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Xplora Newsletter Issue 20
May 2010

Welcome to the Xplora newsletter!

Did you know that teacher training sessions on new learning tools and resources are offered by many European science education projects? In this Xplora newsletter you can find out more about the training courses organised by ITEMS and Aspect, and find plenty of other interesting tips and activities for science teaching. Also, don’t miss the add-on software competition with activities and toolkits to be used in the classroom!

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 to the next newsletter


- JFractionLab explains fractions
- Football and science - do they mix?


- ITEMS teacher training courses
- Sharing ideas and experiences on eSafety
- Take part in "Spring Day for Europe" activities and competitions!
- Inquiry-to-Insight: A new way to teach Environmental Sciences


- SPICE first panel meeting
- Seven workshops in two days – Xperimania Science Ambassadors in Birmingham, UK
- Second call for NANOYOU pilot schools


- SETAC: Science Education as a Tool for Active Citizenship
- Roberta: Learning with Robots


- Learning to use content standards in the ASPECT Summer School
- Take part in the eSkills / Microsoft add-on competition
- The Digital Agenda starts to take shape
- Are the new millennium learners making the grade?
- Top ranking for KlasCement educational site



Call for contributions to the next newsletter
We would like to invite you to send us your contributions for the next issue of the newsletter! Send short reports 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 to johanna.snellman@eun.org by 15 August 2010


JFractionLab explains fractions
JFraction is a free program to practice doing fractions at school or at home. By visualising every step of the calculation, it really helps you to understand what fractions are.
Read more

Football and science - do they mix?
With 50,000 users, Footee is a highly popular free online education resource that builds on football’s appeal to young people aged 6-12 and their love of games, competition and social networking to make learning effective and fun. European Schoolnet is working to make the resources relevant to learners across Europe and 14 of the many available games help to develop scientific understanding. While topics such as forces and motion, materials and their properties and physical processes may sound dull, games with names like Beach Dodger, Floodlight Failure and Hit the Target are more likely to spark children’s interest. With these games children can learn about science while having fun.
Read more

Search for other science resources at:

Visit the Xplora science education library at:


ITEMS teacher training courses
This month, ITEMS (Improving Teacher Education in Maths and Science) is running two online training courses for teachers, one on astronomy and one on elementary functions and graphs. Participants can then re-use the ready-made courses in their own teaching.
Read more

Sharing ideas and experiences on eSafety
Teachers are invited to share their ideas and experiences on internet safety by participating in a dedicated blog. The authors of the best blog entries will be nominated for the title “Expert of the Month” and will receive a certificate.
Read more

Take part in "Spring Day for Europe" activities and competitions!
Get your students to discover EU countries or be a teacher for a day with Spring Day activities and competitions that invite you and your classes to learn more about Europe, exploring interesting topics such as European Citizenship and Fundamental Rights, biodiversity or the climate.
Read more

Inquiry-to-Insight: A new way to teach environmental sciences
The Inquiry-to-Insight (I2I) project aims to promote environmental science education using digital tools. During the project, I2I students from Europe collaborate with American students via social networking and other collaborative internet technologies to investigate and envision solutions to global environmental problems. I2I is a collaborative project between the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Stanford University in California.
Read more


SPICE first panel meeting
On 21-23 May 2010 SPICE teachers and science education experts from 16 countries will meet for the first time to discuss and analyse innovative pedagogical practices in maths, science and technology. During the meeting, which will take place in Brussels, the experts and teachers will be introduced to the project and will work on the definition of a good Policy Action for maths, science and technology education.
Read more

Seven workshops in two days – Xperimania Science Ambassadors in Birmingham, UK
A total of 150 students took part in the Xperimania chemistry and physics workshops during the Science Ambassadors’ visit to Birmingham, UK, on 29-30 March 2010. Despite the typical rainy English weather, the mood in the classrooms was upbeat and students were full of excitement and enthusiasm.
Read more

Second call for NANOYOU pilot schools
Have your students heard of nanotechnology? You can awake their interest in science classes with the dynamic games, experiments and activities proposed by NANOYOU. Check out the fascinating activities that other teachers have already been using in the classroom. Nanotechnologies already affect many aspects of your life - discover the amazing nano world together with your pupils.
Read more


SETAC: Science Education as a Tool for Active Citizenship
SETAC, a new science education project funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union, regards science education as one of the fundamental tools for developing active citizenship in the knowledge society. Science and technology are important school curriculum subjects but are also directly linked to our everyday lives, requiring engagement and informed decisions by all citizens. Science education is therefore not only a subject to be delivered by teachers and learned by students in the classroom, but should be also seen as a ever relevant lifelong tool for developing informed and active citizens. The project will develop learning tools for science and technology, such as teaching resources on health, energy and climate change as well as teachers’ training courses.
Read more

Roberta: Learning with Robots
Roberta addresses the lack of engineers in today’s dociety by raising girls' and boys' interest in the technical professions. With the use of standardized robotics kits, Roberta gives a hands-on introduction to technology. The successful concept of the German project "Roberta" has been adapted in the EU-funded project "Roberta goes EU", to investigate its usability and explore opportunities for its dissemination to other European countries.
Read more


Learning to use content standards in the ASPECT Summer School
During the ASPECT Summer School that took place on 8 May 2010 in Estoril, Portugal, over 40 teachers from Belgium, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania came together to discuss the use of online learning resources and learning content repositories in maths and science lessons. The main aim of the ASPECT Summer School was to explore how learning content standards, such as SCORM and Common Cartridge,can be used by teachers, and how different types of “content packaging” can add value to the learning experience.
Read more

Take part in the eSkills / Microsoft add-on competition
Have you ever wanted to test your skills and creativity by building your own software add-ons? The eSkills / Microsoft add-on competition is your chance to get started! We’ll get you started with our student and teacher toolkits packed with ideas and tips. We will also put you in contact with a development expert who can provide online coaching to help turn your ideas into reality. The competition is open to young people aged 12–18 years old until 25 June 2010. The winning team and the two runners-up will be awarded cash prizes for their school or organisation.
Read more

The Digital Agenda starts to take shape
The newly formed European e-Skills Association (EeSA), of which European Schoolnet is a founder member, is pleased to note that in a recent communication by Commissioner Kroes – "Digital Agenda: Kroes welcomes Ministerial support " (19 April 2010) – there is a clear focus on the importance of e-skills in the coming Digital Agenda. Commissioner Kroes astutely identified the exclusion of many citizens from the information society and the professional ICT skills shortage as constraints to the further contribution that ICT can make to productivity and growth.
Read more

Are the new millennium learners making the grade?
Using data from PISA 2006, this new OECD report analyzes to what extent investments in technology enhance educational outcomes. One of the most striking findings of this study is that the digital divide in education goes beyond the issue of access to technology.
Read more

Top ranking for KlasCement educational site
KlasCement, the Flemish educational web portal, is one of the finalists in the Startup 2.0 competition for European social networking sites. KlasCement provides teachers with an online platform to cooperate and exchange learning objects through networking tools.
Read more

ENO tree planting event
21 May 2010

ENO (Environment Online) Tree Planting Day is an open event for schools and groups that is held twice a year, in May and in September, around the world. The first trees will be planted at noon in Oceania. Following the sun, new trees will be planted in Asia, Europe and Africa, with the chain of trees finally reaching the Americas.

Ecsite Annual Conference 2010
3-5 June 2010
Dortmund, Germany

The Ecsite Annual Conference is the most important European meeting of science centres and museums. From 3 to 5 June 2010 participants can participate in challenging sessions and lively discussions, social events and business opportunities, preceded by two days of in-depth pre-conference meetings and workshops.

Millennium Youth Camp 2010 – MY Camp
6-13 June 2010
Helsinki, Finland

The first ever international Millennium Youth Camp (MY Camp) will run from 6 to 13 June 2010 in Helsinki, Finland. The MY Camp is targeted at young people aged between 16 and 19 who are interested in mathematics, natural sciences, information technology and other technologies.

Science festival: Explore Science
9-13 June 2010
Mannheim, Germany

Schools and families are invited to take part in hands-on experiments, attend lectures by scientists, enjoy scientific shows and much more at the Explore Science festival.

Final event of Teaching Science in Europe 3
11-12 June 2010
Berlin-Buch, Germany

Since the Science on Stage festival in Berlin in 2008, 52 teachers from 13 European countries have been discussing concepts, methods and content for modern science lessons. At the final event of the initiative, the results of these discussions will be presented in the publication Teaching Science in Europe 3. European teachers are invited to attend the event and learn more about the working groups.

I'm a scientist, get me out of here!
14-25 June 2010

This event allows students to talk online to real scientists. Teachers will have access to lesson plans, information sheets and other resources that support and deepen students learning.

European Space Camp 2010
27 June – 5 July 2010
Andenes, Norway

Young people aged 17 to 21 who are interested in space and science and have a background in physics and mathematics are invited to apply for the European Space Camp, organised by the Norwegian Association of Young Scientists. Participants spend a week doing technical experiments, taking part in a rocket campaign, working as real rocket scientists, learning how to exploit the knowledge they already possess and broadening their understanding of applied science. The programme includes group work with hands-on activities related to the rocket launch, lectures and social activities.

The Euroscience Open Forum
2-7 July 2010
Turin, Italy

The Euroscience Open Forum is a biennial Europe-wide meeting dedicated to scientific research and innovation. During the forum, the city of Turin will be abuzz with activities, conferences, workshops and keynote lectures. The events and happenings around the city are targeted at scientists as well as the general public of all ages.

Science education summer school: Discover Open Science Resources
4-9 July 2010
Crete, Greece

Science teachers as well as educators from science centres and museums are invited to participate in the summer school DISCOVER Open Science Resources: Technology Enhanced Science Education and Science Content Organisation, which will be held in Crete from 4-9 July 2010.

European Union Contest for Young Scientists
24-29 September 2010
Lisbon, Portugal

This year’s European Union Contest for Young Scientists is being held in Lisbon from 24-29 September. The EUCYS – European Union Contest for Young Scientists is an initiative created by the European Commission with a goal of promoting the science interchange between young scientists and guiding them to a future in science and technology.

2010 Earthwatch Debate
14 October 2010
London, UK

At this annual debate, finalists from Earthwatch’s 2010 Citizen Scientist Competition will argue that their originally conceived and designed volunteer-based research project would help to solve a critical environmental issue. Finalists will present their research proposals, after which they will be cross examined, Dragon’s Den-style, by a panel of experts. The audience will then vote on the winner, who will receive the Earthwatch Citizen Scientist Award and two places on an Earthwatch expedition in 2011.

The work presented in this newsletter is partially supported by:

Items, funded with support from the European Commission, and

the European Community eContentplus programme - project ASPECT: Adopting Standards and Specifications for Educational Content (Grant agreement number ECP-2007-EDU-417008).

The content of this newsletter is the sole responsibility of the consortium members. It does not represent the opinion of the European Community and the Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of information contained herein.

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