Over two-thirds of the European population live in cities. Enabling those cities to deliver services effectively, efficiently, and sustainably while keeping their citizens safe, healthy, prosperous, and well-informed is amongst the most important challenges in this century. Improving the attractiveness of cities is one of the priorities targeted by the Lisbon Strategy and the EU’s strategic guidelines for cohesion policy (Integrated Sustainable Urban Development) for 2014-2020. Quality of life is crucial in attracting and retaining a skilled labour force, businesses, students, tourists and, most of all, residents in a city. But cities also account for the biggest share of energy consumption, CO2 emissions and environmental impact. Cities are where we can make a difference.
The overall aim of Urban Science is:
‘to improve the teaching of scientific inquiry and investigation so that pupils develop the competencies to actively contribute to creating healthy cities, gain scientific skills for employment, and are more motivated to study science.’
The project aims to meet the needs of an urban Europe, where scientists of the future will have the skills and knowledge to create healthy and sustainable cities. Urban Science will focus on how science can develop solutions to urban issues, so motivating pupils to view the positive benefits of science to the urban environment. Urban Science will support teachers with exciting and innovative ways to teach science that has real life meaning for their pupils. It also aims to meet the needs of pupils to be competitive in a rapidly changing world where scientific understanding is vital.
Urban Science partners will promote hands-on inquiry based science engaging learners in everyday issues that have relevance and meaning. We will use the urban environment as ‘living laboratories’ where pupils explore how science can help create healthier places to live and work. We focus on mobility, energy, green spaces, water, air, buildings and waste. For example, studies on urban air pollution could lead to discussions on green roofs to absorb carbon, redesigning urban space to reduce the build-up of pollutants and using algorithms to plan more effective journeys to and from work. Rather than focusing on single issues, our approach develops understanding of the city as a series of inter-actions, an urban ecosystem.
More pupils will be motivated to study science and view it as a career option.
Greater access to high quality learning resources for teaching science.
More active participation in society and the desire to support healthy cities.
Improved levels of skills for employability in science based businesses.
More schools and teachers will deliver science education that raises the attainment of all learners, especially those at risk.
Greater opportunities for teacher professional development.
State-of-the-art review on urban science.
Framework for Science in the Urban Environment.
Urban Science Learning Modules.
Competency Based Assessment.
Sharing the Lessons Learnt.
Training for New Schools and Teachers.