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TEMI Report Summary

Project ID: 321403
Funded under: FP7-SIS
Country: United Kingdom

Periodic Report Summary 2 - TEMI (Teaching Enquiry with Mysteries Incorporated)

Project Context and Objectives:
Mystery solving to transform science and maths teaching in Europe!

Project concept and objectives
The TEMI project or Teaching Enquiry with Mysteries Incorporated is coming to an end in July 2016 with a strong legacy. Through it snetwork of teacher training centres, it has trained over 950 teachers since it kicked off in February 2013. TEMI has developed a training platform that incorporate the use of mysteries in the classroom along with additional elements to up skill teachers in communication and drama presentation to carry through enquiry based activities.
Research has consistently found evidence that the way science is traditionally taught is a cause of students’ declining interest in the subject with age (Science Education NOW: A renewed pedagogy for the Future of Europe). Enquiry holds out huge promise for science education, to arrest the decline in student attitudes towards science and mathematics, and foster better scientific thinking. Yet, it demands a major shift in existing classroom culture!
The project has involved nine teacher training centres across Europe to develop and implement the pilot programme through ‘Enquiry Labs’. The TEMI approach adopts a clear definition of enquiry in terms of a cognitive skill set, and sets out a stepwise progression to push students towards becoming confident enquirers. Teachers were recruited to participate in a series of training sessions where they experimented the core scientific concepts and emotionally engaging activity of solving mysteries, i.e. exploring the unknown. The enquiry labs also used scientists and communication professionals (e.g. magicians, actors, motivational speakers, etc.) to guide teachers through the transition to use the TEMI methodology.
The TEMI trained teachers provided considerable input to the development of the TEMI methodology and resources. They were invited to test the approach and materials in the classroom and feedback on it. As the training progressed, methods and resources could be refined in an iterative design-test-feedback cycle.

Project Results:
Work performed since the beginning of the project and the main results achieved so far
TEMI delivered 53 training courses (cohorts) across the TEMI partners in 9 countries, which amounts to 931 teachers recruited. Starting from a common methodology, the training delivery was then adapted by each teacher training centre in the various countries involved to reflect local country specific issues around curriculum, suitability of content and classroom practice.
The TEMI concepts of gradual release of expertise from teacher to pupil, and showmanship skills for teachers to be able to effectively engage students were explored progressively with the TEMI partners so they could impart these skills to their local teachers.
Main project outputs include Teaching the TEMI way: how using mysteries support science learning a booklet describing in an easy format the TEMI methodology and the TEMI Book of Science Mysteries which provides 30 lessons plans deploying the methodology. TEMI produced Light Mystery: script with added comments, a resource for schools and theatre companies. The play explores the world of physics to trigger wonder and curiosity. The play was performed in Italy by the University of Milan partner team and used in the TEMI training with discussion on how to use scientific theatre to engage with young people. The development of a TEMI app is also in its very final stage. It contains 15 mysteries and offers teachers and students with an extra resource to investigate mysteries from smartphones.

Over the last three years, TEMI partners have communicated their results and experience widely 88 public events, 58 conferences on teaching and education.
Highlights include two TEMI workshops at the high profile European High School Teachers’ CPD event at CERN, Switzerland. TEMI UK led in July 2015 a ‘TEMI-fied’ activity to a group of 50 teachers during a 90-minute workshop in which they also had a chance to try out for themselves.
TEMI Italy was invited to deliver a series of training sessions on the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism using the TEMI methodology. They did it over 14 hours to a group of 35 teachers of the CERN Italian teacher programme in September 2015. The delivery of such a complex conceptual project was innovative and a very positive experience for trainers, teachers and organisers.
TEMI also had the unique opportunity to participate to the Europan Space Agency Summer Teachers Programme in the Netherlands, to talk about the mystery of flat galaxies. During the workshop, 60 European teachers discussed how to explain the concept of gravity to secondary school students by using the enquiry based approach and the TEMI methodology. “It was great to see such a large group of inspiring science teachers, working together with so much enthusiasm on a TEMI mystery!” said Wouter Schrier, TEMI Dutch project manager who delivered the workshop.
The TEMI mascot “Hero’s horse” is on display at the UK STEM centre in York, England. The centre welcomes about 6000 visitors a year, among them many teachers and researchers in science education. Displaying the mascot in key places visited by teachers is a great way to communicate to teachers about the project. The mascot is special and raises the curiosity of visitors who are then invited to explore the TEMI methodology, mysteries and lesson plans.
All efforts are now focused on the TEMI Congress to be held in Leiden, The Netherlands, 15-17 April 2016. 200 people are expected to attend, mostly TEMI trained teachers from the nine countries where the trainings took place, but also science communicators, educators and policy-makers.

Potential Impact:
Project legacy
TEMI is making every effort to ensure its key outputs live on beyond the end of the project. The project multi-lingual website will remain available and includes the methodology booklet Teaching the TEMI way in six languages, the TEMI Book of Science Mysteries and its 30 downloadable lesson plans, an app with 15 mysteries to explore, a physics play script with resources to support schools and drama groups to explore and engage with science through theatre. Resources are also disseminated to other IBSE platforms and teachers’networks including Scientix.
Another major piece of legacy lie with the teacher training platforms of the nine TEMI partners. They already have plans to carry on with TEMI in different ways.
Part of the TEMI training has become an integral part of a practical course on experiments in chemistry teaching at Bremen University and for the next 3-5 years, all chemistry student teachers will undergo this training. The Weizmann Institute of Science and Sheffield Hallam University intends to dovetail TEMI into other CPD programmes. Leiden University will incorporate the TEMI methodology in future teacher trainings with Universe Awareness and Space Awareness. In Norway, the TEMI innovations will be part of the ongoing work Hogskolen i Sorost Norge does as a part their national effort (“Science municipalities”) in science education. Additionally, from 2017, teacher training will be a five-year master in education and Hogskolen i Sorost Norge plans to use ideas from the TEMI project both in their courses, but also as a research subject. University of Vienna is launching a follow-up project called Mysteries in Practice. In this project they will run workshops with experienced TEMI teachers to develop inquiry based learning concepts and mystery-based materials. Trainers will accompany the teachers in their classroom, observe their teaching to give them direct feedback on the implementation. University of Limerick is exploring a TEMI training for primary school teachers. Charles University in Prague has a very active group of TEMI trained teachers and will continue to support them in deploying the methodology.
More information on the project website:

TEMI is coordinated by Prof. Peter McOwan, Queen Mary, University of London. The consortium includes partners Università degli Studi di Milano, Universitaet Bremen, University of Limerick, Sheffield Hallam University, Hogskolen i Sorost Norge, Universitaet Wien, Weizmann Institute of Science, Universiteit Leiden, Univerzita Karlova V Praze, Sterrenlab, TRACES, Cnotinfor.

List of Websites:


Peter McOwan, (Professor)
Tel.: +44 20 7882 5224
Record Number: 189191 / Last updated on: 2016-09-20