ES4FUN : AN INNOVATION PLATFORM TO EXPLORE EXPERIENCE-BASED LEARNING IN SCIENCE
University of Cadiz (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The link between Science and Society, as well as the need of encouraging scientific careers, have been both identified by the European Commission as priority themes in order to establish both knowledge-based economies and societies in Europe. In this frame, an innovation platform for knowledge transfer has been started up in the University of Cadiz (UCA) to explore a interdisciplinary methodology on the basis of multitudinary social games designed from both universal concepts and phenomena. This methodology is supported by research technology, and it aims to probe its efficiency concerning knowledge transfer, engaging Science to society and support of young researcher careers. A key aspect of the methodology is that rather than using experiments to demonstrate a concept to participants, the participants are a part of the experiment.
Under the above premises, different experimental activities for knowledge transfer and Science communication have been performed in different contexts, which cover the 2007 Spanish Science Year, Science Weeks 2007 and 2008, the IIIth Conference on Innovation in Chemistry Teaching (INDOQUIM2008, UCA) and the 10th International Conference on Carbon Science and Nanothechnology (NanoteC08, Univ. of Sussex). In these contexts, concepts as structures and functionalities, symmetry, and also phenomena as feedback, have been used for game design.
Seminal event was performed at the UCA in the context of the 2007 Spanish Science Year, and it was aimed to show and disseminate the research being developed by the Groups based in the UCA-Science and Technology Campus. This research was identified to be driven in the different Groups by the understanding and control of material structures (EStructuras in Spanish) to exploit a number of technological functionalities (FUNcionalidades in Spanish). Bearing this idea in mind, a multitudinary aerial photographic session with about 500 participants was performed to embody patterns of scientific interest with help of colour t-shirts. Symmetries, clustering and coalescence, or photonic patterns, were a few examples that were embodied with the participants (undergraduate, postgraduate, high-school and secondary students, as well as researches, teachers and general public) at the car park of the Science and Technology Campus. People organization was driven by a team formed by Science students, whom actuated as external potentials, and images of such conformations, in similar fashion as electron microscopy micrographs are obtained on the microscope, were caught from the top of one of the Faculty buildings. This activity was lived up by a Hip-Hop local music group, and it probed to contribute efficiently to create a participating atmosphere. The concert also served as a break for the preparation of the recorded graphic material and public eventually was invited to attend a Conference where the recorded images were shown along with examples of similar conformation and their relevance in different scientific disciplines. After the event, video-clips and edited graphic material were made to increase both the impact of the event and the dissemination of the universal character of the concepts structures and their functionalities. Results of this and subsequent events have been published in both educational and scientific journals, as well as they have been spread by generalist communication media. More information about the ES4FUN innovation platform can be found at www.uca.es/es4fun.