Discover the COSMOS Roadmap
The Discover the COSMOS initiative demonstrates innovative ways to involve teachers and students in eScience through the use of existing e-infrastructures in order to spark young people’s interest in science and in following scientific careers. It demonstrates effective community building between researchers, teachers and students and empowering the latter to use, share and exploit the collective power of unique scientific resources (research facilities, scientific instruments, advanced ICT tools, simulation and visualisation applications and scientific databases) in meaningful educational activities, that promote inquiry-based learning and appreciation of how science works, and to promote effective integration of science education with e-infrastructures through a monitored-for-impact use of eScience activities, which provides feedback for the take-up of such interventions at large scale in Europe.
In order to capture the multifaceted nature of science learning, the Discover the COSMOS consortium has developed a roadmap that includes a series of “strands for the design of the Educational and Outreach Activities” that articulates the science-specific capabilities supported by the environment of a research infrastructure. The strands provide a framework for thinking about elements of scientific knowledge and practice. The proposed framework also describes a series of support functions that have to be deployed in order the long-term impact of the proposed activities to be safeguarded. Such support actions could include support the integration and coordination of educational and outreach activities between groups across different research institutions; support the science community and scientists interested in educational and outreach activities; support the education communities interested in scientific content and applications; support special events and activities and provide means and tools for web-based communication and collaboration.
The proposed framework provides a useful reference for helping outreach groups to articulate learning outcomes as they develop programs, activities, and events to further explore and exploit the unique benefits of introducing eScience in schools. Furthermore, such an action asks for knowledge areas integration, effective and closes cross-institutional collaboration, and organisational change in the field of science education.
The roadmap presents the main areas of action of the Discover the COSMOS initiative and discusses the approach used to introduce eScience activities in everyday school practice. It presents the main framework for the design of outreach activities, the main principles, proposes way to assess the learning outcomes, it emphasizes on the collaboration with the teachers and concludes with a list of recommendations for the outreach teams of research infrastructures for the design of their activities targeting schools.