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Summary of the 4th Project Managers ODE

 

The fourth and last project managers Online Discussion Event will take place in the period 11th-13th November 2012 and will be moderated by Marisa Hernández. During the three day event the participating project managers are invited to express their opinion on the Reach Out Toolkit developed within the DESIRE project. This Toolkit proposes recommendations to ease managers and researchers in STEM education projects the diffusion and exploitation of their outcomes to stakeholders.

 

This Online Discussion Event aims to present the results of the research carried out within the DESIRE project to understand how STEM education projects’ outcomes are currently disseminated and how they could be better communicated to different stakeholders. The outcomes of the research are briefly presented in a practical guide called Reach Out Toolkit based on the results of a survey and several discussion events were data from the main target groups (project managers, researchers, teachers, policy-makers, science communicators, science event organisers) active in STEM education were collected in the context of the DESIRE project.  

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Meet the expert - Marisa Hernández Meet the expert - Marisa Hernández

Marisa Hernandez

Marisa Hernandez is a research assistant and member of the Executive Board of the Centre for Research in Science and Mathematics Education (CRECIM) of the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona, Spain. She  has a BA in Physics and PhD in Science Education.

With a staff of 9 full-time employees, 5 part-time secondary school teachers, and 3 PhD students, CRECIM manages a number of national projects and local initiatives on science and technology education. They cover a broad range of topics, from digital classrooms in science lessons (ADIGIC) and technology enhanced science learning for children in hospital (TEACH); to school-university (REVIR) and school-industry (Prat de la Riba) collaboration.

On the European scene, CRECIM has been actively involved in the management of several EU-funded projects: STISSIKUITSEMaterials ScienceTRACES andECB/inGenious.

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Your feedback on the DESIRE Reach Out Toolkit
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The DESIRE Reach Out Toolkit is already available online here:
DESIRE Reach Out Toolkit

The DESIRE project has also developed an appendix which includes free ICTs to help you disseminate your STEM education projects' outcomes. You can find it here:
Free ICT tools to facilitate dissemiantion of project outcomes

Please, express your most honest opinion on this Toolkit with us. It will be really valuable to us.
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RE: The DESIRE Reach Out Toolkit
11/11/13 15:30 as a reply to Marisa Hernandez.
The free ICT tools are a real "plus" to the toolkit. Of course, these kind of tools get obsolete quickly with the rapid evolution of technology and digital practices. But having a repository of tools for slides, publications and posters that enables to go beyond the usual Office standards is of immediate use! Though they are not the core content and contain no in-depth explanations or strategies, these ICT tools contribute to turning what could have been a "recommendations report" into an actual toolkit.
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RE: The DESIRE Reach Out Toolkit
11/11/13 17:13 as a reply to Marisa Hernandez.
I post here the feedback sent by email by Ian Lawrence, a professional involved in teacher support work at a national level in the UK:

"I've read the PDF rather quickly. It seems to me that there is an unresolved tension in the writing. STEM managers, teachers etc are sometimes referred to as if inclusive, and sometimes as if only those who are actively engaged in the development phase of eu projects. As such I'm completely unable to decide exactly who the document is addressing. It seems to be aimed at those who are running EU funded STEM projects, but does not, I think, distinguish well enough between liaising with those on the inside of such projects and those who have no involvement in such projects, yet who you might hope to influence ( as a rider, I'd guess that there is much more non-EU funded STEM development activity in Europe than is represented by the EU funded projects which seem to be the focus of attention here: yet there seems to be little attention paid to the boundary interactions between these (largely national?) flows and the rather unidirectional flow that seems to underly the document.

You might well regard me as a target-to-be-thought about. I'm not involved in any EU projects, yet am involved in teacher support work at a national level here in the UK. As an example, it's likely that I'll want to access the current best practice in teaching about the tribe-electric series in the near future. I don't know of any EU funded structures that support that kind of query. Yet it seems kind of fundamental to EU large-scale ambition to affect the quality of science education in member schools. (Of course, we could choose another topic- but this one has the singular advantage of being real.)"
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RE: The DESIRE Reach Out Toolkit
11/11/13 17:14 as a reply to Marisa Hernandez.
This is our answer to Ian Lawrence's comments:

"We appreciate a lot the fact that you take the time to read the Toolkit and give us feedback.

Regarding your perception, it is very interesting to have reactions like yours. As it is made explicit from the very beggining of the Toolkit (in the introduction of p.8), "it is intended for project managers and project coordinators who are running initiatives to improve learning and teaching of STEM in formal education (schools) and informal education (science centres, museums, fairs, events)". However, this Toolkit does not intend to focus just on EU projects but any kind of funded initiatives, at a local, regional, national or EU level.

On the other hand, you are right that the document might not clearly distinguish between those being involved in the development of the project as producers and/or disseminators, and those who are considered the end users. And, of course, the dissemination strategies should be different for each of those target groups and for reduced or larger target audiences. In any case, the Toolkit tries to focus more on involving stakeholders in the development of an initiative during Chapter 1 on Dissemination, and it emphasizes more the outreach of end users in Chapter 2 on Exploitation. I hope that might help to interpret the terms and structure of this Toolkit.

Another issue that you mention is that "there is much more non-EU funded STEM development activity in Europe than is represented by the EU funded projects which seem to be the focus of attention here". It is true that the sample of projects from which we collected data for the DESIRE project has a larger representation of EU projects than national projects. We completely agree that there might be more non-EU funded projects existing and being run since there are also many specific priorities or topis that might never have the chance to get EU fundings. That is why the Toolkit does not just address managers or researchers of EU projects but any other national initiatives.

As always, we are more than interested in knowing more about your experience as teacher, teacher supporter and 'close-to-practice' researcher. Your experience as a well-connected person who is involved in dissemination and exploitation of research and innovation outcomes through the Institute of Physics, the 'Physics Education' journal, etc, makes you an expert on the topic of the DESIRE project."
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RE: Research outcomes of the DESIRE project
14/11/13 14:58
A collaboration with project managers would be great for me personally that would help you can implement various projects financed with EU funds .
RE: Research outcomes of the DESIRE project
RE: A Toolkit on specific needs for dissemination and recommendations
RE: Research outcomes of the DESIRE project