The National Observatory of Athens (NOA) is the oldest scientific research center in Greece, established in 1842 continuously serving Greek and foreign researchers in geodynamic, astronomical and meteorological observations. NOA is a governmental research center, supervised by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Ministry of Education and the activities are organized in 3 research Institutes: The Institute of Geodynamics, the Institute of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing and the Institute of Environmental Research and Sustainable Development. NOA’s scientific mission primarily deals with the collection of observational data from hundreds of ground based stations and modern space probes as well as in applied research dealing with the crust and the interior of the earth, the atmospheric environment and the stellar and solar space. NOA operates the National Seismological Network and hosts the UNESCO Chair for Natural Disasters, the Greek Focal Point of the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS), the National gate to the European Space Agency and many other international research networks. Besides basic and applied research, NOA provides the facilities for graduate studies in collaboration with other Greek and foreign Universities. The rich scientific outcomes and activities at NOA are linked to entrepreneurship, culture, education and the popularization of science to society. NOA offers critical social services, such as the daily seismicity monitoring on a 24/7 basis, weather forecasting, forest fire monitoring, a continuous 150 years long climatic dataset and operation of one of the largest European telescopes. The research center has also an important contribution to public outreach via its two popular visitor’s centers in in Athens in Penteli and Thissio which also hosts the Astrogeophysics Museum displaying scientific instruments and an extensive scientific library since the 19th century.
Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) is a private educational organization officially recognized by the Greek state. It is an institutional member of EDEN (European Distance Education Network), of STEDE (Science Teacher Education Development in Europe) network. of ECSITE (European Network of Science Centres and Museums) network and part of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) . The school has ca. 250 teachers, 150 technical and adminsitrative staf and 2000 studnets. EA was the first Greek educational organization, which applied Open Distance Learning in secondary level education in the year of 1993. Since 1998, the organization has established a devoted department, the Research and Development (R&D) Department for the design, development and implementation of the research activities in education, expanding the collaboration with Universities and pedagogical Institutions across Europe. The R&D Department acts as interface between the pedagogical research, the technological innovation and the school community.
The work of the R&D department which currently employs 18 full time researchers (10 with PhD, 8 at MSc level) focuses on the following areas: a) the development of methodologies and empirical research to investigate processes of learning and knowledge acquisition in various subject-matter areas (physics, mathematics, biology, history, etc); b) the collaboration with computer science departments and artificial intelligence labs for the development of computational models and AI learning systems; c) the collaboration with Universities and private companies for the development and testing of educational software; and d) the design of technology supported learning environments. EA has a very strong vision-generated interest and rich research and development activity in the fields of informal learning, combined with scientific instruments, such as seismometers. It also offers learning activities using virtual reality, augmented reality and game-based education, aiming to empower learners and teachers to thrive in the landscape of unprecedented challenges and opportunities in the 21st century. Under this approach, EA has taken up the challenge to embed pedagogical practice that effectively uses a range of ICTs in every classroom, as well as driving up student academic outcomes across the school. Moreover, a large range of previous projects were focused on developing and implementing technological tools which leverage both digital science repositories and informal learning. As part of this, EA has developed virtual environments in which participators live their learning experience in every place. Its work in EU projects over the last 20 years has established EA as a leading pioneer in innovative approaches to science education. Since its establishment, the R&D Department has coordinated and supported the participation of EA, either as coordinator or as partner, in more than 100 national and international collaborative research projects and networks (H2020, eContentPlus, ICT-PSP, SiS in FP7 and FP6, IST in FP5 and ICT in FP6, LLP-ICT, Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus+), the majority of which have been concerned with the fields of science and new technologies in education. EA team has implemented numerous projects and initiatives in the field of informal science education trying to bridge the gap between formal and informal science learning. These initiatives include the development of innovative tools and approaches, development of contextual based field trips and storylines, monitoring of the visitors behavior, assessment of cognitive and affective outcomes. EA team has also worked on the organization of digital museum collections according to the school curriculum (taxonomies) as well as on the development of innovative approaches of tagging museum exhibits and collections based on users’ views (folksonomies).
The National Institute for Earth Physics (NIEP) has a long experience in the basic area of the project and was involved as partner or leader in many national/international projects. NIEP is the leading institution for seismology in Romania, responsible for the seismic and geodetic monitoring of the territory. NIEP has a wide background in basic and applied researches in Earth sciences, with focus on seismic source and seismotectonics, seismic hazard and risk assessment, engineering seismology and earthquake prediction. As an institution recognized by the Ministry of National Education, NIEP is actively participating to: (i) structuring the strategy in the Earth physics and related domains, (ii) coordination of research activities at national level, particularly in Seismology and generally in Earth physics, (iii) evaluation and approval of projects and human resources, (iv) professional training and specialization, (v) consulting and expertise in Earth physics, (vi) providing scientific and technological services to protect people and infrastructure from earthquakes, (vii) national representative in international organizations and boards. NIEP is coordinating a very dense and up-to-date seismic network developed over the entire Romania. Around 40 researchers (mostly physicist and geophysicists), among them 12 PhD students, carry out research in 3 main departments (National Seismic Network, National Data Center and Research, Development and Innovation for Earth Sciences Department); 30 others offer technical support for running the network (engineers and technicians). One important objective of the institute with vital impact on society needs is the improvement of the link between research, education and training. NIEP has become increasingly active in this direction acting as leader or partner in many relevant national/international projects with an important focus on science dissemination and public outreach. Making use of the exponential development of computer technology, scientific and educational expertise among its institution members, NIEP makes also a normal and necessary step to substantial contributions to earth science education. Since the inceptions of such education and outreach activities, the institute, through media, online tools and direct feedback, has been exploring the needs of the different audience, trying to tailor the future programs to address those needs. An Education, Outreach and Training team was put together (4 senior researcher and 3 assistant researcher) that, using the funding opportunity provided by national and international research programs, start to develop and provide products and programs for a variety of audiences. All the resources developed in the last 5 years of educational projects it led to the recent establishment of NIEP Earth Science Education, Outreach and Training (EOT) facilities (https://erris.gov.ro/INCDFP- EOTfacilities) combining in situ experimental equipment and mobile resources for offering an unique experience to children and adults of all ages eager to know more about Earth Science, in general and earthquakes in particular NIEP EOT team delivered, only in the last 5 years more than 20 teachers workshops and training, 2 summer schools, 2 national conferences involving more than 1000 science teachers from Romania and surrounding countries (e.g Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia).
The University of Cyprus is a public University with approximately 4000 undergraduate and 1000 masters and PhD students. We have approximately 350 members of the faculty. The Department of Educational Sciences at the University of Cyprus is a large department with 22 members of the faculty, and 35 associate or assistant personnel. We have two undergraduate (primary and pre-primary school education) programs, a pre-service post-graduate secondary education program (across all subject domains taught in secondary education) and seven postgraduate programs at the Masters and PhD level (including science, math and technology education). The University of Cyprus is the largest teacher training university of the country and the only one responsible for training secondary education teachers right before entering schools. UCY personnel train about 100 pre-service teachers per year, as well as about 100 in-service teachers, and it currently leads the curriculum reform of the country. In Science Education we are active in research into inquiry learning, computer supported collaborative learning, physical and virtual laboratory experimentation, STEM, STEAM, RRI, modelling, science curriculum development and assessment, conceptual understanding, equity and multiculturism, teacher training and professional development, and educational evaluation in the cognitive and the affective domain. The Research in Science and Technology Education Group (ReSciTEG) of the Department of Education at the University of Cyprus will participate in this project. The ReSciTEG group at the University of Cyprus conducts a co-ordinated program of research, curriculum development and instruction (including pre- and in-service teacher training). The group includes faculty, research associates, post-doctoral students and graduate students (both at the Master’s and PhD level). The director of ReSciTEG is Dr. Zacharias C. Zacharia. ReSciTEG is currently engaged in projects focusing on: the use of virtual and remote labs in the context of inquiry-based (science) learning, the development of computer supported inquiry learning environments, and STEM/STEAM/STEAME oriented projects, seismology education and open schooling.
ReSciTEG (Prof Zacharias Zacharia) is also leading the curriculum reform of the country for science and technology education across K-12. Overall, our goal is to help the Cypriot, and EU citizens in general, across all ages, to acquire understanding of the role of the STEM disciplines in the society, as well as to develop 21st century skills and achieve an optimum level of scientific literacy. The ReSciTEG members have a lot of experience with designing technology enhanced curriculum in the area of science education and training both pre- and in-service teachers on how to use online inquiryoriented environments for science teaching and learning purposes. Additionally, the ReSciTEG members have a lot of experience with evaluating skills related to the cognitive and affective domain. The group is taking a leadership role in the efforts of the Ministry of Education of Cyprus to implement inquiry and STEM across K-12 and to implement its eLearning strategy through a series of projects including topics such as designing multimedia environments for science teaching and learning. Furthermore, ReSciTEG has a very strong ties with the educational community and a very strong and wide network (e.g., member of the Schools Study Earthquakes network) which includes research organizations, schools, and informal and non-formal settings of learning (e.g., science centers and museums). Our work has received continuous financial support over the years from the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation and the European Commission (through various programs, e.g., IST, Science and Society, ERASMUS+, FP 7, H2020).
Fondazione Idis-Città della Scienza is a non-profit organisation that has among its founding members the Nobel Prize Laureates; Rita Levi Montalcini and Carlo Rubbia. It boasts a number of scientific collaborations with major museums and scientific Institutions in Europe and worldwide. Città della Scienza started its activities in 1987 and was completed in 2001, in the western part of Naples, with a structure dedicated to the dissemination of scientific and technological culture, as well as to the innovation of the educational and business systems. One of the main values of Città della Scienza is to set up a new form of scientific citizenship, bridging the gap between science and society, in order to bring the science outside of the realm of laboratories through an open dialogue with citizens and stakeholders. Hence, Città della Scienza aims at creating an efficient relationship between science, innovation and society for the economic and social development of the region and fostering social inclusion through social innovation. Città della Scienza is based on a new knowledge-based sustainable development model, focused on: science education, environmental and cultural resources valorisation, innovation advanced services, research promotion, experimentation and production of intangible assets.
Active at the local, national and international levels, Città della Scienza combines an articulated system of functional areas: the Science Centre, the Business Innovation Centre, the D.RE.A.M Fablab, the Advanced Training Centre, and the Convention Centre, described below. The whole system of functional areas works as a hub, focusing on six priority sectors: manufacturing 4.0, smart cities, smart education, human health, blue growth, and agrifood. The Science Centre: opened in 2001, was the first hands-on science centre in Italy, includes today permanent exhibitions on the sea marine environment and research. Moreover the science centre hosts laboratories for science education and ICT related educational programmes (science, robotics, coding, and digital fabrication). Città della Scienza is now in a process of renovation and expansion. In March 2017, a thematic building, Corporea, opened to the public. Corporea is the first interactive science centre in Italy completely dedicated to the human body and health sciences. It is a building of 5,000 m2 comprising of permanent exhibitions, educational labs, a training centre, in addition to a new generation planetarium, with a large dome for 3D educational shows about astronomy and other scientific topics. Città della Scienza is based on a new knowledge-based sustainable development model, focused on: science education, environmental and cultural resources valorisation, innovation advanced services, research promotion, experimentation and production of intangible assets. Educational and training activities are realized in connection with the regional and national system of research and university, thanks to the various agreements entered into. Città della Scienza is an accredited institution by the Ministry of Education for the implementation of innovative school programs.
Having opened its first campus in Bahçeşehir-Istanbul in 1994, Bahçeşehir College operates 138 campuses in 60 provinces across Turkey by the end of 2019-2020 academic year. Bahçeşehir Uğur Educational Institutions, which Bahçeşehir College is an affiliate to, is a global education brand founded by Enver Yücel in 1968. By the year 2020 Bahçeşehir Uğur Educational Institutions offers high quality education to more than one hundred and fifty thousand students with a broad range of schools including Bahçeşehir College, Bahçeşehir College Science and Technology High Schools, Fulford Academy, Uğur Schools and within the BAU Global network Bahçeşehir University, BAU International University Washington DC, BAU International Berlin – University of Applied Sciences, BAU International University Batumi, Bahçeşehir University Cyprus, International Academy of Rome, BAU Global Silicon Valley Incubation Center, BAU Global Hong Kong, Mentora Language Schools, CES Toronto Language Schools, and Toronto & CES Junior Summer Schools. Turkey’s and Europe’s largest educational institution Bahçeşehir College opened its first overseas campus in Canada in 2017 under the title of Fulford Academy, in line with its goal to become a global education brand.
While enabling the students of Bahçeşehir College to be awarded double diplomas, Fulford Academy also offers a leveraging ground for students who plan to continue their university education in Canada and the United States. Since 1994, Bahçeşehir College continues to move towards the goal of becoming a “global education brand” and to graduate generations who know no limits on success and who will make a difference in our future world, building on its strong academic program, innovation vision and mission to ensure access of greater number of young minds to higher quality education.