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Xplora Newsletter Issue 16
May 2009

Welcome to the 16th issue of the Xplora newsletter!

The spring is blossoming in every corner of Europe! During the last months, many new science education projects and policy initiatives have been launched and interesting events are coming up. Until 1 June young Europeans can give their opinion on Europe’s role in space industry in an online survey launched by the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission. Have a look at the Xplora newsletter and choose the activities best suited for you!

Would you like to be featured in our newsletter or send us a contribution?
Contact johanna.snellman@eun.org

Johanna Snellman
Xplora Web Editor

Click here to download the newsletter in pdf format.


In this issue:



Call for contributions for the next newsletter
We would like to invite you to send us your contributions for the next issue of the newsletter! Send short references with a link to additional information on news, events, awards, best practices, etc. relating to maths, science, technology and environment education. Please send your contributions by 15 August 2009 to johanna.snellman@eun.org


Visit The Learning Resource Exchange for schools
The new Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) service for schools has now been running three months and contains already over 120,000 free educational resources and assets covering virtually every curriculum subject. With content from 25 content providers, including 17 Ministries of Education, you are able to find something of interest right away to use in your lessons! The LRE currently includes. 5816 resources and assets on Natural Sciences, 7369 on Biology, 5399 on Physics, and much more!
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Get inspired by science with the Planet SciCast
Check out the exciting, educational and even amusing mini films of the Planet SciCast Awards! The films about science made by children, young people, teachers, science communicators or science professionals from the UK aim to encourage young people to experience science as a practical subject and as a valuable way of looking at the world.
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Create your own fractal image
The Fractal Science Kit is a Windows program to generate a mathematical object called a fractal. Hundreds of built-in equations, transformations, and colour controllers allow the casual user to produce stunning fractal images. For an experienced fractal developer it provides a rich set of illustrative examples on which to build his/her own programs.
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Fun Science activities for Kids by National Geographic
National Geographic has collected on its Kids site several fun and simple science activities. Try making your own Kaleidoscope and a Groovy Lava lamp, or learn how science works in familiar household objects.
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Check out the NASA Education sites for Kids and educators
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) supports science education by inspiring both students and teachers with attractive online resources. The NASA education site provides for students homework help, learning opportunities, and career info, and for educators classroom resources, professional development, and contacts for other educators. The NASA Kids’ Club offers younger children games, stories and many other activities leading them to the world of space, science and technology.
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Search for other science resources at:

Visit the Xplora science education library at:


Xperimania competition deadline extended - more prizes on offer!
Following teachers' requests, the deadline for entries in the Xperimania competition has been extended to 22 May 2009. Due to the high quality of the entries submitted, the Xperimania team has decided to give out extra prizes.
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International Year of Astronomy: 800 students measure the Earth’s radius
In the framework of the International Year of Astronomy, 800 students throughout Spain took part in the same experiment: they repeated the experiment that Eratosthenes performed in 240 BC to measure the Earth's radius.
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Good Practices in MST wanted!
Have you participated in an interesting Science project or tried out new tricks in teaching Mathematics? The STELLA (www.stella-science.eu) project is looking for your favourite Maths, Science and Technology (MST) projects to be included in the catalogue of European initiatives in Science Education. Just enter the STELLA website and submit the project details using the easy and quick online questionnaire. Through the catalogue your project is presented and shared online with other colleagues from across Europe.
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Subscribe to the e-Skills Email Update!
The European e-Skills Career Portal is a one-stop-shop to support young people and young professionals in upgrading their IT skills and to boost their interest in maths, science and technology. The monthly eSkills Email Update informs you on the recent news, events and tips on the e-Skills portal. To subscribe, contact eskills@eun.org or visit the website https://listserv.eun.org/mailman/listinfo/eskills-news
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Final stage of INSPIRE started
The partners of INSPIRE (Innovative Science Pedagogy in Research and Education) met on 30-31 March 2009 in Vienna, Austria, to discuss the final stage of the project. The testing of the Learning Objects provided on the INSPIRE website (http://inspire.eun.org) is well under way in the pilot schools around Europe, and the final results will be collected during the next months.
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NANOYOU kicked off
The new NANOYOU project focused on informing young people about nanotechnologies in the EU and Israel is now officially launched! NANOYOU aims to encourage young Europeans’ participation in dialogues about the ethical, legal and societal aspects of the nanotechnologies. The project will develop exhibitions, innovative computer games, online experiments and other activities. The activities are related to three main theme; Medicine, Environment and Energy, and ICT.
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Ocean Acidification - the other CO2 problem
EPOCA, the European Project on Ocean Acidification and CarboSchools, promoting teacher-scientist partnerships about global change research, has released a new 8-page educational leaflet introducing Ocean Acidification research challenges to teachers of all levels and subjects.
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The Climate Mystery workshop
European Schoolnet staff joined teachers, Congin, EMU and Microsoft for a brainstorming session in Copenhagen, Denmark, for a new project - the Climate Mystery. It will be an exciting interdisciplinary approach to education in climate change issues. More news for teachers on this project will be coming soon!
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Pilots: Training Courses and Resources for European Science Explainers
Professionalisation in Learning Technology and Science (PILOTS) is a two-year project with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union, which started in November 2008. Pilots follows two principal lines of action: The collection of data on European practices concerning science explainers, and the planning and testing of training modules to enhance the role of explainers in lifelong learning in science. Four European courses on these topics are being organised during the project, the next one held in Milano, Italy on 2-4 June 2009.
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Nanotechnology meets science museums
Two new projects bringing nanotechnology to science centres and museums have been launched recently. Under the leadership of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, the NANOTOTOUCH EU aims to bring the public in direct contact with research on nanosciences and nanotechnology by incorporating lab environments into the science centres and museums. The EU funded TIME for NANO project, coordinated by the IDIS-Foundation Città della Scienza (Naples, Italy), will produce a nano-kit, organise nano-days and a web-based competition for children and youngsters. The European Network of Science Centres and Museums (Ecsite) plays a major role in the dissemination activities of both of the projects. For further information contact:

Join CO2nnect – CO2 on the way to school
The CO2nnect campaign offers schools an international, internet-based activity in which school, researches and local decision-makers cooperate on the topic of CO2 emissions from local transport. The CO2nnect is developed by partners and members of the EU Comenius Lifelong Learning project ”SUPPORT: partnership and participation for a sustainable tomorrow” promoting and improving knowledge about education for sustainable development (ESD).
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Launch of the Metaschool project: Towards Teacher Competence on Metadata and Online Resources
Metaschool (Towards Teacher Competence on Metadata and Online Resources) is a collaborative European project funded by the Comenius programme and focused on improving the in-service training of school teachers and school ICT staff on topics related to digital learning resources.
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Women in IT, a key-challenge for public-private partnerships in Europe as MST students decline
In a European context where maths, science and technology graduates are decreasing and there is a clear shortage of scientist and engineers, filling the gender gap affecting the IT sector becomes a crucial challenge for the next years. To address these issues and provide and overview of the current situation, European Schoolnet has issued a key-paper, "Women in IT. The European situation and the role of public-private partnerships in promoting greater participation of young women in technology".
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European study shows when teachers like science, students do too
Did you ever blame your teacher for hating science? New research shows that the shrinking number of students in Europe who choose to study science is influenced by how schools and teachers shape their attitudes. The research findings were applied in the EU-supported POLLEN ('Pollen seed cities for science, a community approach for a sustainable growth of science education in Europe') project, funded under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).
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Women & science: preliminary results of She Figures 2009
She Figures is the major publication presenting a Europe-wide data collection on women in science from tertiary education through to the job market. The new She Figures 2009, published fully in September 2009, reveals that women remain a minority in scientific research, but there are also some positive trends to be observed: e.g. the share of women among scientists and engineers has grown significantly in the recent years.
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Take part in the online survey on space exploration
Since the launch of the first satellite in 1957, space has become a key part of our everyday life. Today, thousands of satellites, an international space station and many powerful space telescopes orbit our planet. For a long time, Americans and Russians have led the way in space exploration, but Europeans are also playing a major role. Should we do more?
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Have your say on e-Skills in Europe!
Is it only a myth that Europe lacks the IT skills needed? Can we trust the statistics? And how does the economic crisis affect on the demand and the supply of IT skills? The main objective of the MeSkills study is to monitor and better understand the evolution of the supply and demand of e-skills in Europe to anticipate change and facilitate dialogue between policy makers at the regional, national and EU level and leading stakeholders to reduce e-skills shortages, gaps and mismatches.
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Five major high-tech firms pledge to promote more Women in IT
Signed by Microsoft, Motorola, Orange, imec and Alcatel-Lucent the new Code for Best Practices for Women in ICT promotes practices which aim not only to attract women in ICT but also to keep them in the sector and help them reach their full potential. The signatories of the Code pledge their support for the overall goals of this Code and support to ensure that their company's actions and practices are in line with the Code. The Code was given for the European Commission on 3 March 2009.
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MEDEA - Moving Images in Education Awards competition is now open
Teachers, students, academics, support staff, and anyone who produces audiovisual media to support learning, is invited to submit their materials to the MEDEA Awards competition. The MEDEA Awards recognise and promote innovation and good practice in the use of digital moving images and sound in education, as well as excellence in the production and pedagogical design of media-rich learning resources. This includes the creation and use of video in the classroom.
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Girls’ Day 2009: techgirls on the job
Celebrated in the end of April, the international Girls’ Day invites girls aged 10-15 years to join technology- and ICT-excursions in local companies and organisations. During the day the young girls are able to gain insight into working life of employees with a technical background, and get concrete examples how interesting, exciting and versatile a work in a technical field or ICT can be.
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XIII Conference on exchanging experiences to teach and learn Physics and Chemistry organised by AEFIQ-Curie
The 13th edition of the "Association for the Education of Physics and Chemistry - Curie" (AEFIQ-Curie, http://lacurie.org) yearly conference took place in Elx, Spain, on 7-9 May. Over one hundred teachers from the Land of Valencia attended and took the opportunity to exchange experiences in teaching and learning Physics and Chemistry. 2009 being the International year of Astronomy, the opening talk was on "The cosmological models throughout history". Other talks covered a wider range of topics such as Recreational Science, Software for building a solar clock or Darwin. Also international contributions were present.
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Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science
17-24 May 2009
Bealtaine, Ireland
This year’s Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science will run from May 17 - 24th and offers primary and secondary school pupils along with the general public the chance to explore the natural world around them.

22-30 May 2009, Lugano, Switzerland
11-13 June 2009, Chur, Switzerland
27-30 June 2009, Geneva, Switzerland
19-23 August 2009, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
9-13 September 2009 Bern, Switzerland
The third Festival Science et Cité will take place in Switzerland from May to September 2009 in the occasion of the International Year of Planet Earth 2007-2009. The festival is a co-operation with the Science et Cité foundation and the Swiss Academy of Sciences.

Berlin International conference on science education
29 May 2009
Berlin, Germany
The Pollen project European conference on science education, that will take place on the 29th of May 29, 2009 in Berlin, will address capital issues for large-scale dissemination in Europe of inquiry-based science education at primary school, and aims at setting a milestone towards the generalization in European countries of such an approach. It is co-organised by the Freie Universität Berlin, the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften and the Pollen FP6 project.

ECSITE Annual Conference 2009
4-6 June 2009
Milan, Italy
Science communication professionals from across Europe and the world are welcome to participate in the Ecsite Annual Conference 2009 on 4-6 June 2009 in Milan. The conference will be hosted by the National Museum of Science and Technology “Leonardo da Vinci”. Three full days of inspiring sessions, workshops and discussions will await our participants. Whether you work in science centres or museums, in aquariums or natural history museums, in research institutes or universities, this is a unique occasion for your calendar.

European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) 2009 Conference: Innovation in Learning Communities
10-13 June 2009
Gdansk, Poland
What is the actual relation between innovation and education? Is innovation really a leading paradigm in our society? Europe needs a strategic approach to boost its capacity for creativity, whilst establishing an environment where knowledge is successfully converted into innovative products and services. The European Distance and e-Learning Network welcomes European academic experts and professional practitioners coming to Gdansk to contribute and share innovative experience on 10-13 June 2009. The registration deadline is 1 June 2009.

Development of Science and Technology education in Central and Eastern Europe
14-18 June 2009
Siauliai, Lithuania
The 7th IOSTE Symposium for Central and Eastern Europe will discuss problems of Science and Technology education in the university and both primary and secondary education with international and Central and Eastern Europe experts. The deadline for registration is on 31 March 2009.

Science Festival: Science Summer 2009
20-26 June 2009
Saarbrücken, Germany
Every year, Wissenschaft im Dialog organises a week of science events for the public, offering also hands-on-experiment stations for school children to be explored. Moreover, there will be a science film festival, science theatre for children, the MS Science exhibition ship, science lectures, the Researchers' Night, and much more.

XLAB International Science Camp 2009
21 June – 14 July 2009
2 August - 25 August 2009
Göttingen, Germany
The XLAB International Science Camps are addressed to high school students, undergraduate college and university students, aged about 17 to 20 years. During the science camp each participant will attend three different weekly courses offered in biology, chemistry and physics. The courses are supervised by scientists of the University of Göttingen and affiliated research organizations. All experiments are hands-on experiments. Demonstrations are rarely used and limited only to highly sophisticated experiments, to the use of NMR, X-Ray or other large research instruments. At the weekends and in the evenings a cultural and social program is arranged. Social contacts among students of different cultural background are as important as experimental work and scientific learning.

W-Tech 2009: Recruitment, Career Development and Networking for Women in IT
24 June 2009
London, UK
Interested in working in IT, a graduate or postgraduate just starting out, an experienced professional planning your next step, or wanting to get back into the industry after a career break? At W-Tech 2009 -the premier networking event of 2009 for women- you will meet professionals from all areas and levels of the industry and find out about training programmes, personal development and the latest technology trends.

Workshops for kindergarten and primary-school kids: Science Days for Kids 2009
30 June-1 July 2009
Rust, Germany
This science festival for children aged 4 to 8 offers more than 30 workshops and several science shows. Organised by the Förderverein Science und Technology eV, the event is run by scientists, teachers and secondary school students.

The 6th World Conference of Science Journalists
30 June-2 July 2009
London, UK
The 6th World Conference of Science Journalists in 2009 (WCSJ2009) will bring established and aspiring reporters, writers and science communicators from around the world to debate, network, develop their professional skills and report on the latest advances science and technology. By bringing journalists and science communicators together from across the world WCSJ2009 will be a forum for debate on critical science journalism issues, and an opportunity for reporting about the latest developments in science and technology.

European Molecular Biology Laboratory: Training Course: ELLS LearningLab
1-3 July 2009, Heidelberg, Germany
15-17 July 2009, Monterotondo, Italy
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. 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.

Imagine Cup 2009 – Worldwide Finals
3-9 July 2009
Cairo, Egypt
Imagine Cup is a skill contest organised by Microsoft to recognize students who demonstrate excellence in a diverse range of technical and artistic pursuits. The Imagine Cup 2009 seeks innovative contest entries that address this year’s Contest Theme “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems facing us today”.

Cosmos Summer school
5-10 July 2009
Rethymnon, Greece
The 2nd International COSMOS Summer School is organised in July 5-10, 2009 at Rethymnon, Crete. The Summer School is hosted by the the Physics Department of the University of Crete. The COSMOS project is a pan-European initiative funded under the eContentplus programme to make digital content in Europe more accessible, usable and exploitable. The aim of COSMOS is to create a large scale science web repository for Science teaching and learning.

Science Fair: Experimentale 09
6-8 July 2009
Wels, Austria
Now in its third year, the Experimentale in Upper Austria is a science fair at which all Upper Austrian schools are invited to present their best science experiments to the public, in the form of hands-on stands with activities developed and run by the students themselves.

GeoGebra Conference Austria
14-15 July 2009
Linz, Austria
The first International GeoGebra Conference 2009 will allow researchers, developers, and teachers to meet and discuss in working group sessions where they can share their experiences and ideas concerning GeoGebra. GeoGebra is an open source software for mathematics education in schools. The tool joins dynamic geometry, algebra and calculus in a new way and received several educational software awards in Europe. The conference will be organised in working groups for specific topics. Participants are invited to propose topics for the working groups.

Summer School Alpbach 2009: Exoplanets: Discovering and characterizing Earth type planets
21-30 July 2009
Alpbach, Austria
Held annually since 1975, the Alpbach Summer School enjoys a long tradition in providing in-depth teaching on aspects of space science and space technology with the aim of advancing the training and working experience of European graduates, post-graduate students, young scientists and engineers. Participants are given the opportunity to expand and strengthen their knowledge of selected space issues in workshops which are part of the Summer School programme. Student teams will develop space mission concepts based on this year's theme "Exoplanets: Discovering and Characterizing Earth Type Planets".

Science Festival Paris Montagne: [R]evolutions
22-25 July 2009
Paris, France
Every year in summer, the Paris-Montagne association organises a science festival on the historical campus of École Normale Supérieure at the heart of Paris' Quartier Latin. About 2000 participants from beyond the borders of Paris, in particular school students, attend to freely access an area in which science has come alive for centuries.

Student Summer Camp: European Space Camp 2009
29 July – 9 August 2009
Andøya Rocket Range, 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.

Petnica International Summer Camp
2-15 August 2009
Petnica, Greece
Petnica International Summer Camp (PI 2009) at Petnica Science Center in Greece is prepared for undergraduate university students and students who have completed secondary school. The aim of this program is to enable the young scientists to practice scientific research by working on their own research and communicate their results and ideas. Students will also have a chance to attend various theoretical lectures and laboratory exercises, learn how to use some important software packages and experience work in the field. Working language of this program is English.

Orkney International Science Festival 2009
5-7 September 2009
Orkney Islands, UK
With a programme of lectures, social events and more, this yearly festival is aimed at the general public and most activities are free.

British Science Festival: Creativity, Innovation & Evolution
5-10 September 2009
Surrey, UK
The British Science Festival (formerly the BA Festival of Science) offers the biggest celebration of science, engineering and technology in Europe. With loads of events for everyone, thousands of people join it for talks, plays, debates, hands-on activities and more. This year the Festival is hosted by the University of Surrey in Guildford from 5-10 September with events taking place across Surrey.

Earth Science Teachers’ Association Conference
18-20 September 2009
Southampton, UK
This year's ESTA (Earth Science Teachers’ Association) conference will be held on 18-20 September 2009 at the National Oceanography Centre at Southampton, UK. The Conference theme is Integrated Earth Science. For further information contact linmarshall@btinternet.co.uk

Norway National Science Week: Research Days
18-27 September 2009
In this yearly event research and knowledge institutions throughout Norway provide the general public with new insight into what they do. Events range from science fairs, demonstrations, lectures, “stand-up scientist” performances, exhibits and discussions, to tours, information stands, and cultural and hands-on activities.

Science Festival: XII Lower Silesian Science Festival 2009
18-23 September 2009, Wrocław, Poland
24-25 September 2009, Legnica, Poland
8-9 October 2009, Wałbrzych and Ząbkowice Śląskie, Poland
15-16 October 2009, Jelenia Góra, Poland
This festival wants to promote science and its achievements, and outline the problems it can solve. This year's topic is 'Imagination and thought to go back further than the stars'.

Science Festival: XIII festiwal Nauki Warszaw
19-28 September 2009
Warsaw, Poland
The Warsaw Science Festival provides activities from all areas of science, aiming at the general public. The festival offers a special programme for school classes, including lectures and debates, to which a registration is required by 12 September 2009.

Danish Science Week 2009
21-25 September 2009
The theme of this year’s Danish Science Week is 'Building blocks', which covers everything from atoms, DNA and evolution, to engineering and building blocks of the Universe. Schools and universities, libraries, museums, science centers and companies, as well as volunteer speakers are encouraged to take part.

Wiener Forschungsnacht - Forschen ist KUNST
25 September 2009
Wien, Austria
The most efficient way to tackle existing stereotypes about scientists and science is to bring the general public into direct contact with science and scientists. This is the idea behind the Researchers' night in Wien on 25 September 2009. The programme will explore links between science and art and focus on hands-on experience of science, oral presentations of scientists explaining their work, and exhibition resulting from various calls and activities.

October month of knowledge
1-31 October 2009
The Netherlands
The month-long event brings science and technology closer to the public under the theme 'Reis naar het onbekende' (Travel to the unknown), featuring the International Darwin Year and Year of Astronomy. Universities, research institutes, observatories, companies, museums and libraries will open their doors for young and old and educational materials will be available online.

Science Days
15-17 October 2009
Rust, Germany
The main topics for this year “Science Days” in the Europa Park in Rust, Germany will be 'climate' and 'space expedition'. More than 100 institutions will offer workshops, hands-on experiments, science shows etc. For teachers and school classes, there is a special programme including a preparatory meeting and a tailored information-package. Registration is required.

Wallace & Gromit present: A World of Cracking Ideas exhibition
Until 1 November 2009
London, UK
Discover the incredible world of innovation at London’s Science Museum from 28 March to 1 November 2009. Take a look at the ideas that have shaped the world around us and learn about innovations that are happening today. The Oscar® winning duo Wallace and Gromit will be at the heart of this new interactive family-oriented experience. The website linked to the exhibition includes also educational resources to introduce students to the world of innovation and creativity.

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