1

Jet-Net

Aims

In the lab © Jet-Net

In the lab © Jet-Net

To assist secondary schools to enhance the appeal of their science curriculum and science teaching. It contributes to a national strategy to realise a 15% growth of students opting for science subjects in upper secondary schools and a 10% growth in enrolment of students in science & technology studies in higher education.

Argument for inclusion

Offers good examples of integrating classroom theory to real life and concrete situations in company contexts.

Relevant information in short

Main Research Partners

30 private technological companies

Educational partners

150 schools of secondary education (>30% of all pre-college schools in the Netherlands)

Other partners

Union of Employers, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economic Affairs

Age classes

12 - 18, focus on upper secondary schools (15-18)

Thematic orientation

Science & Technology

Main Focus

Jet-Net companies help schools enhance the appeal of their science curriculum by using a great variety of activities and also allow students to gain a better understanding of their future career prospects in industry and technology.

Duration of activity

From 2003 onwards.

Resources

The participating companies provide all services and materials in kind (expertise, lab-facilities) and organise meetings en seminars.

Website

www.jet-net.nl

Contact person

Ms. Beatrice Boots, b.boots@jet-net.nl

Context and conditions

Jet-Net is a joint venture between Dutch companies and pre-university secondary schools in the Netherlands. Jet-Net companies help schools enhance the appeal of their science curriculum by using a great variety of activities and also allow students to gain a better understanding of their future career prospects in industry and technology.
The network is the materialisation of a covenant between private companies, the Union of Employers, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Jet-Net facilitates the matching between schools and companies and the sharing of good practices between all participants.

Activities and Contents

School/company REC’s develop learning activities that link (school)theory to concrete practice in the company context. Furthermore companies facilitate coursework of groups of students or individual students. The effective outreach of Jet-Net activities is 30,000 students yearly.

Activities at school level.

Producing solar energy © Jet-Net

Programs are established between individual schools and companies and ideally run for the entire school year. The programs are geared towards adding practical content to the science curriculum and also towards enlightening students to the broader career prospects in industry and technology.
Company visits and guest lectures: as part of an initial orientation program, companies organise company visits and carry out guest lectures to help students to develop a general understanding of industry and technology.
Workshops, expert meetings and projects: students are given group assignments, in which they learn how to present a report on a specific s&t-topic, or how to develop a solution to a specific technological problem.
Individual assignments: company staff can assist individual students, for example helping and facilitating science coursework.
Producing solar energy  
© Jet-Net

Regional and national activities

Jet-Net Career Day  

Jet-Net Career Day:

Programming a car at the Jet-Net
Career Day  
© Jet-Net

Every year students from Jet-Net schools in their last year of upper secondary, are invited to participate in an educational science fair organised by Jet-Net companies. In 2007, some 2,500 students experienced new technologies in many fields and interacted with young engineers. This helped them to gain insight into the prospects of a career in industry and technology.

Meet the Boss:

Meet the Boss is a debate competition where teams of students from different schools debate with top managers of Jet-Net  companies about various topics concerning the relationship between science & technology and society. In this way, students are encouraged to develop informed opinions about these topics and express them.

Teachers Events

Jet-Net companies regularly invite teachers to special sessions at both regional and national level. These are designed to further improve their joint programs and to provide teachers with broad coverage of current trends in industry and technology. The sessions also allow companies to better understand the needs of schools.

Methodologies

Jet-Net activities are developed in close cooperation with schools and every effort is made to fit the educational activities logically and meaningfully into the students' curriculum.
Interaction between school coordinator & company coordinator on a regular basis is vital to plan activities.
Combined efforts of all partners resulted in the development of numerous “standard type” activities. These activities combine maximal appeal to students with a good integration within the school curriculum. Much effort is made to provide S&T teachers with the latest information on developments in S&T and up-to-date examples to use in the classroom. Interdisciplinarity is a third important aspect:  the aim is to show students the interrelationships between subjects in the science curriculum. 

Curriculum relevance

Building a bridge of spaghetti © Jos Lammers

Building a bridge of spaghetti  © Jos Lammers

Strengthen the teaching and learning of science and technology in secondary schools. Showing students appealing real world applications of S&T theories. Introducing cutting edge technological topics in school. Allowing students to do experimental and practical work that schools generally cannot provide. Students are stimulated to think about their preferences and expectations with regard to studies in higher education and future career.

Other outcomes

Guest lesson by an engineer from a company participating in Jet-Net © Jet-Net

Jet-Net offers teachers the opportunity to update themselves on the latest developments in their field of expertise. This way they can teach their students state of the art topics and examples. Employees from Jet-Net companies are usually more than happy to tell young people about their jobs, and in the process develop a whole set of additional skills.

Guest lesson by an engineer from a company participating in Jet-Net       © Jet-Net

Mutual benefits  

Secondary schools improve the content and teaching methodology. Schools offering this type of “enriched” education offer something extra to students. Students are given the opportunity to carry out real life projects in companies and develop skills in teamwork and project-management in addition to deepening their insight, knowledge and skills in science.
Companies get a chance to promote careers in science and technology, inspiring more students to become the scientists and technicians of tomorrow. Companies also clearly show their involvement with society by investing time and money in educating the next generation. Also, interacting with young people improves their understanding of the needs and expectations of their (future) customers.
Employees and teachers participating in Jet-Net are encouraged to develop skills in whole new areas of expertise. They get involved in project planning and teaching and are challenged to jointly develop lessons explaining complicated problems to an inexperienced audience. Jet-Net activities are perceived by most participants as a motivating way to teach and learn science.

The great thing about Jet-Net projects is the impact it has within our own company. Employees who are involved in the (Jet-Net) activities find it fun and exciting. Often they get so enthusiastic, that they themselves come up with innovative ideas. We often hear that through this work, they’re given cause to really think about their own job. It’s a great challenge to get youth interested in the work you do.
Monique Walrave, Jet-Net Project Leader Siemens, The Hague

Evaluation /feedback  

On a regular basis qualitative evaluations are carried out by means of questionnaires on paper and on-line. Quantitative forms of evaluation are currently being developed and will be carried out shortly..

Testimonials:

One of our activities is a chemistry lab practicum for 6th year students of VWO. The topic, the application of metallic coatings to steel, connects to part of the school curriculum (redox reactions). Therefore schools can easily fit it in to their program of studies. The contribution of the school is vital: it makes or brakes the success of the practicum. When properly prepared, students participate enthusiastically and bombard us with questions. We let them experience how much fun it is to do scientific research.
 Kokkie Schnetz, Corus, IJmuiden.

As one of the smallest Jet-Net companies we are proud to participate. We maintain structural contacts with two secondary schools. Our activities mainly take the form of assignments whereby students can work along side with our engineers on real projects such as reducing noise pollution along railway tracks or the construction of  zero emissions railway station. Their final presentation in the company restaurant could also win them a prize. The excitement always adds to the fun.
Anne-Jan van der Hulst, project leader Movares, Utrecht

Design your own Medicine:
In cooperation with two Jet-Net schools we developed three biology/chemistry modules. They are pretty self-explanatory so that any interested teacher can use them. The modules use the “Lock and Key” model to explain students the way medicines work. For many students it’s a real eye opener. In the end they even get to try and design their own medicine! We get very positive responses from schools.
Pedro Hermkens, Organon , Oss

Limits and possibilities

In the summer of 2008 there is a waiting list of some 120 schools that wish to participate in Jet-Net. The problem is that there are too few companies to accommodate the many schools that are interested.  When too many schools are linked to one company, the level of service and cooperation may suffer.