In the school year 2021-2022, more than 300 students are involved in the second round of Workshops aimed at Students, in the STARS GAME Project Partners’ countries.
The Workshops are the first activities of the STARS GAME project. They contribute to raise 10-13 years old students’ curiosity and trust towards scientific research, to increase their critical thinking and to promote a multidisciplinary vision of scientific research characterized by uncertainty. These workshops are preparatory to the development and implementation of the STARS GAME digital escape room, to know in depth the school context, understand the student’s perception of research, and their familiarity with game-based methodologies. They are performed by scientific communicators and participants involved in the project actively contribute to its development.
During the workshops, science disseminators develop a dialogue with the students on these topics:
- Stereotypes about scientists, the imagery of mad scientist, unsociable, and the gender stereotypes;
- The scientific method in the research field, in other fields and in everyday life;
- Some aspects related to scientific research and the application of the scientific method: the peer review process, non-linearity, the tools used,, the importance of dialogue between scientists;
- Multidisciplinary research and Interdisciplinary research;
- Students’ attitude towards scientific subjects and if they have cross-cutting interests in STEM subjects, Arts and Humanities;
- Students’ attitude towards activities such as experiments, role-playing games, activities with researchers.
The workshops are structured with quizzes and interactive activities to involve participants more actively. At the end of the meetings, a Google Form is shared with the students, with more specific questions to collect opinions and suggestions on the topics discussed. The information collected are used for the development of the Escape room.
The innovative character of the workshops is given by the content, not only focused on students’ notions, but above all on the method used to acquire the knowledge, the Inquiry and Game-Based Learning approach. Moreover, workshops are focused on students’ perception of the connections between scientific disciplines and on their perception of the impact that this knowledge and this approach have on their daily life, boosting their critical thinking and problem solving. Furthermore, the workshop aims to arouse curiosity in students to better understand the characteristics of scientific research: multidisciplinary vision, the importance of networking and the importance of uncertainty.
By comparing what emerges from the workshops and then from the surveys at the end of the implementation of the escape room it is possible to measure what has changed in the students’ perception of scientific research, the effectiveness of the method used, the growth of a critical and problem-solving oriented thinking. Guidelines are also prepared to ensure transferability of the project and the possibility for scientific communicators from other countries to develop this activity.
The following workshops have been conducted to date:
02, 04-02-2021 Workshop at I.C. Malalbergo – Garibaldi-Baricella school – 57 students
6, 7, 10, 15-12-2021 Workshop at Matteotti-Pellico Institute in Turin – 183 students
03, 04-03-21, 12-05-2021 Workshop at Staatliche Realschule Landshut – 37 students
16-02-2021 Workshop at Institute Bisbe Berenguer – 27 students
17-02-2021 Workshop at Institute Jesuïtes Joan XXIII – 30 students
23-02-2021 Workshop at Institute Bellvitge – 60 students
24-02-2021 Workshop at Institute Mercè Rodoreda – 28 students
14-02-2022 Workshop at Institute Bellvitge – 42 students
15-02-2022 Workshop at Institute Jesuïtes Joan XXIII – 30 students
17-02-2022 Workshop at Institute Bisbe Berenguer – 25 students
23-02-2022 Workshop at Institute Mercè Rodoreda – 23 students
06-01-2022 Workshop at school Stročja Vas – 17 students