Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Hands-on learning turns children’s minds on to science

Thousands of schoolchildren will soon be asking the questions when inquiry-based learning comes to science classrooms across Europe, turning the traditional model of science teaching on its head. The pan-European INQUIRE programme is an exciting new teacher-training initiative delivered by a seventeen-strong consortium of botanic gardens, natural history museums, universities and NGOs.

Coordinated by Innsbruck University Botanic Garden, with support from London-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), INQUIRE is a practical, one-year, continual professional development (CPD) course targeted at qualified teachers working in eleven European countries. Its focus on inquiry-based science education (IBSE) reflects a consensus in the science education community that IBSE methods are more effective than current teaching practices.

Designed to reflect how students actually learn, IBSE also engages them in the process of scientific inquiry. Increasingly it is seen as key to developing their scientific literacy, enhancing their understanding of scientific concepts and heightening their appreciation of how science works. Whereas traditional teaching methods have failed to engage many students, especially in developed countries, IBSE offers outstanding opportunities for effective and enjoyable teaching and learning. It provides stimulating environments for students to explore their learning in authentic situations. Knowledge is built through testing ideas, discussion with teachers and peers, and direct interaction with scientific phenomena. In fostering a practical, hands-on approach, IBSE can lead to a ‘minds-on’ comprehension of scientific concepts.

INQUIRE’s partner institutions will offer IBSE training and support to teachers and educators and help them become reflective practitioners. The participation of two of Europe’s leading science education research institutions – King’s College, London and the University of Bremen BRD – is also critical, providing an analytical framework and standards benchmark for the programme.

Biodiversity loss and global climate change, among the major scientific as well as political challenges of our age, are core INQUIRE concerns. It is envisaged that, with IBSE training, teachers will be encouraged to find engaging, innovative and practical approaches to these subjects through both formal and informal (Learning Outside the Classroom) education systems.

INQUIRE will be delivered by its partners through the teaching CPD structures of their respective countries, as well as using informal training networks. In Tirol the Pädagogische Hochschule (PHT) is the strong partner to facilitate this process. An interactive website is being designed to promote IBSE and encourage dialogue between partners and teachers. It will also showcase best practice published on other EU websites and highlight the results of practitioner research.

Welcoming the INQUIRE programme, BGCI’s Director of Education, Julia Willison said: “This is an outstanding opportunity to make science learning exciting and relevant to children in classrooms across Europe, especially if it can do something to arrest the worrying decline in students choosing to study science or embark on scientific careers – just when we need them most!”


Dr. Suzanne Kapelari
Institute of Botany
University of Innsbruck
Tel.: +43 512 507-5943
Mag. Stefan Hohenwarter
Public Relations Office
University of Innsbruck
Tel.: +43 512 507-32003

Dr. Christian Flatz | Universität Innsbruck
Further information:

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Studying outdoors is better
06.02.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Classroom in Stuttgart with Li-Fi of Fraunhofer HHI opened
03.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>