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Pilot Project: Online access to history of science museums objects

The aim of this pilot project was to establish a set of tools and practices using materials which the Museum of the History of Science has to offer, so as to improve informal learning processes. The pilot project, which was mainly based on research activities, involved two sections: one related to multimedia applications, and another built around the realization of an experimental didactic activity entitled “Galileo and Experimental Science”.

More about the activities and results of this pilot project.

Target age group
Aged 11-18 years

Italian and English


  • Cooperation with education experts to ensure quality of the content of the software applications and correct transfer to educational context
  • The applications was developed by the multimedia laboratory of the IMSS. ELGI carried out a feasibility study for transferring the application to an eLearning platform
  • Addition of an interface called “Information Landscapes” to get a tri-dimensional representation of various aspects of Galileo’s life, with a special attention to his scientific work and the instruments he designed and used
  • Experimental use - with teachers and students - of the Compasso di Galileo (a tool produced by the IMSS) and qualitative evaluation.
  • A didactic activity “Galileo and the Experimental Science” was carried out - an experimental educational project centred on the experimental research carried out by Galileo during the fifty years of his research into the properties of natural motion. The activity aimed to stimulate an enhanced understanding of the content of science as well as how the scientist works through the problems nature poses.

Dissemination of the multimedia material developed by the Institute enabled checking the educational impact of this material and how it contributes to enhance teaching. The project offered schools an integrated activity to better comprehend the objects and certain aspects linked to the cultural heritage held in the museum. The project opened a path of interchange between the museum and schools to share the value of cultural heritage as a means of improving our society.

Evaluation strategy

  • A process of qualitative evaluation
  • Supplemented by semi-qualitative evaluation.

For further information see the PENCIL deliverables:

D10 Assessment of Pilot Projects:
Case studies illustrating the work of each of the Pencil pilot projects (pdf, in English).

D24 Pilot Project Outcomes:
The objectives, the learning activities used, the methodology employed and the results of the pilot projects (pdf, in English).

Pilot coordinator

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (IMSS), Florence, Italy

The Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (Museum of the History of Science) is one of the foremost international institutions in the History of Science, combining a well-known museum of scientific instruments and an institute dedicated to research, documentation and dissemination of the history of science in the broadest senses. The museum, the specialized library, the archives, the multimedia, photographic and restoration laboratories provide an integrated whole in the service of disseminating scientific culture, capitalizing on Italy's technical/scientific heritage, while continuously updating research in the history of science and technology.

Contact details
Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza
Piazza dei Giudici, 1
50122 Firenze

Project coordinator
Silvana Barbacci
Tel: + 39 055 2653123
Email: silvana@imss.fi.it


Scientific partners
• eLearning and Global Information (ELGI) - a professional services firm, with expertise in web development for educational purposes
• PERCRO: Research Laboratory in Simultaneous Presence, Telepresence and Virtual Presence at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa.

Educational partners
• Liceo Vallisneri (Liceo scientifico)

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