The EU funded project “SiS Catalyst –  is analysing the interrelationships between science communication practices and social inclusion, focusing on the children perspective.

 If on one hand science is offering opportunities to overcome forms of oppression and exclusion, on the other hand the science education pathways can be implicitly at the origin of a discriminatory process. In fact, a structured form of knowledge such as science can be perceived differently by children with a higher socioeconomic level (for whom science can be an opportunity of success) and those coming from disadvantaged areas or local minorities (for whom science can be mainly an instrument of selection for progression into higher education, reinforcing the divide between a future perceived as “for them”,and a future “for me”.A way to break this correlation is through empowering actions, providing a space and an audience for listening to children in science in society activities involving them. SiS-Catalyst analysed models of interaction between children and science (science festivals, children universities, science museums, media for children, etc.), identifying where and when the children's voice is taken into account. A series of training workshops were developed and are being tested in 7 countries. They propose practical tools on how to empower children in their relationship with science, helping them to progress towards a sense of ownership of scientific knowledge. The aim is to make them see science as a tool to build the world they would like to live in.                        

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Empowering children
Crossing the science in society and the social inclusion agendas

Matteo Merzagora   TRACES

Meriem Fresson   TRACES

Vanessa Mignan   TRACES

The EU funded project “SiS Catalyst –  is analysing the interrelationships between science communication practices and social inclusion, focusing on the children perspective.

 If on one hand science is offering opportunities to overcome forms of oppression and exclusion, on the other hand the science education pathways can be implicitly at the origin of a discriminatory process. In fact, a structured form of knowledge such as science can be perceived differently by children with a higher socioeconomic level (for whom science can be an opportunity of success) and those coming from disadvantaged areas or local minorities (for whom science can be mainly an instrument of selection for progression into higher education, reinforcing the divide between a future perceived as “for them”,and a future “for me”.A way to break this correlation is through empowering actions, providing a space and an audience for listening to children in science in society activities involving them. SiS-Catalyst analysed models of interaction between children and science (science festivals, children universities, science museums, media for children, etc.), identifying where and when the children's voice is taken into account. A series of training workshops were developed and are being tested in 7 countries. They propose practical tools on how to empower children in their relationship with science, helping them to progress towards a sense of ownership of scientific knowledge. The aim is to make them see science as a tool to build the world they would like to live in.                        

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