Surrounded by Science goes to Naples

The 3rd Consortium Meeting of Surrounded by Science was held from 26 to 27 October 2022 at Fondazione Idis-Città della Scienza in Naples, Italy. The meeting started with a warm welcome by the General Director of Fondazione IDIS-Città della Scienza, Dr. Massimo Cavaliere, and the Project Coordinator, Dr. Tessa Eysnik (University of Twente), setting the stage for two days of productive collaborative work.

Surrounded by Science Project Coordinator Dr. Tessa Eysink (University of Twente) opens the Naples meeting. Image: Città della Scienza.

The 2-day meeting was devoted to presentations from the Work Packages in which the project is subdivided.

Starting with WP2 “Research Framework”, Dr. Natasha Dmoshinskaia (University of Twente) provided an overview of the inventory of 18 iSTEM case studies from the initial pool of more than 70 learning activities identified over the last six months, spanning across out-of-school science learning contexts, including outreach programmes, designed environments, and technology and media products.

Continuing with WP3 “Digital Toolbox”, Dr. Hannie Gijlers and her team at University of Twente presented the first prototype of Science Chaser, the web-based app that the project develops to monitor users’ iSTEM learning activities. The members of the Surrounded by Science consortium had also the opportunity to try out and reflect on the Science Chaser by visiting Corporea, Città della Scienza’s new permanent exhibition divided into 14 thematic islands that together offer visitors an integrated learning experience on how the complex network of signals, electric and chemical nature ensure the dynamic balance of the human body.

Members of the Surrounded by Science consortium at the Corporea exhibition space at Città della Scienza. Image: Città della Scienza.

Concerning WP7 “Communication and Dissemination”, Dr. Angelos Alexopoulos (Ellinogermaniki Agogi) provided an overview of the communication and dissemination activities that took place over the last six months as well as the plan for future activities that will help promote the project through meaningful and active engagement of its target audiences.

Group photo of the Surrounded by Science consortium. Image: Città della Scienza.

On the second day, the spotlight was fully pointed at WP5 and WP4.

WP5 “Impact Assessment” saw Dr. Sherman Rosenfeld (Weizmann Institute of Science) presenting the tools for assessing the impact of users’ experience with the selected case studies on their science proficiency.

WP4 “Research Implementation” saw Dr. Luigi Cerri and Valentina Carusone (Città della Scienza) introducing the framework within which the actual implementation of the research will take place.

The afternoon of the second day was organised into 3 parallel working sessions: one for the “Digital Toolbox”, a second for “Research Implementation” and “Impact Assessment”, and a third one for “Communication and Dissemination”.

A visit to Città della Scienza’s Planetarium was a perfect prelude to the closing session, during which Project Coordinator Dr. Tessa Eysnik summarised the key points that emerged from the intense and fruitful 2-day meeting, and gave appointment to the Surrounded by Science partners for the fourth biannual meeting that will be held online in Spring 2023.