Italy

Form-It partner

Roma Tre University

Good practice case studies from Italy

Ethics and Polemics:

Debating controversial science issues


The Perception and Awareness of Science (PAS) Project supports an informed dialogue on topics like Genetic Modified Organisms, electromagnetic pollution, space exploration, climate change and fresh water crisis.

Teachers act as tutors preparing pupils to debate with scientists and civil servants [see below]. ‘Participative techniques’, are used to prepare the students to take an active part in political decision-making processes.

Exploration of tacit assumptions, knowledge and politics of science are combined to develop critical thinking. The PAS project is easy to manage and provides opportunities for teachers to work together across different subjects.

Ethics and polemics

Research and Ethics: Observe, Understand, Respect

Animal welfare at a zoo through the eyes of children and monkeys

The ‘Observe, Understand, Respect’ project put children in contact with the real needs of the Cepus apella monkeys at the Zoological Museum of Rome.

The children investigated their understanding of ‘wellbeing’ and used observational methods to understand the monkeys’ behaviour. The children learned to imagine themselves in the monkeys’ place and start to explore what ‘wellbeing’ may mean to the monkeys themselves.

This project was successful in contrasting the diffused anthropocentric view of animal behaviour and welfare.  Children’s insights lead to concrete improvements on the monkey enclosure at the zoo.

 

Research and ethics

EDURISK “All fall down”: Reducing risks in an Earthquake

(Educational itineraries for risk reduction) aims to change the attitude of individuals and communities towards earthquake risks. Scientific knowledge can help to move from unconscious fear to conscious evaluation of risks and to an appropriate behaviour. 

The project works with geophysics and volcanology researchers, schools and local people to develop individual and social competences for risk reduction. The REC promotes a multidisciplinary and contextualised vision of science and education. We can understand earthquakes through science, history, psychology, landscape and education.

EDURISK

Material Science:

The profession of a new generation

The Material Science is a national initiative in Italy reaching 5,000 secondary schools through 11 universities.  It aims to introduce a new concept of a ‘material scientist’, a professional researcher able to work in an interdisciplinary way. The experiments deal with today’s pressing science challenges to attract young people to enrol on science degree courses.

                                                  
The activities are related to energy and pollution and to understanding of the science behind everyday objects. For example in one activity students were asked to build a functioning solar cell by using glass, blackberry juice and titanium dioxide.

 

Material Science