlin 23-26 October 2008 brings together teachers and education experts from across Europe presenting scientific experiments, on-stage performances, lectures, exhibitions and workshops on current education topics. All science teachers, pedagogues and people working in teacher training programmes are invited to apply for the participation to Science on Stage Deutschland until the 25th of May 2008.

Seminar: Teaching Environmental Sciences
3-5 November
Biarritz, France
This seminar aims at bringing forth the emergence of new European partnerships in areas where the use of Information and Communication Technologies play an active part in the teaching of environmental sciences. The seminar is organized by the “Académie” of Bordeaux in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), the National Centre of Space Studies (CNES), the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) and the companies “Apple”, “Calibration”, and “Promethean”.

Setmana de la Ciència
14-23 November
Catalonia, Spain
Field work, open doors, visits to science museums, contests, games, observations, workshops and more: 10 days of funny but instructive scientific activities for people of all ages with about 400 activities in 100 different locations in Catalonia. Wide participation of public and private institutions coordinated by FCRI. Included Science Day at Schools: Scientists from all fields go to secondary schools to interact and share with students expertise, feelings and enthusiasm about science and technology.

3-5 December
Berlin, Germany
ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN is the largest global e-learning conference for the corporate, education and public service sectors. The annual event offers a forum for e-learning experts, experienced users, and apprentices from all over the world to exchange ideas and make contacts. Over 2000 delegates from more than 90 countries attend the conference, making ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN the most comprehensive annual meeting place for e-learning and distance education professionals. Participants of the conference are high-level decision makers from education, business and government sectors, the three areas driving e-learning adoption and innovation. The accompanying exhibition gives international providers the opportunity to demonstrate their products, tools and services.

Frontiers in Science Education Research 2009 (FISER'09)
22-24 March 2009
Famagusta, Cyprus
The Conference aims to bring together scholars from all around the world who are involved in various aspects of undergraduate science and mathematics education research, and will cover a wide range of topics such as undergraduate curricula and design, teaching and learning strategies, technology in teaching and learning, faculty development, teacher training and contemporary issues in the field including native language vs. foreign language of instruction and misconceptions in science. FISER'09 will be open to professional science and mathematics education researchers, educators, students and all others who are interested.

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