A brief summary of the BRITEC High Level Event, 20 and 21 May 2021

Organised jointly by BRITEC in collaboration with Scientix, AmgenTeach, CS Track and the STEM Alliancethe STEM High Level Event offered two days, 20 and 21 May, of online conferences, and interactive sessions with researchers, school representatives and industry representatives.

Over 600 people registered to the event and we would like to thank you all for participating and for your contributions!

A special thanks goes to the speakers of the various sessions, their thorough presentations and the valuable advice regarding Citizen Science Education.

If you did not manage to join the event or just wish to rewatch it, the recordings are available on YouTube:

Do not forget to follow on twitter @scientix_eu and the hashtags #BRITECProject and #STEM-HLE21.

Bring Research into the classroom with the STEM High Level Event

Organised jointly by BRITEC with Scientix, AmgenTeach, CS Track and the STEM Alliance, the 2021 STEM  High Level Event “Bringing Research Into the Classroom” will offer two days, 20 and 21 May, of online conferences and interactive sessions with researchers and representatives from universities, schools, and industries.

This event aims to:

  • Share innovative practices regarding Citizen Science in schools.
  • Provide insights on how schools can collaborate with Research Centres and Universities.
  • Share tips from key stakeholders involved in education on how to engage students into multidisciplinary citizen science projects.
  • Discuss the necessary conditions and types of practice leading to effective implementation of Citizen science in schools.

Open to any stakeholder and everyone interested in STEM education, you can find out more by checking out the agenda http://bit.ly/STEM-HLE-Agenda and joining the event via the registration form http://bit.ly/STEM-HLE-Registration.

STEM education stakeholders will attend, among which teachers and researchers from the projects countries and other international participants, including policy makers, teachers, representatives of schools, teacher training institutes, and others.

Ready to take notes on STEM education? Join us online on 20 and 21 May!

BRITEC Citizen Science toolkit available

We are happy to announce that the BRITEC Citizen Science toolkit is now available. It contains examples of various IT tools, which could be used during the whole cycle of the creation and implementation of Citizen Science initiatives. Additionally, reflections on how to address research ethics and what are the roles and responsibilities of the actors involved in these types of projects are also included as part of the report. Finally, some examples of useful sources and CS networking platforms developed under various Horizon 2020 projects relevant for this purpose are given, in case further information is needed.

Read the toolkit in our library.

Study of meteors by using radio techniques

The science objectives are on the one hand to calculate the directional meteoroid flux in the Earth’s atmosphere, and on the other hand the determination of meteoroid trajectories.

BRAMS (Belgian RAdio Meteor Stations, http://brams.aeronomie.be) is a Belgian network using forward scatter radio techniques to detect and study meteoroids entering the Earth’s atmosphere. It consists of one beacon and 26 identical receiving stations (often hosted at and maintained by astronomy enthusiasts).

The BRAMS network generates a huge amount of data with thousands of meteor echoes detected eachday. Which such large amount of data, it is impossible to process it all ourselves.

The automatic detection of meteor echoes in the BRAMS data has proven to be a difficult problem to solve. Therefore, the BRAMS researchers, in collaboration with Zooniverse team, have launched a citizen science project called the Radio Meteor Zoo (RMZ, http://www.radiometeorzoo.eu/) in August 2016. Since the beginning of the RMZ, more than 8500 volunteers have identified thousands of meteors.

In the framework of this BRITEC project, we want to develop educational material to bring our meteor research into the classroom, and to engage people to contribute to the RMZ.

Impact of traffic noise on people: “Build your own annoyance function.

What is the state of transport-related noise pollution in Flanders ?

In this project students walk through the entire process of an environmental impact study according the DPSIR protocol (‘driving forces’, ‘pressure’, ‘state’, ‘impact’, ‘response’). They measure noise and assess how disruptive is the noise to them personally based on a standardized noise annoyance survey, document their exposure with different techniques and compare the weaknesses and strengths of the different exposure assessment techniques. In this way they get insights in the complexity of environmental impact research.

Students complete a survey, count traffic (amount of vehicles passing by at a given location during one hour), near their homes and/or at school. Noise measurements are performed at the pupils’ dwellings. Using the traffic counts & existing sound maps, combined with the surveys the students completed, they will construct a so called ‘noise annoyance function’. They then discuss the results and debate over the potential measures that can be taken to reduce noise exposure in their daily lives.

Studies of indoor comfort and climate quality in school classrooms

What can schools do today to improve comfort and indoor air quality in school classrooms?

In Europe, the building sector accounts for about 40 % of total final energy use (Economidou, 2011). It thereby represents the largest energy use sector.  Our building stock thus harbours enormous potential to save energy, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, in a cost-effective way.  Also school buildings can play an important role, as today they are often not up to standards.

Clearly, there is a need to make school buildings more energy efficient. But at the same time, indoor comfort and air quality are equally important.  As a matter of fact, the promise of energy use and cost reduction alone will not carry needed energy transition.  There is a need for ambitious renovations that reduce energy use and at the same time improve indoor comfort and air quality.  Studies show that thermal comfort and air quality significantly impact  student’s ability to concentrate and perform cognitive tasks.

Based on numerous studies, there is a reason to believe that indoor comfort and air quality are often unsatisfactory.  This project aims to support sensible solutions for this issue, mainly:

  • to map the current conditions with regard to comfort and air quality in our schools,
  • to raise awareness amongst all stakeholders,
  • to reveal cost-effective straightforward measures that schools can take today,
  • to aid policy makers in defining sensible comfort and air quality criteria and in putting forward sensible roadmaps to improve school building performance.

There are two sides to comfort and air quality conditions in school classrooms: the actual conditions that we can measure, and how students and teachers perceive them.

The aim of this project is to raise awareness and shed light on the underlying physical phenomena.  With small experiments and some analytical work, students are given insight into their impact on air quality, as well as the impact of heating and ventilation.

It is planned to measure indoor air conditions using wireless battery-powered devices that can measure up to 10 parameters at once.  These parameters include air temperature, relative humidity, VOC’s, CO2, sound, light.  The wireless sensing devices send data to secure online servers by means of the mobile data network.

It is also planned to to perform short surveys, querying students and teachers about how they perceive indoor climate.

Join the BRITEC MOOC “A roadmap to citizen science Education”!

The BRITEC project, aiming at introducing research into classrooms through Citizen Science activities, has developed a unique online course focused on integrating scientific activities in STEM teaching. The BRITEC MOOC “A Roadmap to Citizen Science Education” will provide materials and stories of implementation from innovative citizen science education projects. Explore how to combine teachers’ and scientists’ forces from 22 March 2021!

Citizen Science is a relatively new way of conducting scientific research, by enlisting the support of ordinary citizens in the collection and interpretation of data. This approach is a way of engaging pupils in research practices, as well as creating a community for teachers and researchers to exchange on how to bring research into the classroom. Citizen Science Education is based on the assumption that teachers and researchers can find a common ground of discussion and develop practices that are advantageous for both the education sector and the science sector.

Therefore, this course proposes a process of collaboration between teachers and researchers. It provides insights from the perspective of researchers who have supported teachers developing STEM learning scenarios that include scientific activities based on the needs of active research projects. The main objective of this MOOC is to provide instructional design guidelines and the necessary resources so that teachers can develop a learning scenario of their own.

The MOOC will consist of four modules, each of them fostering teachers’ skills and knowledge that are necessary for the design, development and implementation of citizen science education projects. Moreover, the modules will address how to introduce research methodologies and activities in the classroom as a way to engage pupils into STEM subjects.

Register now & join us on 22 March 2021: http://bit.ly/BRITEC-MOOC

Debata oksfordzka w praktyce szkolnej

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