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Open Science Hub Network: Empowering Citizens through STEAM Education with Open Schooling

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - OSHub (Open Science Hub Network: Empowering Citizens through STEAM Education with Open Schooling)

Período documentado: 2021-01-01 hasta 2022-09-30

The Open Science Hub Network is an EU-funded project which works towards promoting school-led community development through research and innovation and has been operational since October 2019.

Open Science Hubs (OSHubs) have been created in eight countries as part of the project, mainly in communities that traditionally do not engage with research and innovation, due to geographical location, socio-economic status or ethnic minority group background.

OSHubs operate as mediators in each local community, where they support schools to become active agents for collaboration between families, universities, industry, local governments and civil society. As such, an OSHub is composed of a local team, their partner schools and a network of community stakeholders, which work closely and in a manner that is aligned with the local needs and context and driven by the territorial challenges.

The activities emerging from this collective effort position schools as drivers for societal innovation and community well-being, by engaging in real-life projects where school and community needs are at the core of the collaborative projects undertaken.

Eight OSHubs were created throughout the project, which can been grouped in three main categories, depending on their value proposition and approach:
- School – based OSHubs
OSHub teams work together with schools with the objective of facilitating the integration of Open Schooling in the school institutional structure and culture, namely by working together with teachers and school heads, so that, in the long-run, schools become fully autonomous.

- School – supporting OSHubs
These OSHubs are normally based in a physical space with equipment and resources that schools, generally, don’t have access to, where schools develop projects leading to tangible solutions to community challenges through science, technology and fabrication techniques.

- School – connecting OSHubs
These OSHubs facilitate the establishment of new relationships and processes between schools and stakeholders that normally are not part of school’s daily-life, opening-up student’s horizons while contributing to the development of meaningful societal experiences.
With the objective of ensuring common principles and processes, the OSHub.Network developed a common methodological approach, based on a social innovation model, that guides the OSHub teams through the process of identifying and defining their value proposition, results, actors and stakeholders involved, as well as human and economic resources, towards impact and sustainability.
From this common road, various tailored solutions emerged in each of the different OSHub locations and contexts, that despite their diversity, shared several structural commonalities, as we describe below.


SCHOOL-BASED OSHUBS

→ OSHub - Ireland (https://opensciencehub.net/local_OSHub_IE.html)
OSHub-IE co-developed and implemented a year-long programme to empower students to become active citizens within their own communities, through STEAM workshops, to identify local challenges, construct projects and showcase the work beyond the classroom.
→ OSHub-Portugal (https://opensciencehub.net/local_OSHub_PT.html)
OSHub-PT targets different territorial actors, from schools to policy-makers, with the objective of building institutionally reward opportunities at schools, while equipping educators with the tools, confidence and networks to autonomously lead the process of integrating open schooling in their daily-life and in the school culture, in an autonomous and wide way (whole-school)
→ OSHub - Greece (https://opensciencehub.net/local_OSHub_GR.html)
OSHub-GR supports teachers and students schools establishing and leading a maker lab at their own school, where the educational community develops science and technology projects to tackle local relevant challenges or opportunities.


SCHOOL-SUPPORTING OSHUBS

→ OSHub - Switzerland (https://opensciencehub.net/local_OSHub_CH.html)
OSHub-CH offers a space (Fab Lab), a methodology and practical tools, while providing support to teachers and students, to develop technological solutions for community-identified issues, through research-based practices, and to meet/work together with experts from different areas.
→ OSHub - France (https://opensciencehub.net/local_OSHub_FR.html)
OSHub-FR is a collaboration between La Casemate and the third place/community space La Machinerie, that promotes teacher’s autonomy and skills to work in a Fab Lab, creating opportunities for their students to explore, invent and transform abstract ideas into tangible objects; and ot
- create new resources and tools that can be easily shared, adapted and used by the teacher community.


SCHOOL-CONNECTING OSHUBS

→ OSHub - The Netherlands (https://opensciencehub.net/local_OSHub_NL.html)
OSHub-NL works together with the academic community, civil society organizations and policy-malers to provide meaningful educational, social and professional experiences to university students that simultaneously allow them to contribute to society's educational challenges while opening-up their horizons regarding their future careers.

→ OSHub - Czech Republic (https://opensciencehub.net/local_OSHub_CZ.html)
OSHub-CZ implemented a decentralised approach by establishing a network of OSHubs across different regions of Czech Republic, based on existing local premises/entities, all with the common objective of using real-life issues/topics to increase the interest of local communities in scientific processes and tools. In addition, OSHub-CZ also develops programs and activities with national reach, as the example as the production of a science and quotidian topics based TV series.
→ OSHub - Austria (https://opensciencehub.net/local_OSHub_AT.html)
The scope of OSHub-AT programs is to stimulate into the formal education system contemporary and relevant topics, developments, issues and views in the intersection of science & technology with arts and society, that would not have flown into the classroom by itself, through quick and agile 2-4h workshop modules co-developed by experts/specialists/artists/researchers/interesting thinkers about the future and teachers where the key “must” is to be relevant for students now or in their future.
As the result of OSHub activities, OSHub.Network engaged directly 7 024 students in a total of 134 775 interactions, 449 teachers in a total of 5 918 interactions, and 9 804 community members in a total of 10 552 interactions, through involvement in more than 120 school-university-industry-civil society partnerships in open schooling projects and activities.

Concerning the impact on the learners, students reported to have improved the most on creative and scientific skills and we also observed an increase in students' involvement in extracurricular scientific activities. In addition, teachers reported students developing multiple skills that reinforce one another through their scientific projects. Altogether, these results suggest that students understand and find the importance of science within their lives.

To encourage usage and maximise impact and providing a roadmap for OSHub aspirants, OSHub.Network created the OSHub Blueprint (available in the project website and Scientix Portal), which includes co-creation guidelines, a social innovation-based methodological framework, example plans for setting up a makerspace, real cases and examples, activities and workshops, evaluation tools.