HSci2010 - 7th International Conference on Hands-on Science  
July 25 - 31, 2010 - The University of Crete campus at Rethymno - Greece.

Hands-on Science: Bridging the Science and Society gap

Science and Technology Literacy is fundamental for the welfare of modern, technology dependent societies. Because, in modern technology dependent societies, more and more of the everyday life regulations are based on the advances in Science and Technology, the basic constituent of democracy, i.e. citizens" participation, makes Science and Technology Literacy a necessity. In this sense, Science and Technology Literacy becomes a "right to democracy".

Consequently, the effective Science Teaching in the general education becomes a crucial issue with effectiveness starting with Science and Technology Literacy encompassing all students, the prospective citizens. This literacy may be achieved only through the compulsory education because, due to the rapid advances in Science and Technology, the relevant impact from the society (in Vygotski"s context) is non existent or even misleading.

Within this framework, Science and Technology teaching leads to raised expectations on the qualifications of the Science and Technology teacher in the compulsory, primary and secondary, education, for example, sound knowledge of the basic principles is considered a prerequisite for the Science teacher. However, experience shows that a major problem hindering the effectiveness of Science and Technology Teaching is that, in general, Science and Technology is taught focused on factual knowledge (data and techniques - mostly mathematical) and in an abstract way distant from everyday life.

For an effective literacy in Science and Technology encompassing all citizens, teaching has to move from factual knowledge on specific data, techniques and themes or from the "successful performance" of an experiment, towards a "scientific inquiry" approach, in which Science knowledge is not only acquired by the student but it is discovered or, at least, negotiated anew. This teaching approach is heavily dependent on systematic Science observations associated with activities of everyday life and on experiments in which the student participates actively and understands the functioning of any equipment used.

The Hands-on Science network, which was initiated as a project supported by the European Commission, organizes, from 2004, annual International Conferences on Science and Technology Teaching within the above context. The main theme of the Hsci2010 International Conference, locally organized by the Laboratory for Science Teaching of the Department for Primary Education of The University of Crete, is " Bridging the Science and Society gap" and will take place in the University of Crete campus at Rethymno, Greece during 25 - 31 July 2010.

You are cordially invited to participate in HSci2010 - 7th International Conference on Hands-on Science: Bridging the Science and Society gap, July 25 - 31, 2010 at The University of Crete campus at Rethymno - Greece.

Braga, Portugal, 21 November 2009.
Manuel Filipe Pereira da Cunha Martins Costa,
Professor at the University of Minho, Portugal

Rethymno - Crete, Greece, 21 November 2009
P. G. Michaelides, B.Sc., Ph.D., LL.B.
Professor at The University of Crete, Greece

See the Invitation to the Conference - click here

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