1 National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics (ROMANIA)
2 SC Computer Power SRL (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Page: 3712 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1855
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The 21th globalized job market requires specific skills provided through a balanced funded STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, along with entrepreneurial and innovation capabilities of the future employee [1]. The concern on the shortage of STEM related workforce is present not only in Europe [2], but also in the United States, for quite a long time [3].

Within this context and in the frame of national curriculum, the Center for Science Education and Training at the National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics is running a research project to promote STEM education through inquiry at primary and middle school levels. The project targets science teachers’ training through:
(i) science teaching classes,
(ii) e-learning and
(iii) practical hands-on sessions.

The last approach implies practical science lessons run by participating teachers in their respective schools. In order to support these activities we developed several training kits along with the associated teachers’ booklet and students’ worksheets. They refer to subjects such as: light, color and optics; sound and noise pollution, UV radiation hazards; application of solar energy; measurement science; electronic circuits and sensors. In some cases (e.g. noise pollution, UV radiation effects, water quality) school students who perform the investigations in their surrounding environments (school, town, national parks) can upload periodically their measurement results on a collaborative platform where their class is registered. In this way, teachers, students, parents, local communities can access the data over a school year.

The presentation will describe some of these kits and will highlight our major achievements within the project “Inquiry-Based Education in Science and Technology” – IBEST ( /ro/IBEST.htm ) through which we coordinate all these educational activities.
The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Romanian Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI), under research grant 223/2012.

[1] An Agenda for new skills and jobs: A European contribution towards full employment, Brussels, COM(2010) 682/3.
[2] M. Caprile, R. Palmen, P. Sanz, G. Dente, Encouraging STEM studies, Policy Department A: Economic and Scientific Policy, European Parliament, March 2015.
[3] T. K. Kelly, W. P. Butz, S. Carroll, D. M. Adamson, G. Bloom (Eds.), RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, 2004.