The MASS Project
A decreasing interest in science
Evidence shows that there is a decreasing interest in science disciplines amongst youth all over Europe. While there is a growing consensus about the needs to change the way science is traditionally taught and how effective science education should look like, the major task remains to translate these general recommendations into an everyday classroom practice.
The MASS project
So how can we make science education more attractive and accessible for students? This is the main question in the Motivate and Attract Students to Science (MASS) project.
We found that issues of sustainable environmental education lend themselves particularly well for this purpose since they provide the motivational advantage of relating to students everyday live, are often subject of the public discourse and provide direct links to different science disciplines, enabling cross disciplinary interactions including not only the sciences but also the human dimension.
Eight countries (Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Greece, Cyprus and The Netherlands) combined their expertise and joined forces to find answers to this question. Good practices from all countries were collected and analysed and are now disseminated throughout Europe. The MASS-project hopes to support teachers in their endeavor to provide attractive and motivating approaches in teaching science, which will hopefully help to make the student’s learning experience in science more relevant, fun and accessible.
The MASS project has identified three major challenges in making science education more attractive for students.
1. Science through digital learning
The majority of today´s generation of students use digital devices, internet applications or social media on a daily basis. The MASS project shares good practices and experiences on using digital tools and media to make science education more meaningful.
2. Early Inquiry
Inquiry has proven to be an effective method to attract children to science to increase their learning success, especially at a young age. The MASS project analyses barriers of using inquiry-based methods at schools and shows successful implementation of these methods to the science classroom practice, with a special focus on primary school learners.
3. Low achievers in science
Science is a setting where we learn important lessons about the real world; that is why it must be delivered to every child. The MASS project collects, pilots, adapts and shares practices that deal with attracting low achievers to science and help them develop some of the key Competencies that are basic-life skills at the same time.
For all of these challenges products (i.e. tutorials, trainings, lesson plans) have been developed. You can view them on our website.
The partners in the MASS project believe that by addressing these three challenges, we make a significant contribution to show the relevance of science in real life that concerns every one of us. If we start speaking the language and using the tools which are attractive to our students, we can make science education more popular.