The CONNECT – 1.5 million project – was officially launched on September 29th-30th, 2020 with a remote kick-off meeting that brought together all project members including the Expert Advisory Board to discuss the project’s implementation towards inclusive open schooling through engaging and future-oriented science.
CONNECT is designed to increase the science capital of secondary schools’ students, by offering to science teachers a multi-lingual platform that offers: open educational resources, scientists-projects database, partnership system, policy guidelines, and CARE-KNOW-DO framework for engaging communities, families, and STEM professionals to support students’ science actions to solve real-world socio-scientific issues
CONNECT team includes 8 organisations from across the EU (Greece, UK, Denmark, Spain, Romania, Portugal) and two organisations from Brazil to deliver a three-year Horizon 2020 CSA – coordination supported action – project.
This was a unique meeting because it combined the traditional activities of a European project with very engaging hands-on workshops organised by the partners.
The first day of the meeting started with an introduction prepared by the Project Officer of the European Commission David Monteiro, his presentation provided an important scenario about the Horizon 2020 Science with and for Society Programme (SawfS) and the relevance of CONNECT to contribute to SawfS main goal:
Then, an overview of the project was presented by the scientific coordinator Dr. Okada, who described the key features of CONNECT: inclusive, engaging, and future-oriented!
She also explained the three phases of the project:
See the introduction to the CONNECT’s Kick off Meeting in this videclip.
To extend the group identity which was initiated when the team elaborated the proposal in 2018-2019, the meeting started with keywords brought by each participant to share the meaning of CONNECT.
Dr. Jaho and Varveris from EXUS – project coordinator and technology leader highlighted “Collaboration” to describe the importance of a collaborative space for partners to support each other to meet the mission of the project “Science-action driven by Youth with open schooling”. Now more than ever, a collaborative team will be fundamental to meet the project objectives, milestones and facing the challenges during and post the pandemic.
Organisational issues such as deliverable templates, branding, and logos. Then, embracing the main principles of the project, co-creation, and inclusion, the partners plunged into discussions and brainstorm exercises for implementation issues, such as:
The second day featured more detailed presentations on public engagement methods, and experiences about open schooling in action (engagement, coaching, platform, and instruments). The plans for implementing pilot studies in schools were discussed including engagement of participants, implementation, and evaluation of the pilots.
The role of supporting bodies to the project, such as the User Advisory Board and the Expert Advisory Board, were introduced. All participants highlighted the important role of the User Advisory Board, which is composed of prospective end-users from the educational field and other interested stakeholders. Finally, members of the newly formed Expert Advisory provided their overall views and feedback.
All participants expressed their optimism that the project will significantly help the schooling community in Europe and beyond, and promised three productive and exciting project years!
Please see an introductory video to our project here