Science On Stage 2 Set to Inspire Teachers
ILL-CISB-ESRF European research site in Grenoble, France
2 April 2007
This week, the beautiful French Alps see an influx of science teachers from across the continent for the EIROforum Science on Stage 2 Festival, one of the most important events in the education calendar. Held in the science city of Grenoble from 2 to 6 April, the international festival will once again bring together some 500 educators from 28 European countries.
This year, the festival organisers have issued a clarion call for science teachers to “awaken the dormant passion” of their students for scientific innovation and discovery. In the hope that Science on Stage 2 will inspire the attendees, the organisers have put together a four-day programme of parallel sessions, with workshops and presentations ranging from “Motivation in Science”, to “Physics Experiments at Less Than 1 Euro” and “How to Surprise Leonardo and Einstein”.
A number of exciting and innovative demonstrations will take place outside the venue and on stage, including an inflatable model of Borromini’s gallery that will help to explain the science of optical illusions; a tug-of-war in which professional rugby and hockey teams take on the power of the vacuum; a cookery show that will use “molecular gastronomy” to inspire new culinary ideas; and a magic show with a difference.
Also taking part throughout the week is the famous science fair, an international exhibition made up of 65 stands, where each delegation has the opportunity to present the best teaching materials and methods offered to young students of science in their country. Using vibrant and stimulating displays, participants explain their projects, find out about those of their European colleagues, compare and contrast experiences, gain inspiration from others, and generate new ideas and collaborative ventures.
A major highlight of the festival will be a Round Table discussion on 5 April, entitled “Science Education in the Age of the Knowledge Society - Strengthening Science Education in Europe”. In addition to the European Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik, the panellists will include the Danish Minister for Education, Bertel Haarder; the MEP Vittorio Prodi; the Chair of the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Julia Higgins; the Hungarian Secretary of State for Education and Culture, Gergely Arató; the Director General of the European Southern Observatory, Catherine Cesarsky; and the Director of the Institut Laue Langevin, Richard Wagner.
The festival will close with the presentation of the European Science Teaching Awards. The Science Teaching Award comprises 4 money prizes (€4000-€1000) and 7 prizes sponsored by the 7 EIROforum research organisations, plus one €1000 prize sponsored by the European Physical Society. The teaching materials and methods voted as the best in Europe will also be mentioned in the “Science in School” magazine, which is distributed free of charge to 30,000 teachers in Europe.
In addition to the busy work programme, delegates will have a number of opportunities to explore the local sights and interact informally with each other. These will include a tour of the ILL-CISB-ESRF European research site, a welcome reception at the Museum of Modern Art, a visit to the Hexagone Theatre and a Gala Evening at the Grenoble Ice Rink.