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An important part of the project is the pilot experimentation of the outputs of WP2 and WP3. These will be tested through pilot activities which will be carried out by the 10 schools and 10 science museums.
The pilot will begin with a one-week kick-off workshop with all project partners. At least one teacher from each partner school will participate in the workshop (according to the constraints of each school in terms of substitute teachers, etc.), and will be able to transfer the knowledge to his/her colleagues on his/her return to school. Those teachers that participate in this workshop will become teacher trainers during outreach. The workshop will be supported by BMOS, where BMOS leaders will share their knowledge and experience in developing and running engineering training workshops to teachers throughout the US.
The workshop aims to train participants in the educational materials that are developed by the project for use at school and in museums. In particular, the workshop will focus on: Successful strategies for integrating engineering in the science curriculum; Experimentation of the activities and methodologies by the participants, with the help of the BMOS staff; Group evaluation; Presentation and discussion of working with students in classes; and engineering challenges and issues of gender.
Each teacher will work in cooperation with the museum staff during the workshop in order to devise the teaching programme to be implemented, taking into account the units, the specific science curriculum and the groups of students (specific age, background, etc.). Following the kick-off workshop, teachers will implement contents, methodologies and materials in their own classes. It is intended that at least two classes will be involved per school (with either one teacher teaching both classes or two teachers teaching different groups) and that the structure and the duration of the lessons in the classroom will take into account, on the one hand, the objectives of the project and, on the other hand, the teaching/school obligations of each teacher.
Since our objective is to come up with resources that can be used efficiently by teachers on a wide scale, it is important that contents and methodologies can be integrated harmoniously within the school and can work in any country or curriculum context. The teachers‘ own contribution in this will be valuable, since the pilot will provide data that can help the consortium understand strong points and constraints regarding applicability and feasibility.
Task 4.1: Pilot kick-off workshop – a one-week workshop where all the partners will be introduced to all 10 engineering units and to the teacher training materials developed in WP2 and WP3. The BMOS team will participate in this workshop and will share their experience and best practices with EiE in the US. Following the workshops, the teachers and museum staff will be able to begin piloting the ENGINEER program activities.
Task 4.2: Pilot of teacher training – one day workshops that will be held in four museums (MUST, BSMJ, NEMO and TH) will serve as a pilot for the teacher training workshops. Each workshop will be presented to a group of 5-10 teachers as a test to the effectiveness of the training methods and materials.
Task 4.3: Pilot of the use of engineering units in schools – The engineering design challenges developed by the five teams of teachers and museum educators in WP2 will be tested in the 10 schools that are partners in the consortium. Each school will test the two engineering design challenges units that it helped develop.
Task 4.4: Pilot of the use of engineering activities in the museums – Engineering workshops programs using engineering units for visiting primary school classes and short programs offered to regular museum visitors