by Ana María Abril, Marta Romero Ariza & Antonio Quesada (University of Jaén, Spain)
In line with the PARRISE objective of promoting Responsible Research and Innovation through Science Education,
partners at the University of Jaén (Spain) have promoted an initiative called SciencIES, which seeks to engage scientists, teachers and secondary school students in the research and discussion of cutting edge scientific investigations in authentic contexts. Raising students’ interest in scientific careers, and developing a better understanding of scientific research and its implications, are some of the key goals to be achieved though SciencIES.
The SciencIES initiative started in October 2016 and it involves 135 students from 19 different schools in the South of Spain, who started collaboration with 40 researchers from different fields of knowledge at the University of Jaén. For several months students will visit the university regularly and take part in investigations on a wide range of topics, such as cerebral ictus, immortal cells, aquatic ecosystems, neurosciences, applied biomathematics, biostatistics and computational biology, and pollen variability, among others.
The opening and welcome of students and teachers was on December 2, 2016in a vibrant atmosphere full of excitement and high expectations of what might be. This was an influential experience in these students’ life.
Through engaging in real investigations and discussing socio-scientific issues, students will develop inquiry skills, critical thinking and a better understanding of the cutting edge topics under research in science and their implications. These learning outcomes are not always fully addressed in school contexts, but they are essential for equipping individuals with the knowledge, skills and values to actively participate in Responsible Research and Innovation. From this perspective, SciencIES, in collaboration with PARRISE, is making a significant contribution to bridge the gap between the science being taught at school and the science needed to face current social challenges.