Proceedings of the NYEX Conference on Science Education of Gifted Students

Petnica Science Center, Serbia, October 18-21, 2007

Proceedings of the NYEX Conference 2007

Proceedings of the NYEX Conference
on Science Education of Gifted Students
Petnica, October 18-21, 2007 Editor: Srdjan Verbić

Proceedings of the NYEX Conference on Science Education of Gifted Students Petnica, October 18-21, 2007 Editor: Srdjan Verbić

ISBN 978-86-7861-039-4 Publisher: Petnica Science Center, POB 6, 14104 Valjevo, Serbia Printed by: Valjevoprint Co., Valjevo, Serbia Printed in 2008 in 300 copies

Printing of this book is supported by the Ministry of Science of the Republic of Serbia (November 2007)

We learn how to do things by doing the things we are learning to do. Aristotle

Diversity of out-of-schools is much greater than diversity of schools. Doesn’t matter how unusual school is, it still has it’s location, building, staff, students, etc. For out-ofschools, we simply can’t agree on the common ground and comprehensive definition of organization for extracurricular education. Maybe, we shouldn’t even try. That structure intending to unify organizations for extracurricular science education should take into account different target groups, variety of aims, methods of work, and outcomes. What we see the astounding diversity but also our inability to recognize how complex and big this structure could be. The annual meeting of Network of Youth Excellence (NYEX) in October 2007 was dedicated to the problem of mapping of already known parts of this structure and discussing new ideas and practice. In order to do so, we have set three major topics of the Conference: 1 Toward Successful National Policies that Support Young Talents in Science 2 Effects of Out-of-school Science Education 3 Professional Support for Young Talents in Science – Examples of Good Practice. Network of Youth Excellence has the open architecture which could fulfill all the requirements. NYEX could become the operative structure we are seeking for decades. Question how to make this network more efficient and practical remains for the following meetings. The host of the NYEX 2007 annual meeting was Petnica Science Center, the biggest and probably the oldest independent organization for out-of-school science education in South-Eastern Europe. This conference was remarkable opportunity to celebrate Petnica’s 25 anniversary among colleagues who really appreciate this accomplishment. In Petnica, October 2007 Editor

Host of NYEX 2007 Annual Meeting: Petnica Science Center
For more than 25 years there is a place in Western Serbia where one can find a number of talented and motivated girls and boys from many countries who gather to enjoy in creative science training far different from anything they can experience in their regular schools. This unique independent organization had survived terrible turbulences and crises which happened on the Balkans keeping and carefully developing complex camps and training programs in a broad scope of sciences, technologies and humanities. Petnica Science Center (PSC) is a regional parallel-to-school institution aimed at cutting-edge, extracurricular science education of students with extraordinary aptitude for science and research in wide spectrum of sciences and technologies. With 4000 sq. meters of modern classrooms, labs, and library space, and more than 1,000 guest teachers selected from among the best scientists, each year PSC offers more than 130 different courses, workshops, conferences, and science camps to schools, students, and teachers. The students are carefully selected from among 500 high schools throughout Serbia, as well as from nearby countries. Through carefully designed programs, Petnica Science Center covers a wide spectrum of subjects: from astronomy and physics to biology and chemistry; from archaeology and linguistics to computer science and electronics; from mathematics and psychology to geology and anthropology. In place of traditional subject-oriented science education, integral and problem-oriented education is emphasized. PSC encourages students to think more and to rely on their knowledge, skills and experience of the world as a whole, in order to participate actively in education process. Not only does it teach students, the Petnica Science Center also assists schools and teachers to improve science education by using new teaching tools and methods, modern science concepts and knowledge, extracurricular activities, and recognizing gifted and talented students. Using its widespread contacts and relationships, the PSC searches for interesting ideas and experiences to implement. Moreover, through carefully designed teacher training courses and workshops, it tries to help in rapid development of more effective, flexible and student-centered education system. The Petnica Science Center is unique educational NGO in Serbia founded to help and support young people who demonstrate an interest in the sciences that goes beyond regular school curricula. Most of the activities are designed for secondaryschool students (ages 14-20), but there also is a variety of programs for elementary school students, college undergraduates, graduate students, and school teachers. PSC has gained recognition for its innovative methods in science education, as well as for significant advances in identifying and educating gifted children and students. With no marks, no rigid discipline, with flexible innovative programs, interactive teaching, modern equipment, with no regional or national limits for students, open to supporting students’ research projects, with a young staff (avg. age is under 30), and a thousand enthusiastic scientists and teachers, Petnica Center is not


only the heart of Serbian alternative education, but is one of a top popular happy places for young people. Petnica Science Center is not just an experiment in education, but a form of development of alternative thinking and cooperation that can help in changing the future of Serbia and SE Europe, by stimulating the most promising young people to use up-to-date global knowledge, to be tolerant, communicative and flexible, able to see, describe and solve various range of problems and challenges. Petnica Science Center (PSC) was founded in 1982 by a group of young students and teachers as a kind of a field school and a "meeting point" for young people highly interested in science. It was the first truly non-governmental educational organization in former Yugoslavia. In spite of the complex political and economic situation in the country and thanks to the support of local government, schools, universities, and industry, the PSC has become a real center for promotion science education in the country, and has became a well known institution worldwide. During these 25 years, more than 40,000 students and 6,000 teachers, visiting instructors, and scientists participated in almost 2,500 camps and courses in Petnica. Covering almost 500 schools, with thousands of professional scientists and university professors who volunteer by giving lectures or conducting discussions and experiments with hundreds of the best students every year, PSC represents one of a few spontaneously generated institutions in the world that promotes new methods and future technology in education. Today, PSC is well known among students almost everywhere in the country, even in small provincial schools. The students, participants and alumni are the most important supporters and critics of the entire program and development of PSC. This relationship is a guarantee of the continuation of this vivid and promising idea. The Center is located in Petnica, a village about 7 km (4 miles) east of Valjevo (W. Serbia), 70 km (40 miles) SW of Belgrade. The place was selected because of its natural attributes and its suitability for performing various practical and out-of-door activities. Valjevo is a city with a attractive position and traffic connections (see the map). The railroad connects it with Belgrade, Montenegro and the Adriatic coast.


What makes the Petnica region famous is the Petnica Cave. This cave had considerable influence on early human settlements in the area. It is composed of complex underground canals, spacious halls, stalactites, stalagmites, an underground river and lake, and rare plants and animal life. It is also a rich paleontological and archaeological site. Adjacent to the cave is the archaeological site of an excavated Neolithic village with a culture more than 7,000 years old. Only four kilometers SW from Petnica is the Gradac River which has been placed under special protection because of its beauty and preserved nature, a number of caves, diverse flora and fauna, and clean, potable water. On the south and southwest, Petnica is surrounded by the Valjevo mountain chain (1,000-1,400 m) covered with dense forests, meadows, and numerous rivers and forges. A rich, diverse and abundant vegetation and animal wildlife, strange geological formations, cultural and historical monuments, villages with rich traditions and the proximity of Valjevo – the major industrial and commercial center of the region, make Petnica the most preferred for implementation of innovative approaches to modern education.


Educational programs in Petnica are not linked with school curriculum and common models of school teaching. Targeting students of 14-20 years of age (grade 712/13), educational activities in Petnica cover a wide spectrum of fields of sciences, humanities, and technologies. In the course of each and every Petnica program, reasoning and observation skills, data collecting techniques, argumentation and communication skills are developed. PSC encourages participants to think free, to cooperate with partners from different regions and cultural background. More than 1,000 scientists, engineers, educators, and managers from Serbia and abroad, are included in designing such programs. Today it is one of the biggest system in SE Europe for recruitment of young people with an aptitude in reasoning skills. The main goals of this program are:  to identify gifted secondary-school and university students from all parts of country, especially from provincial and poor regions and give them intensive individualized extracurricular education;  to enable the best students to do scientific projects based on real problems and carried out on professional scientific equipment and under the supervision of the best scientists and science teachers;  to instruct young science teachers on how to apply up-to-date scientific concepts, knowledge and educational methods;  to initiate cooperation and exchange of knowledge, expriences and ideas among undergraduates and graduates who study at different universities and different programs;  to establish rich international and intercultural contacts and cooperation among young people, students, and teachers. Petnica Science Center, like no other similar institution in Eastern Europe, is focused on some specific areas of innovative education, such as:


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FLEXIBLE INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION designed to fulfill individual needs, talents and capabilities of each student, INNOVATIVE EDUCATION that transfers actual scientific discoveries, theories & problems into a comprehensive curriculum and better teaching process, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EDUCATION that makes no distinction between genders, different social, ethnic, or religion groups, EDUCATION FOR THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY that increases students’ mutual understanding, tolerance, friendship, and respect for diversity; education that avoids conflicts among groups or individuals; education against political extremism, intolerance, xenophobia, racism, and violence, STUDENTS' PARTICIPATION in creation and implementation of the curriculum, EDUCATION FOR THE FUTURE that prepares students to recognize the power, opportunity, and risks of modern science and technologies, and to think more about the future, BI-DIRECTIONAL EDUCATION where teachers increase their knowledge and experience in continual interaction with inquisitive and motivated students, and where each student has a chance to teach other students in the field where he/she has better knowledge.

In spite of the social, economic, and political situation in the country and in the region, Petnica Science Center is an island of optimism where a young staff, supported by many enthusiastic scientists, try to cultivate a belief in intellectual values among young people, teaching them to keep their eyes and minds open to new ideas, experiences, and communication with young thinkers worldwide.


On the other hand, the PSC staff – young enthusiastic educators, educate themselves by living and working with bright students, talking with them, discussing each new problem, method or topic. With no preconceptions and no pre-established model, PSC has become a flexible, future-oriented project with tremendous influence not only on teaching practices in schools, but on the entire evolution of science, technology, and social development of the country and the entire Balkans. In addition to guest teachers and lecturers who are famous scientists, university professors and prominent researchers, every year there are more than 200 "junior associates" – university students and Petnica alumni, who play an important role in the PSC's educational environment. It is up to them to solve the problem of the "generation gap" and to establish the best possible communication with the teenagers. These junior associates are among the best undergraduates and young scientists. They are the "fresh blood" that makes PSC programs dynamic and lively. The topics of PSC courses and workshops are based on the idea of the unity and integrity of science as such – they avoid any unnecessary compartmentalization of the field of scientific inquiry. Topics and problems are discussed at the PSC in a complex educational network that includes many scientists, where each student has an opportunity to find his/her place, to adopt novel perspectives, to become aware of real scientific problems, and to present his/her own ideas or experience. Training programs for teachers are a very important part of the PSC activity. More than 500 schools are linked with the Petnica Center. Many teachers (not only of the sciences, but also of languages, art, school psychologists, etc.), especially the young ones, show interest in keeping up with new trends and methods in education, new problems and ideas, and with new domestic and foreign literature and teaching resources. Teacher training programs do not always take the form of special courses and workshops. Sometimes, teachers are invited to participate in the design and implementation of certain student projects and activities. This type of individual experience could be transferred to their regular school practice.


Petnica Science Center is an independent nonprofit and non-governmental organization. Its main goal is to help schools in the advancing of science education, but particularly, to help gifted and bright young people to keep and strengthen their love and orientation toward sciences. In this mission, PSC has broad based cooperation with hundreds of institutions, universities, schools, and more than 1,400 scientists and specialists. In addition to the director and staff, there are two important bodies responsible for the strategic development of the PSC, fundraising, and the relation with the national educational administration. The Advisory Council consists of 22 eminent scientists and it analyzes and evaluates the educational programs and new initiatives. The Executive Board consists of scientists, representatives from the main funding sources, and representatives of the PSC's faculty. It’s job to solve practical (tactical) problems of protecting the independent position of the PSC and to provide enough money and equipment for modern science education programs. For each main teaching subject or science field there is a special committee consisted of 7-15 professional scientists and teachers. The role of this body is to discuss the structure of specific educational programs, to suggest teaching subjects, topics, and lecturers, and to evaluate the results and outputs of these programs. Petnica Science Center has relatively good facilities, both boarding and educational, to accommodate students enrolled in the programs all year round. The Center has seven buildings (4,000 sqm) which serve various purposes. The dormitory has 100 beds for students in 4 and 6-bed rooms and several apartments for teachers and guest lecturers. The restaurant serves all living in students. There are classrooms, laboratories for biology, geology, physics, chemistry, electronics, astronomy, optics, and archaeology, a modern computer classroom, and a central library with scientific literature (40,000 books and journals). There are hundreds of movies and about half a million slides, most of which are on digital media which allow quick and reliable viewing. The library is the center of many educational


and other activities, considering the fact that PSC pays attention to directing young people to use various information sources. Students and the staff have free access to a number of computers linked with the Internet and powerful Intranet services. The fact that most of the equipment is used both for professional scientific work on some of the projects which PSC is pursuing simultaneously with its educational programs, enables the students to study real scientific processes and even to be involved in them, facing all practical problems and difficulties. Through carefully designed projects students are in the rare position to "experience science". Therefore, PSC can be described as a "scientific environment" i.e. a special ambient where young people are surrounded by scientific literature and instruments, live research activities, and advised by professional scientists. Moreover, this environment promotes a valuable interaction among young people of similar talents, interests and problems. This illustrates one unique and valuable aspect of education in Petnica – learning through research.


Proceedings of the NYEX Conference 2007


Section 1: Toward Successful National Policies that Support Young Talents in Science Act Carefully with the Gifted Vigor Majić Developing Science Talent at Specialized Public High Schools Rena F. Subotnik and Edward W. Crowe Youth, Science and Engineering Thomas Wendt, Peter Gilbert, Jens Hemmelskamp, Manuela Welzel and Charlotte Schulze Section 2: Effects of Out-of-school Science Education The Impact of International Youth Science Camp in University Research Laboratory on the Development of Academic Career Ayelet Koper, Doron Edelding, Muli Dotan, Revital Jallif and Shimon Gepstein 25 Extra-curricular scientific educational programs in developing expert thinking Zora Krnjaić Even gifted students can not see the wood for the trees Srdjan Verbić Challenging gifted adolescents in international summer academies Harald Wagner and Volker Brandt Section 3: Professional Support for Young Talents in Science – Examples of Good Practice Summer Science Factory – an Alternative Approach to Science Education Darja Dubravčić and Tamara Milošević “I Love Biochemistry”: More Than Ten Years On Josep M. Fernández-Novell and Joan J. Guinovart CusMiBio: an opportunity for talented young people in biosciences Cinzia Grazioli, Paolo Plevani, Maria Luisa Tenchini and Giovanna Viale 3 9


35 39 45

57 67


Badatel – Czech Project for the Cooperation of the High-School Students and University Experts Martin Kubala 79

Your meeting with the Science at the Science Festival School Joanna Lilpop


Think Globally, Act Locally – The Case for New Approaches to Science Education Daniel Mietchen, Henry Roman, Rehana Jauhangeer, 87 Steven Mansour, Gaëll Mainguy and Ravinder Bhatia XLAB – an Offensive in Science Education Eva-Maria Neher Adults, The Neglected Science-Deficient Sector Zvi Paltiel Science camp of Archaeology Tamás Révész and Csaba Böde STaN and Gifted Children Education: Experience, Policy, Plans, Cooperation Eva Vondráková and Martina Palková Section 4: Contributions to Gifted Science Education What kind of science communication do we really need? The case of science café Michael S. Arvanitis The Geographic distribution of the young talents in Albania Sokol Axhemi Fractal intelligence development The “David Star” Model Florian Colceag 93 99 105


117 121 129

Quagmires and Quandaries: Ethical Uncertainties in Scientific Research Peggy Connolly 133 Training of Creativity: Theoretical and Practical Aspects Daiva Grakauskaitė Karkockienė 145

Equity in Educational Outcomes in Serbia: Recent Findings and Expected Trend Dragica Pavlović Babić 151 Training of pedagogy specialists to work with gifted children within the Bachelor’s and the Master’s degree levels Dobrinka Todorina


Developing students’ creative processes in extracurricular activities by the means of Internet Lilyana Todorova and Boryana Ivanova 161 Author index 167


Toward Successful National Policies that Support Young Talents in Science


Act Carefully with the Gifted
Vigor MAJIĆ1 Petnica Science Center, Serbia
Abstract. Each new government in Serbia starts their mandate with loud promises of improvements of everything, including support for gifted students. In many cases such support is just verbal or limited with too many regulations. In this paper we discuss the efficiency of “blind governmental supporting schemes”, i.e. declarative programs that do not respect individual differences of gifted young people. Such projects could become counter-productive. We also question whether typical schoolbased programs for the gifted based on pre-selection and test-guided identification are fair, keeping in mind that teenagers’ motivation and focus of interest are fluid and changeable. Politicians and school-teachers are not the only ones guilty for the “misuse of gifted students”, there are also the students’ parents. When local economy is in a crisis and the political situation is unstable, some parents are ready to do anything to promote their child as “gifted”, including things that will do more harm than help to the child. In addition, the “open door” model applied in Petnica Center is presented, a model where students are always free to participate or to cancel participation in one or many different programs, changing their area of activity. Petnica Center has certain basic principles that respect students’ privacy and freedom to change their mind. Some of the core rules are: the voluntary principle (no pressure from outside; the student may be included in activities only when she/he wishes to do so), the principle of free choice (students can apply for any available activity and change it any time), the principle of equal opportunity, the principle of safety, the principle of objective evaluation, and the principle of broad development (protecting teenagers from narrow specialization and offering both scientific and non-scientific activities). Respecting individual differences, activities of gradual complexity, difficulty, and demands are offered, and the student takes part in them up to her/his level of ability or motivation. The author believes that similar principles must be respected in public schools instead of pressuring the most successful students to participate in too many competitions and olympiads, just so they will bring glory to their school and country.

In many countries worldwide one can find policies and projects of various levels where gifted and talented young scientists, athletes or artists are in specific focus. Supporting gifted youth is very popular phrase among politicians because it shows their vision of country development as well as their feelings that the young generation is a key factor in such development. Of course, deeper reasons are in many cases in simple promotion among young voters or among teenagers’ parents or school teachers. These three categories of people are significant part of potential voters and, if we assume that every normal boy or girl believes that he or she is talented in some, mostly not yet recognized field, and the majority of parents want to believe that just their child is hidden genius, political importance of talking about the role of gifted young people is absolutely clear. From time to time, especially during preparation for new elections, some of politicians do something to show that she or he keeps promises. In many cases such „direct actions“ are superficial acts without serious concern to improve existing educational system or to really help talented youth.

Corresponding author: Vigor Majić, Petnica Science Center, P.O. Box 6, 14104 Valjevo, Serbia; E-mail: 3


In Serbia and in the many countries in Central, East and SE Europe the situation is just like this model. There are many empty declarations, promised projects, funds, or announced improvements, but the reality stays almost unchanged. Here we would like to discuss the problem of the efficiency of “blind governmental supporting schemes”, i.e. declarative programs that do not respect individual differences and needs of gifted young people. One of typical and frequent mistakes made by many schools and governmental programmes is narrowing the fields/areas where young people can express their qualities to a relatively small number of disciplines or school subjects where ranking students could be made easily, e.g. through contests or competitions mostly based on memorizing curricular matter, or in the form of sport competitions, or musical performances. In many cases such activities do not respect students’ creativity, fresh ideas, or knowledge or skills acquired through extracurricular or home-based individual effort. For educational authorities it is the easiest proof of their dedication to gifted support to make relatively small number of competitions based on formal knowledge and existing school subjects. The fact is that in a number of countries we have regular competitions in mathematics, physics, sport, language, and in simple performing music. The cases where students can present their innovative, maybe just naive ideas, projects, research, or problems are rare. Even more rare are regions or countries where students can show their qualities in fields like earth science, astronomy, humanities, health sciences, creative art, or engineering. The main consequence of such narrow programme offering is that many areas of potential talents stay hidden. Successful students in existing subjects of competitions are awarded and promoted but others, maybe even more gifted, are invisible. The other problem we did recognize here is pre-selection. A great number of school-teachers believe that the giftedness is a permanent quality, something that is „given by nature“, so the first step must be to identify this quality using some simple and available instruments such as knowledge tests or IQ tests. In many cases school administration requires that at the beginning of the academic year teachers must announce the scope of their curricular or extracurricular activities with gifted students and it does mean that they must somehow count the number of gifted students. We question whether typical schoolbased programs for the gifted based on pre-selection and test-guided identification are fair, keeping in mind that teenagers’ motivation and focus of interest are fluid and changeable. The next problem is labeling. When teachers apply some form of selection of students, they necessarily label gifted students. If some students are labeled as „gifted“ it implicitly means that other students are labeled as „non-gifted“. There are no doubts that students labeled as „non-gifted“ will loose a part of their motivation to fulfill their needs and interests even in case that they are in some way gifted or highly motivated. Moreover, labeling can make disastrous effects on students’ interpersonal relations and social life. It can also increase expectations and requirements among teachers, parents, even local society, above the threshold of students’ real abilities or just their normal level of motivation causing psychological problems such as stress, anxiety, introversion, conflict behavior, etc. However, in society (or within cultural environment) where individual competitive behavior is strictly recognized and permanently developed through education, labeling could be positive as a form of social promotion and motivation stimulus. In other societies where collective spirit is accented, effects of labeling is opposite. Anyway, labeling is very sensitive instrument of supporting and promotion of gifted people which must be used carefully keeping in mind not just personal qualities of individual student, but also local cultural environment, existing social networks between students, and parents’ readyness to take responsibility to possible side-effects. 4

The final problem we shall discuss here is rigidity. In many schools both teaching and extracurricular activities must be planned and shaped at the beginning of the school year and teachers have certain difficulties to change the scope and the form of activities while these programmes are running. Moreover, it could be difficult to answer students needs and wishes for extracurricular activities if they are not clearly covered by existing teaching subjects, existing school facilities, or existing profile of teachers. If students needs, feelings, and area of interest are changeable, rigid programmes hardly can match students expectations. The weak point of many existing „gifted teaching sets“ or similar available curricular material is that they are designed for an „ideal student“ who, of course, does not exist. Here we must accent that these problems do not occur (not in such extreme levels) in the majority of existing gifted training programmes in sport or in the field of art where also we can find a number of well developed gifted education camps or extracurricular classes. Although we did not try to study that area, it is possible that the main reason for such difference lays in the fact that in sport or art education teacher or trainer can easy see whether student can solve requested value of skill and quickly respond with individually shaped exercises. Quick checkable achievements are not possible in many forms of gifted training in Science, especially where complex skills and time consuming individual or team project-based work is dominant. Anyway, sport and art training have longer tradition; these activities are better developed with many good professionals with great experience. Science teachers and science camps trainers have to learn from their colleagues in sport or art. There are many things where they can find interesting answers, methods, or ideas if they are ready to communicate and collaborate with art or sport trainers. In order to help in improvement of existing practice in gifted education, the Petnica Center has decided to develop an alternative model based on a set of carefully shaped principles that now are incorporated in design of the majority of existing science training programmes. The first is the „open door“ principle. Here, students are free to participate or to cancel participation in one or many different programs, changing their area of activity and stay engaged in the training programme at the level they are ready to do or they wish to do. On diagram bellow we can see the flow chart with improved network based on the „open door“ principle. Looking at the interconnections (small arrows) between training activities and science camps one can see that participants can change subjects (science fields) in many ways. The most typical is the case when student interested in Biology, decides to attend project design course or technical training course in instrumentation techniques in Chemistry because he or she discovers that certain chemical methods are essential for his/her project. Of course, it is possible between all regular training courses in Petnica Center. After attending annual cycle consisting several complementary courses and camps, student can apply for the same or different profile of courses in the following year (loop or ). It can be done without need to attend all programmes (loop ). Some students who show excellent results can avoid selection procedure and apply directly (loop ). Students who would like to continue research projects can do it without need to attend all parts of training (loop ). Moreover, students are also free to make a team of participants of different science profiles in order to „attack“ more complex project.


Some other principles are also introduced in order to improve students’ position and quality of offered programmes. Among them is the „voluntary principle“ i.e. there is no pressure from outside – student may be included in activities only when she/he wishes to do it. It means that each participant is requested to explicitly apply; parents or teachers can not apply in behalf of students. It also understands that taking part in Petnica Center’s training programmes or science camps cannot be part of students’ regular school obligations – it must be a result of students’ free will, free choice and, consequently, there are no awards for such participation (no diploma, no certificate) except internal award through enriched knowledge and experience or in completed and presented science paper. The principle of equal opportunity assures that application and selection procedures cannot be influenced by student’s quality other than motivation, knowledge, and will to take part in the offered programme. So, gender, ethnical background, social position of parents, cultural affiliation, etc. cannot influence participants’ selection or, later, their personal roles and position in training programmes, courses, or science camps. In countries like Serbia where we can recognize huge social stratification, sensitive multicultural and multiconfessional society, this principle is extremely important. 6

The principle of safety requires that any training activity or students’ science projects must be designed respecting participants safety above all. It is extremely important keeping in mind very complex demands including various profiles of laboratory work, field activities, manipulation with chemicals, electrical instruments, experimental animals, etc. This principle is not focused only on students’ safety, but also on environmental safety and some other specific safety areas (problem of cultural impact in Anthropology, heritage protection in Archaeology, animal protection, etc.). The principle of broad development protects teenagers from narrow specialization in order to improve their knowledge and experience in a broad spectrum of fields. This principle encourages teaching staff and other people involved in design of training programmes to enrich programmes with activities from other scientific and nonscientific areas. It also emphasizes the need of balancing both scientific and non-scientific activities such as cultural and social activities in design of science camps and other types of training programmes. The Petnica Science Center accepted these principles many years ago (mid nineties) and gradually increase their importance in fifteen existing science subjects. Although there is no completed study of effects of these principles on the quality of educational programmes and on students’ satisfaction, at this moment we can say that direct effects of implementation of these principles is visible. There are just three facts that can illustrate efects. First, about 30% of teenagers who participate at Petnica Center’s educational programmes for more than one year changed the science field at least once. Second, now we have more girls than boys not just in humanities, but also in „hard science“ areas, such as Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. Finally, according to evaluation data from 2007, about 80% of participants explicitly say that the freedom to change field of interest is among the top qualities that separate Petnica Center from other academic programmes they experienced in school or through extracurricular activities before. In order to summarize the effects of applying a set of new principles in design of science education programmes for gifted students, we can say that, respecting individual differences, activities of gradual complexity, difficulty, and demands are offered, and the student takes part in them up to her/his level of ability or motivation. Both teaching staff and students have accepted these principles and now they are included in standard procedures of design and conducting training activities. The author believes that similar principles must be respected in public schools and in many types of out-of-school activities.


Developing Science Talent at Specialized Public High Schools
Rena F. SUBOTNIK1 and Edward W. CROWE Center for Psychology in Schools and Education, American Psychological Association Bench Group LLC (an education consultancy)
Abstract. The goal of this project is to develop and employ a set of field tested survey instruments designed to analyze the current status of graduates from specialized public high schools of science. The surveys will be tested at one primary site and among additional sites (secondary pilot sites) selected from the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology (NCSSSMST). Following a successful pilot, scale up data will be collected from graduates of a wider array of Consortium schools. We anticipate that the data base and analyses resulting from the scale up study will (1) provide insights into the contributions made by specialized schools to the science innovation pipeline and to science literacy in advanced professions; and, for the first time, (2) inform the establishment of new specialized science schools as well as the formulation of other science education related policy in the United States. Keywords. talent, pipeline, specialized high schools

Introduction The first section of this chapter reviews the rationale for a project exploring the status of graduates of specialized science high schools in light of national initiatives. The second part of the chapter includes a description of the project design.. 1. Rationale for the Project

1.1 Current Mechanisms for Supporting Adolescents Talented in Science In recent years, U.S. efforts to promote programs that target adolescent talent in science lost traction because primary attention was focused on shoring up the academic needs of students with weak skills. More recently, however, both public and private sectors are recognizing that if the U.S. wants to keep its competitive edge in technological and scientific endeavors, the nation must engage, encourage and develop the talents of adolescents with demonstrated interests in science. Further, evidence based on biographical and longitudinal data and expert opinion suggests that adolescents with interests and talents in science are more likely to pursue science in post secondary environments when provided during their pre-college years with challenging curricula, expert instruction, and peer stimulation [1,2,3].

Corresponding Author: Rena F. Subotnik, Center for Psychology in Schools and Education, Education Directorate, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street NE, Washington DC, 20002-4242, USA; E-mail: 9

1.2 Federal Commitments in the U.S. PhD and post-doctoral level talent development in science is widely supported by federal agencies. Selection to programs is rigorous, top students usually have access to outstanding mentors and equipment, and funding is generous. At the university level, funding is available as well and is channeled into preventing attrition from science majors. At the pre-university level, however, only three federal programs are directed at rewarding or providing services for students with special interests and abilities in science: (1) the Academic Competitiveness Grants program offers university scholarships to economically disadvantaged students who take rigorous science courses in secondary school; (2) the Advanced Placement Incentive Program supports examination fees associated with rigorous, elective secondary courses; and (3) the Javits Grants program, which promotes experimental curricula designed to challenge under-represented groups (i.e. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and females) in science and other academic subjects [4]. 1.3 State and Local Initiatives Fourteen states have developed public residential science high schools to serve talented adolescents in their respective states. In addition, large metropolitan areas such as New York and Washington DC have organized specialized science high schools, some with long traditions such as Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science established in 1904 and 1938 respectively, and more recent arrivals (both in 1985) such as Thomas Jefferson and Montgomery Blair in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The entire spectrum of schools, old and new, residential and commuter, full time or part time, and schools within schools, belong to a consortium called National Consortium for Specialized Schools of Science, Mathematics and Technology (NCSSSMST). 1.4 Current Status and Burgeoning Activities Each year, states and districts add new specialized high schools to their systems. Currently, there are 106 member schools in the NCSSSMST, 20 high schools opened during the 2005-2006 school year and another 12 are proposed for 2007-2008[5]. Further, in response to key reports such as Rising Above the Gathering Storm [6], the U.S. Congress has been actively promoting legislation to improve the nation’s competitiveness through funding to seed additional specialized high schools. Given that no data based evidence about outcomes currently exists for new science schools to employ in planning these new efforts, the project described in this chapter would provide an invaluable tool for specialized schools preparing to open in the coming years. 1.5 Potential Role of Specialized High Schools in the Science Pipeline Rising Above the Gathering Storm [6], produced by the National Academy of Sciences in 2006, makes four relevant recommendations regarding the United States’ economic future: (1) increase America's talent pool by improving kindergarten through grade 12 science education; (2) strengthen the federal commitment to long-term basic research; (3) develop and retain the best students; and (4) modernize the patent system and realign tax policies to encourage private investment in research and development. The report reinforces the role that education plays in supporting U.S. science initiatives and takes note of the fact that specialized schools are known for immersing students in high quality science education.


1.6 Evidentiary Base Although considerable anecdotal data exist about graduates with stellar careers and high numbers of students admitted to outstanding universities and colleges, evidence to support beliefs about the effectiveness of specialized high schools has yet to be collected. With few exceptions, there is a paucity of well-defined program outcomes and little empirical evidence that specialized science high school programs are effective, although a lot of intuitive and anecdotal evidence points to the success of graduates. That is to say, we do not know from the current state of the literature whether those who are selected and participate in specialized schools are those who may be future innovators in science. Several of the Consortium schools, most prominently, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, have started systematic data collection efforts aimed at informing program development and policy recommendations. For this reason, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy was selected as the primary pilot site for the study described in this chapter. The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and the NCSSSMST Board have agreed to contribute their experience and expertise to our efforts at developing (1) high quality survey instruments to target their graduates, (2) scientifically based methods of survey distribution and solicitation of graduates, and (3) rigorous data analysis to assess the degree to which the schools contribute to innovation in the science enterprise and meet the missions of individual Consortium schools.


Outcomes and Measures of Proposed Study

The study of selected cohorts of graduates will provide insights into the role specialized schools play in filling the science innovation pipeline. From these data, researchers and policymakers will be able to determine with reliable evidence the effectiveness of the programs as well as whether the selection processes employed by participating schools identify those students who can benefit maximally from specialized pre-collegiate science training and instruction. A set of field tested instruments and infrastructure for use in a scale up national scientific study of those instruments would promote the twin goals of assessing the impact of specialized high schools on the science innovation pipeline and providing useful data for new schools to employ in designing their programs. An immediate challenge for the research team will be to identify desirable and measurable outcomes for participants of specialized schools at various key points in time after graduation In order to arrive at consensus on study outcomes, the research team and primary site team will together consider outcomes included in existing national databases, national reports on American competitiveness, specialized high school mission statements, and the empirical literature on talent development in science. From these resources and discussions, the project group will identify a set of measurable outcomes that will be the focus of the pilot survey. We anticipate completing this component of the project within the first four months of the project period.



Research Study Design

The first step of the project, the pilot study, focuses on a multi-cohort study of specialized science high school graduates at four institutions. It is designed to (1) develop relevant outcomes to be measured and analyzed as dependent variables in the research study; (2) construct and administer a survey instrument to graduates of the four participating specialized high schools; and (3) draw on results of this four-site pilot to refine the data collection instruments and research questions in preparation for scale up data collection with members of the Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Science, Mathematics, and Technology (NCSSSMST). One mechanism for determining the effectiveness of the specialized high school experience is to compare outcomes with those achieved by a comparison group of equally talented students who did not attend a specialized school. The comparison sample will be drawn from the Midwest Academic Talent Search. Admission to specialized high schools involves submitting similar cut off scores on standardized tests as those used to participate in the Midwest Academic Talent Search. Talent Search participants who have indicated in early adolescence that they are interested in science careers yet have not attended specialized high schools will be selected to participate as members of the comparison groups. Given the current state of knowledge in the field, the dependent variable outcome measures must be defined in the first phase of the study, permitting investigation of four research questions – Are specialized science high school graduates: (1) more likely than the comparison group controlled for age and equivalent measured ability to major in a science-discipline as undergraduates in college; (2) more likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a science field than members of the comparison group; (3) more likely than the comparison group to enter science occupations and professions; and (4) more likely to be science innovators? The key independent variable is whether students graduated from one of the 4 sites participating in the study. A sub-variable will look at the organizational structure of the specialized school: two sites are residential high schools, and two are commuter schools-within-a-school. The project will also collect data on covariates such as gender and ethnicity. 3.1 Study sites Based on information provided by the schools that have agreed to participate in the project, the total number of graduates across all cohorts and all schools is approximately 3500. • Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) – a residential public high school drawing students from the entire state of Illinois graduates approximately 200 students/year. • Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts (ASMSA)– a residential public high school drawing students from the entire state of Arkansas graduates approximately 100 students/year • Montgomery Blair (MB) – a school attended by top students in one highly populated school district to a special school housed within a regular public school graduates approximately 100 students/year.


Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA) - a school attended by top students in one highly populated school district to a special school housed within a regular public school graduates approximately 200 students/year. The comparison site—Midwest Academic Talent Search – will identify 300 participants per year for all four cohorts, none attending or graduating from a specialized high school. Midwest Academic Talent Search (MATS) is a program of the Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University that offers above-grade-level testing for academically talented students in grades 3-9. MATS has been serving students in the Midwest and beyond since 1981. Every year, nearly 31,000 students use MATS to help them test their abilities and plan their educational future. An extensive research program conducted by CTD follows participants over time for purposes of research and assessment. 3.2 Study Method Multiple cohort studies give us insights into prediction and opportunities to analyze obstacles to talent development more efficiently than longitudinal studies. Therefore, selected cohorts will represent key points in time in the talent development process including: -Graduates 3 years out (committing to majors) -Graduates 5 years out (completing majors) -Graduates 10 years out (career development) -Graduates 15 years out (career development – first major achievements) Survey results will be compared to innovation pipeline data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) which includes information on major field of study and other relevant measures, and with same age, equally able and interested participants from the Midwest Academic Talent Search who have not attended specialized science schools. 3.3 Additional Dependent and Independent Variables Additional outcomes to be explored in our surveys include: -Source of science interests before and during secondary school -Source of science career aspirations before and during secondary school -High school experiences that supported science interests -Demographic information 3.4 Data Collection. The project team will develop survey instruments, following the four month period of time in which discussions about outcomes and outcomes measures are taking place. After checking for instrument validity and reliability, the surveys will be distributed via email to members of each intervention and comparison cohort group. The research team will monitor response rates, with follow up emails, regular mail and telephone activities to generate robust response rates. Contact information for all graduates from each school will be obtained from each school. Since it is likely that current contact information for increasing proportions of the older cohorts will be out of date, the project will work with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) to obtain current contact information. The NSC


is a widely used source of follow up information on graduates of secondary and postsecondary institutions and of participants in postsecondary financial aid programs. Its Student Tracker program is used by hundreds of high schools and school districts, including the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, to capture information about postsecondary enrollment and success of their graduates. 3.5 Data management. Data obtained from survey respondents will be archived in an offline, password-protected database established for this purpose at the American Psychological Association. APA’s Information and Technical Services (ITS) will perform the computer programming to produce 4 surveys (one for each completion year cohort) with approximately 30 questions each, plus demographic information. IBM and Macintosh platforms with current browsers will be supported. The surveys will run from start to finish with no option to save and return to the survey at a later time. Final data will be exported as Excel files for analysis purposes. ITS will provide the means to send email to the survey audience: 1st email to all audience, 2nd email to those who have not yet responded, 3rd and final email to remaining non-respondents. The ITS platform will also be used to generate periodic response rate reports to enable the research team to plan and execute follow up efforts to improve the overall and school-specific response rates 3.6 Data Analysis The first analysis will compare study site outcomes and the comparison group to measure differences in outcomes (e.g., university major, completing undergraduate science degree, entering science career, early career achievements). Second, we will compare outcomes across study sites to gauge the impact of different models of specialized high school programs (residential, school-within-school). The third analysis will examine the impact on outcomes of covariates such as gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Finally, we will draw on available data and published reports from the NSF and NCES resources described above to compare outcomes for study site graduates with those for relevant comparison groups. In addition to these analyses, the project will use the results of the data collection to make appropriate adjustments to the instruments (e.g., outcomes measures, background and preparation questions) and the data collection methodology. These revisions, if warranted by our review of the pilot experience, will set the stage for the subsequent scale up study with additional NCSSSMST schools. 3.7 Procedures • • • • • Reach consensus on the relevant outcomes to be measured and analyzed. Construct the surveys with primary pilot site. Secondary pilot sites review and revise the draft surveys. Test the survey instruments with primary site graduates. Review results of pilot data collection, and make appropriate adjustments to instruments and/or data collection methodology to ensure instrument reliability and validity.


• • •

Use revised survey and/or methodology to conduct survey with second group of participating sites. Produce report based on survey results. Develop mechanism for scale up of study to multiple sites.

3.8 Deliverables • • • Pilot tested and methodologically sound instruments ready for national data collection Preliminary findings from pilot sites Design, replicate, and scale up of study with multiple sites from the NCSSSMST

3.9 Audiences • • • • • • Education research community Education practice community Education policy community (including federal, state, and philanthropic) New specialized and magnet schools Higher education, scientific organizations (National Research Council, American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Institutes of Health, etc) Parents and communities

3.10 Time Line Year One • Define study outcomes for graduates of specialized schools at four points in time. • Develop instruments with team from primary pilot site followed by feedback from secondary pilot sites. • Identify and locate cohorts of graduates from pilot sites. • Test survey at primary, secondary, and comparison sites through survey administration, and follow up steps to improve response rate • Populate APA database with survey return data from pilot sites. Year Two • Analyze pilot data and write reports. • Develop mechanism for scale up of study for multiple sites from the NCSSSMST. Years Three to Five • Collect and analyze data. • Produce and disseminate reports. • Papers, presentations, and discussions with research, practice, and policy groups and organizations.



Broad Impact of the Study

Currently, there is widespread attention being paid to the educational, economic, and policy dimensions of science talent development. Even so, little solid empirical evidence exists about successful practices with regard to identification and development of science talent in the United States. The study findings will be useful in formulating and assessing relevant state and national policy initiatives, particularly the role that specialized science schools play in developing scientific innovation by providing the skills and knowledge needed to enhance the effectiveness of key professions such as teaching, law, business and entrepreneurship. The longest standing specialized high schools like the Bronx High School of Science boast 7 Nobel Laureates among its graduates. Yet in spite of our beliefs about their efficacy, the NCSSSMST member schools face their districts and state legislators without objective data to bolster their requests for political and financial support. Newer proposed initiatives at the state and federal levels face the same challenges. In sum, large expenditures of public funds have been proposed or approved with no evidence-based benchmarks for success.


Integration of Research and Education

A pressing challenge in education is to bridge the research-practice-policy gulf with high quality and relevant research to improve practice and inform policy. Study sites and their national association have committed to the project in hopes of gaining new insights that will contribute to program improvement and because they share the belief that high quality research is the best way to improve policy and practice. The instruments will be a useful tool for them to use in the future to assess and reflect on progress to meet their goals. At each step of the process, school personnel from participating pilot sites will be actively involved in developing instruments and interpreting the data outcomes. With the data collected and analyzed, (1) the schools will have information to present for purposes of accountability, (2) new schools can evaluate what components of existing schools offer maximal educational impact, and (3) the research and policy communities will be able to assess the value added of the specialized schools to the science innovation pipeline and to other advanced professions.

References [1] B. Bloom, Developing Talent in Young People. Ballentine, New York, 1985. [2] M. Pyryt, Talent Development in Science and Technology. In K.A. Heller, F.J. Monks, R.J. Sternberg, & R.F. Subotnik (eds.) International handbook of giftedness and talent (2nd ed.) Elsevier, Oxford, UK, 2000, pp. 427-438. [3] R. Subotnik, R. Duschl, and E. Selman, Retention and Attrition of Science Talent: A Longitudinal Study of Westinghouse Science Talent Search Winners. International Journal of Science Education, 15 (1), 1993, pp. 61-72.


[4] R. Subotnik, A. Edmiston, and K. Rayhack, Developing National Policies in STEM Talent Development: Obstacles and Opportunities. In P. Csermely, (ed.), Science Education: Models and Networking of Student Research Training Under 21, IOS Press, Netherlands, 2007, pp. 28-38. [5] as part of the Common Core of Data. This website is run by the National Center for Education Statistics, a unit of the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. [6] National Research Council. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century: An Agenda for American Science and Technology. The National Academies Press, Washington DC, 2006.


Youth, Science and Engineering
Thomas WENDTa,1, Peter GILBERTb, Jens HEMMELSKAMPc, Manuela WELZELa,d and Charlotte SCHULZEa a Youth and Science Foundation Heidelberg gGmbH, Heidelberg, Germany b Initiative Youth and Science, Heidelberg, Germany c University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany d University of Education Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Abstract. "Made in Germany" is well known, but engineers are facing a dramatic decrease of people joining the field. Central Europe with its lack of natural resources is relying on development and production of trading goods and therefore knowledge is the most important resource. In cooperation with regional representatives of the Association of German Engineers, we have started several projects to attract young people into engineering and technology and extend our regional network of extracurricular activities for young people in life sciences and technology. Keywords. Youth, science, engineering, technology, network

Introduction The previous publication [1] focused on science activities for schools and pupils and the interactions of youth and science in the network of the Metropolitan Region RheinNeckar. Meanwhile we have extended our networking activities and managed to attract severel new key players from industry and education to join the initiative. While birth rates are far below a level that would be enough to maintain a constant population, this demographic change has not reached universities yet. Nevertheless science and in particular engineering in Germany is facing a decline in student numbers. Industry is already searching for well trained people and is realising that the only way to change the trend is to attract young people into the field at a very early state.

6. 1.1.

Youth – Science - Industry Projects Project “Young people are thinking about their future” (Jugend denkt Zukunft)

This project is designed to involve young adults in the process of economic development. Together with companies, students between the age of 15 and 18 develop new products and services for the world of tomorrow. The heart of the initiative is a five-day ‘innovation game’. In this ‘game’, students in cooperation with companies develop products and services for the future. The concept, structure and feasibility of the method were tested in the pilot phase in summer 2004. Since then, numerous ‘games’ have been successfully played. The participants simulate an exemplary innovation process that starts with the analysis of global mega trends and identification of industry-specific trends right through to

Correponding author: Thomas Wendt, ExploHeidelberg, Im Neuneheimer Feld 582, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; E-mail: 19

the development and marketing of a new product or a service, the students study and go through the complete process. It is a prerequisite that each innovation game has a clear company sponsor. So far over 380 student groups in classes 9-12, representing over 9000 students of age 15 to 18, of all school types have been adopted by companies through a sponsorship.

This school-industry partnership was originated in the metropolitain region RheinNeckar but is meanwhile extended country wide due to its great success. Moderation and conception of the project is done by a corporation (IFOK GmbH) as well as organization of press and public relation events. Togehter with IFOK, the Initiative Youth and Science has started to collect schoolscience-industry activities aiming at pupils which is currently comprised of almost 50 projects. Upon completion, this collection will be published elsewhere and made available via internet in a searchable database. 1.2. Symposium for pupils of the Initiative Youth and Science As already described in detail in the previous publication [1], the Initiative Youth and Science carries out a symposium for pupils on life sciences and technology once a year. Pupils that work on extracurricular science projects are invited to present their work to a large audience with posters and oral presentations. Besides, a series of scientific lectures on a specific topic is carried out during the day. The main focus of the symposium is to establish dialogue and discussion between the approximately 300 participating pupils, teachers, researchers, industry representatives and the general public. For the first time in 2007 we were invited to run the symposium in parallel with the annual meeting of the Association of German Engineers (Verband Deutscher Ingenieure, VDI). This association has approximately 130000 members and hosts about 2000 of them during their annual meeting. Engineers were attending some of the student presentations and were visiting student exhibits. They could experience the qualitiy and motivation of the pupils when involved in scientific or technological projects. The pupils on the other hand had the great opportunity to learn more about engineering by visiting the engineers exhibition area. Initiated by this first contact, it is now planned that the Association of German Engineers is participating more actively during future symposia of the Initiative Youth and Science. One idea is to organize a students competition on an engineering and technology topic. Students will have to develop for example a CO2 neutral egg cooker and the quality of the product will be evaluated during the symposium by a committee of engineers, scientists and teachers.


Hands-on science and engineering activities for lower secondary level

While very young children are curious by nature, school students loose curiosity somehwere along the track towards higher education. This does not seem to be a consequence of aging but rather related to the way, sciences and technology are taught in school. The school curriculum is overloaded with providing knowledge and facts but training skills and hands-on activities are not included. This is the reason, why we loose young people for sciences usually in the lower secondary level. ExploHeidelberg has therefore decided to change focus slightly and not only offer molecular biology practicals for senior high school students but rather develop biological experiments suitable for lower 20

secondary level. This involves immune biology, microbiology, biotechnology, and enzyme kinetics. In cooperation with the faculty of biology from the University of Heidelberg we have started a project involving university teacher students. They developed easy experiments that fit into the school curriculum and refined the experiments in several practical sessions with test classes. This served the teaching laboratory to gain new experiments. It gave the test classes and their teachers the possibility to get directly involved in the development and refinement which is a high stimulation. But most importantly it helped the teacher students to have a first time practice with school classes, to develop experimental skills and test suitability of the experimental setup. These possibilities are not provided during standard university training. We were highly impressed from the very positive feedback of this project and want to repeat the project in the near future. In a second stage, we are now planning to extend this effort for lower secondary level school classes and establish a regular course. Starting from this school year, a new topic has been introduced into the school curriculum combining all science and technology areas and having a strong focus on cross curricular teaching and practical experiments. Since teachers are not yet trained for this new challenge and equipment is missing in schools, establishing teaching laboratories can be an economic way to cover a large number of students with practical experiments. We are now planning on starting a similar project. The visit of such a teaching laboratory not only has the advantage that the school curriculum is covered, it also serves to motivate the students since it is not the every day teacher in front of them but rather a scientist. 3. Starting as early as possible

While we have seen a lot of activities yet that are adressing young people at the secondary level, a lot of effort has also been put into education already at kindergarden level. The University of Education in Heidelberg has started the project “Mit Kindern die Welt entdecken” which translates into English as “To experience the world together with children”. This project that started in September 2005 is funded by the Klaus Tschira Foundation and aimed at inspiring children at a very early stage for natural sciences. Kindergarden teachers from four different kindergardens in Heidelberg are trained in regular workshops how to experiment and explore natural science phenomena with the children. They learn how to setup experiments with materials that are available easily. Additional material is provided in tool boxes that are distributed by the University of Education. 4. Future perspective

The projects and activities for young people in science and enginieering that were described in this article and the earlier one [1] are very well accepted. Several other cities have expressed their interest in establishing a similar network within their region. The partners in the Initiative Youth and Science are very open to these collaborations. To our opinion, it is important to motivate young people at the earliest stage possible and if consisting concepts proof suitable for this, it is worth distributing the knowledge and sharing the experience to avoid inventing the wheel over and over again and waste valuable energy. 21

To attract european funding and influence policy makers it is important to represent a large enough community. Only with a strong network and with lots of members it will be possible to achieve that. With the new seventh framework program it is also the first time that an independent reasearch funding scheme has been established with the Europaen Research Council at EU level. With increased networking activities in the extracurricular education sector it might be possible to achieve somethig similar. A network like the NYEX could be one of the key players. References
[1] Communicating Science – Regional Network of Science Centres and Initiatives, Wendt T., Gilbert P., Hemmelskamp J., Welzel M., Schulze C., in Science Education: Models and Networking of Student Research Training under 21, P. Csermely et al. (Eds.), 2007.

Acknowledgement All the initiatives, projects and activities would not be possible without the support and energy of the many partners, volunteers, organizers and supervisors. We are grateful to the following companies and foundation for sponsoring the Initiative Youth and Science: BASF AG, Pfizer Deutschland GmbH, VDI and Robert Bosch Foundation.



Effects of Out-of-school Science Education

The Impact of International Youth Science Camp in University Research Laboratory on the Development of Academic Career
Ayelet KOPER, Doron EDELDING, Muli DOTAN, Revital JALLIF and Shimon GEPSTEIN1 Center for Pre-University Education ,Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, ISRAEL Abstract "SciTech" is an international four-week science and technology live-in research camp organized by the Center for PreUniversity Education at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. This program is intended for eleventh and twelfth grade high-school students from around the world who have demonstrated an exceptional interest and ability in science and technology. SciTech 2007 is the 16th in this series and accepted 70 students from the Americas, Europe, Asia and Israel who conduct research with senior Technion academic staff in many areas of science and technology. The main objective is to give the talented participant a taste of scientific research in a world class research environment. This is achieved by performing the research program as an individual or couple in one of the laboratories of a senior scientist of the Technion. The project is summarized by an oral presentation and a written manuscript. This program also provides a unique opportunity for the participants to meet talented science students from all parts of the world. The combination of the tight selection process of interested talented youngsters with the selection of excellent mentors in academic research laboratories and by offering the most modern topics in various science's and engineering's disciplines increases the ambition of the participant for developing academic career. Keewords youth science camp, academic career Introduction Those who have the potential for succeeding as gifted adults require not only the personal attributes often mentioned in definitions of giftedness, but also some special encounters with the environment tofacilitate the emergence of talent (A.J Tannebaum) .


Corresponding author: E-mail: 25

High-achieving students have many opportunities to excel in science. The Unit of Fostering Excellence in Science at the Technion offer several enrichment programs in addition to their regular courses in high schools. Special programs that the Unit of the Center for Pre-Academic Education provides include undergraduate university level courses in mathematics, computer sciences, chemistry, and physics for accumulating academic credits. In addition high school students can enroll in numerous enrichment programs (throughout the year) and summer programs that are specifically designed for excellent student populations. However, we are still encountering a general problem that students’ interest in science drops as they progress through school and we need new ways of attracting high-achieving students to science and developing their "scientific habits of mind". Barab and Hay (2001) summarized the features of formal schooling in science and showed that these features are inherently different from those used by scientists in the practice of science. There are two models of programs based on the apprenticeship concept (Barab, Squire, &Dueber, 2000). In a simulation model educators create an environment that supports students in doing science as part of the classroom activities. In participation model students do science under the guidance of scientists. Here we report on a successful program deigned for excellent high school students aimed at providing learning and experiencing science in the real environment where science is developed–the university 'researcher laboratory. We established,16 years ago , a special program designated SciTech –an international summer science camp for 4 weeks during which a high school student, individually, conducts a research project in a research laboratory of a Faculty member in one of the 18 Sciences and Engineering Faculties of the Technion, a prestigious Scientific and Engineering University located in Haifa, Israel. The mentors are graduate or post-doc fellows but all are sponsored by a University Professor. Description of the Program There are several important stages in the program: candidate's selection process, mentors and project selections, project's selection by the accepted candidates, in advance preparation for the summer camp, the 4-week summer science camp and the participant's presentations. Each one of the stages is critical for the success of the program. The selection of high school participants starts in early spring. The on-line application process (program website: includes students’ transcripts and teacher recommendations. The requirements are: level of eleventh or twelve high school grades, demonstration of exceptional interest and ability in science and technology. Evaluations are based on academic scores, high school scores in Mathematics, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry, recommendations by high school teachers and other scholars, appropriate information by the candidates regarding their motivation and interest in Science and technology communication skills etc. The participants are usually straight A students with an occasional B on their transcripts. All of them are highly recommended by the teachers.—the program is so challenging and time-consuming that only those with a genuine interest apply. The Israeli candidates are also personally interviewed. Participants are required to pay for the tuition, lodging and social activities. However, scholarships are available to allow talented candidates to participate in the program. 26

In parallel, the mentor's selection among the academic staff of the Technion is being carried out. The mentors' teaching capabilities and their personalities are considered. Projects are proposed by the mentors and are evaluated by their own Professors and the academic consultants of the center for Pre-Academic Education for their suitability. Mentors are paid for their work. The process of project's selection by the candidate is a bit complicated and the candidates are required to select several alternatives from the project list and to score their priorities. Mentors are required to select the appropriate participants based on the personal information and their written answers for the mentor's questions regarding the proposed project. Our experience shows that only few succeed to obtain their top priority project. Once the candidates are informed regarding their selected project, they communicate with their mentors; obtain the required information associated with the scientific literature and the methodologies involved in the project. The preparation stage is one of the most critical factors that allow better understanding of the scientific background and ensure higher efficiency in the progress of the project during the very short period of 4 weeks. The daily schedule four weeks summer camp include 8 hours of research in the researcher laboratory , evening social activities, lectures ,self study and free time. The program also provides excursion during the weekends. Social activities and excursions are crucial and provide supportive atmosphere and supplement the scientific activities. Self study and free time allows the participants to present and discuss their projects with colleagues. The scientific project requires intensive guidance by the mentor especially in the first several days. The student needs to understand exactly what the objectives of the project are, the methodologies of the project and to acquire the scientific research principals. The mentor helps students to distinguish between experimental data and explanations and to realize there could be multiple explanations for the same data that could not be proved but could only be ruled out .The main role of the mentor is to supply the tools, background and information for designing the project and performing it within the restrictive timeframe. It is expected that the student will submit a written plan for the project based on their prior preparation and correspondence with the mentor. The first day or two are usually devoted for further theoretical issues and discussions required for project planning. Experimental work, especially in new field requires thorough understanding of the methodologies and sometimes of sophisticated apparatus. Mentors are required to dedicate the enough time in the beginning for all these important issues. The short period if designed properly, allows the pre-prepared student to accomplish his project objectives and to summarize it in oral and poster presentations. One of the declared objectives of the program is to learn how to present a scientific research both orally and as a written scientific manuscript. Student presentations at the last day represented evidence of their ability to participate in authentic research. The projects are presented in three different sessions and are scored both by their colleagues and experts. Evaluation committee of experts chooses the best oral and poster presentations and recommend for best presentation awards.



Tab 1: Satisfaction scoring for different components of the SciTech program. The satisfaction scores of a selected group of 12 participants are presented. Satisfaction scores range from1-4. The scale for general satisfaction ranges from 1-10.

Example of a Scitech project - the best oral presentation. A Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived Cardiomyocytes Technion scientists are among the pioneers in introducing and developing the field of embryonic stem cells and the potential use in regenerative medicine and cell therapy. A world leading laboratory in the field from the Faculty of Medicine, Technion has accepted two Scitech participants to perform a study on the generation of human heart muscles that posses a great promise for future heart transplantations. Stem cells are an invaluable resource because they are entirely unspecialized; they have the ability to differentiate into every type of somatic cell. Between the two different types of stem cells, adult and embryonic, the latter tends to be far more applicable for scientific purposes. Embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos that have been fertilized in vitro and donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors. Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are isolated by transferring the inner cell mass of the blastocyst into a laboratory culture dish, eventually creating a cell line. Embryonic stem cells have the ability to proliferate indefinitely, yielding millions of cells over time. When necessary, hESCs are allowed to differentiate, forming all different bodily cells. Scientists are working to direct and control differentiation to specific somatic cells. Currently, the potential for stem cell therapy within the human heart is increasing greatly, with hESC-derived cardiomyocytes(CM) taking the forefront in cardiac research and regenerative therapies2. Heart muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, have certain distinctive characteristics. Physically, the cells are a type of mononuclear involuntary striated muscle, the striations formed by the alternating of thin and thick protein filaments This project has demonstrated the successful differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into functional heart muscle cells. Electrical and structural features evidently proved that these cells behave similarly to authentic adult heart cells. From this experiment, the conclusion drawn brought informative and seemingly 29

definitive data about the potential of hESC-CMs as appropriate substitutes for a human heart during drug testing. Analysis of the student satisfaction responses Several factors influence the present decision of the students on future focusing in a specific field. A major factor is the correlation between their preferred selected topic and the actual assigned project. Although some of them are satisfied with the projects that were not chosen as their top priority, higher satisfaction is expressed by those who got their top priority topic. However, we can not rule out the influence of all other factors such as the mentor, the collaborators, the social activities. The data presented in Tab 1 and the written responses of the participants show that the impact of the SciTech program on their decision for focusing on future academic career is influenced by all the components of the program. Social activities do not play a central role on their decision for future academic career (see participants # 38,17,48) that made a definite decision regarding a specific field and scored highly the scientific components but relatively lower for the social activities of the program. Student Letters Student letters were used to gather evidence about the more general impact of the SciTech on the impact of SciTech on their decision for choosing the field for future career. The letters were written one month the SciTech program was ended. My experience at SciTech 2007 cultivated my love of science and deepened my desire to continue my studies in the field. Having the opportunity to participate in professional level research was exciting, challenging, and ultimately very fulfilling. After having completed the program, I know that both my academic future and hopefully my personal career will be centered on science. SciTech was a formative experience for my future plans. Prior to the program, my interests were dispersed widely across many fields and professions. Scitech's unique program structure, in which each participant is introduced into a real lab environment and is given the opportunity to work on their own piqued my interest in the field of medicinal research. From a wide range of options, SciTech sparked and increased my interest in medical research." My SciTech experience influenced my opinion about the place I want to learn .After spending 3 wonderful weeks in the Technion I am pretty sure that I will try to be accepted to the Technion. Unfortunately, SciTech didn't influence my academic studies subject and I still have no idea what in going to learn. SciTech 2007 was a unique experience for me. I had never had the chance to work in well equipped laboratories before. In SciTech I participated in real scientific research in a team of people with the same interests as mine. The feeling to explore something undiscovered cannot be compared to anything else. I have always had interest in physics, but SciTech was the first time I had the opportunity to go beyond school level and taste a bit of real science. The program convinced me to continue developing in 30

physics in university, and pursuit a career connected with it. SciTech has not really changed my future plans. I intended to study physics at university before SciTech, and still plan to do so. It did give me an experience of electrical engineering and I have considered studying engineering in the past but will not be studying it at university. There is a small chance of me following a career in engineering after university, and SciTech did show me a side of electrical engineering During SciTech, I've decided that a major part of my time during undergraduate and graduate studies will be devoted towards research. I've been able to learn so much just during the three weeks, and believe that research is a great way for the world to become more developed. I went to Scitech to give me an understanding of the life of a scientist and to see if I would enjoy that style of life, and this program did exactly that. It aided me in my decision of what major I would like to take in college. I felt the full experience of researching, experimenting, and creating a full paper, presentation, and poster. The program also gave me the opportunity to come to Israel and see the country and some family. One of the most exciting parts was meeting with many other teenagers from around the world that were also interested in science and cool people! Overall, it was a very good experience. After an incredibly inspirational experience at Sci-Tech, where I was guided by knowledgeable and passionate professors to hone my analytical and methodological research skills as well as my ability to present results, the probability of my pursuing a scientific career is stronger than ever. Moreover, being steeped in an environment with a body of highly motivated international students was extremely stimulating. I returned from Sci-Tech with a need to continue enrichment in the sciences and, therefore, I've applied to participate in a program in a research hospital in Montreal. Beyond this year, I look forward to leaving high-school and focusing on a specialized science academic track thanks to Sci-Tech. To tell the truth SciTech didn't really influence my decision about the college because science is just one of my interests. Now as I previously wanted I'll apply for an economic class. My SciTech experience will have a great influence on my future. The experiences I have gained through this program have made me realize that research is much more enjoyable than I had thought. While my project was all theoretical, which I would not prefer, research was very fulfilling and challenging when we solved problems we thought we encountered. Although I still think I want to be a clinical doctor for my long term career plans, throughout the remainder of high school and college, and SciTech was a fantastic experience. I learned a lot, not only about the process of medical research in a worldclass institution, but also about where my own interests lie in the field of science. It was eye-opening to have the opportunity to see and do research first had, especially with an experienced researcher at the cutting edge of his field. My project, the Effect of Diabetes on Endothelial Progenitor Cells, was very interesting and I was exposed to a lot that I would not have been able to see normally in high school. We learned in depth about diabetes and endothelial progenitor cells and we nearly became experts. Additionally, we had the chance to do the lab work ourselves, with some supportive guidance, and witness the process of scientific research. This 31

helped narrow my interests in terms of what I might like to do in college and in my professional career. I fully enjoyed the work I did with my mentor, , who was a wonderful teacher, but the SciTech experience has helped me see that scientific research is not my passion. This by no means detracted from the amazing time I had at the Technion. It was a very valuable learning experience. While I now realize that research may not be for me, SciTech helped cement my conviction that my future lies somewhere in the field of medicine, whether that be biomedical engineering or surgery. I worked in the Rambam Medical Center and had the opportunity to see open heart surgery, specifically a coronary artery bypass graft, which was without a doubt the coolest thing I have ever seen. I also learned a lot not just from my mentor but also from my fellow students. I loved meeting high school students with diverse interests from all over the world. I made some great friends. And it was a very satisfying accomplishment to complete our research independently, proceed to write a report and make a poster about our findings, and then learn from our peers about their respective projects about which they had become experts. Overall, I had so much fun at SciTech and I met many interesting people and learned a lot about medical research. While I can't exactly describe how it influenced my future decisions, I can truthfully say that it will have an impact on the direction I plan to go in college as well os my career choice. Of course it won't have a huge affect on my decisions but it's an experience that changed me both academically and socially and I would defiantly go again if I had the chance. When I signed up for the Technion's SciTech program, I never imagined that it will have the affect upon my future outlook that it did. First, I had an opportunity to advocate for myself, research various topics of interest and then decide upon the project that best suited me. When I arrived to the program in early August, I was impressed by the professionalism of the staff - they had a solid handle on the moving in and acclimating to the atmosphere. All of the counselors and staff were caring and fun. They not only were our counselors, but our friends as well. Then, came the real surprise – the kids in the program! Suddenly, I was surrounded by an international group of outstanding high schoolers who were smart, energetic and fun. There were no language, culture or religious barriers -we were all there for the same purpose: to learn, grow and enjoy the experience. I am in total awe of my Supervisor, Professor Amram Mor and my Mentor, Tchelet Kovachi. They guided me through the intricacies of my project - explaining in detail each phase and the technology connected to it. My presentation at the end of the program reflected the wealth of information I learned and my gratitude to them. I hope to return to the Technion in the future, as I pursue my studies toward a career in medicine. Long before I came to Haifa, I read additional physics books, solved numerous problems, participated in competitions. But still, the unique experience, which I had during my time there will, always be among my most pleasant memories. I am still under heavy impressions from the program and I feel inspired to continue my education and professional training in the field of physics. I had the chance to work in sophisticated experimental setting (laser, polarizator, pinhole objective, CCD camera, positioning stage, photodiode etc.) under supervision. I learned to construct specific configurations for the realization of specific physics 32

experiments in the field of fiber optics. I also learned how to process the mathematically derived experimental data and how to make conclusions based on it. All that sparkled my inspiration and enthusiasm and made even firmer my dedication to the experimental and theoretical physics. The great impression that the university made to me and the high academic standards makes me consider the possibility to attend the Technion University of Haifa in order to study, or at least as a part of a specialization program. I hope that next year I will have the chance to participate in other programs of the university. These will definitely help me build up my skill even further. Conclusions Based on the sample of the students' responses and the students' letters we may conclude the followings; The majority of the research projects have significant impact on their future decision for selecting the scientific field and academic career. Those who are not sure at this stage what field they choose, yet most of them believe that they prefer research or academic career. Those who do not express full satisfaction from the program, are not focused at this stage on specific field and made more general declarations The majority of the students thinks that the SciTech program was an additional critical catalyst that ignites their interest and enthusiasm for scientific research. In general, the satisfaction of those who participated in research which was not their first priority was not significantly lower. It is clear that the exposure to modern new applicative scientific disciplines and the quality of the academic staff have major impact on their future decisions. The international participation and mingling of excellent students from 7 different countries and cultures has a significant influence on their satisfaction from the SciTech program and expressed their belief that Science is universal and may influence future global interrelationships.


Extra-curricular scientific educational programs in developing expert thinking
Zora KRNJAIĆ 1 Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University
Abstract. The essence of scientific expert thinking development is defined through introducing the young into scientific and research work and activities in the process of education and practice within a particular scientific discipline. The research involves a group of secondary school students included in extra-curricular scientific educational programs in Petnica Science Center. Developing expertise, particularly early forms of expert thinking in two areas, astronomy and psychology, was thus examined in its initial stages. Key words. Expert thinking, scientific knowledge, extra-curricular scientific programs, developing expert tninking

Concept of expert thinking The paper starts from the assumption that expert thinking is a complex manner of thinking of higher order comprising higher mental functions and complex capabilities based on deep structures and knowledge patterns It is a domain-determined and specialized thinking developed through systematic education [1]. The subject matter of the paper, namely the beginnings and development of expert thinking, is examined by investigating early development of scientific expert thinking in adolescents interested in dealing with scientific research work.


Developing expert thinking

1.1 Theoretical framework This paper is exploratory in character, and comprised of two parts. The first part, theoretical framework, is based on Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development and the concept of “artificial development”, as well as on information concerning the development of giftedness and expertise. Socio-cultural factors in Vygoskys’ theory have not only motivational but formative role in development of higher mental functions. Education is considered as “artificial development” [2]. In the spirit of Vygotsky’s theory it is possible to establish

Corresponding author: Zora Krnjaić, Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University, Čika Ljubina 18-20, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia; Е-mail: 35

new conception of qualitative progress in mental development in young people and adulthood, in life span perspective, which is not limited by age and finishing formal education. Concepts relevant for the study of the complex nature of expert thinking are: mediated intelligence and the process of systemogenesis of knowledge, Katel’s definition of crystallized intelligence, Gardener’s work on multiple intelligences in the context of knowledge and experience as well as Sternberg’s two-fact subtheory and concept of developing expertise. 1.2 Extra-curricular scientific educational programs The second part of this work involves the planning and carrying out of empirical research. The essence of expert thinking development is defined through introducing the young into scientific and research work and activities in the process of education and deliberate practice within a particular scientific discipline. Comparing to regular school activities, extra-curricular scientific education program has many advantage. First of all it is context for real scientific research activities and scientific reasoning (general atmosphere in the learning environment, physical environment, learning content, research methods adequate for the nature of scientific discipline etc.) The research involves a group of secondary school students included in extracurricular scientific educational programs in Petnica Science Center (experts), and the sample of students not participating in such programs (novices). Expert thinking, particularly early forms of expert thinking in two areas, astronomy and psychology, was thus examined in its initial stages, as well as non-expert, novice thinking.


Early stages of expertise

2.1. New competencies Students develop new competences within rich social interaction in the process of deliberate research practice within a particular scientific discipline. Capacity for structuring is considered as one of fundamental research skill, and it has been varied with regard to the type and level of structuring materials and contents, and examined through assignments requiring the subjects to discern the essential: in the figure material; in verbal material (identifying key words in abstracts of articles from various scientific disciplines); and from experience, in the process of scientific research work; it has also been complemented by the mentors’ expert assessments. The findings are indicative of the effects of both previous school education and extracurricular educational programs on expressing the examined capacity for structuring. 2.2. Students’ insights Exceptionally motivated secondary school pupils experienced "scientific approach to knowledge", discoverd new methods in scientific research work, different type of communication and team work. Students also reported difficulties in understanding theoretical background of certain problems: students ingaged in psychology program 36

have difficulties in comprehension brodar theoretical framework, problem identification and data interpretation: students ingaged in astronomy area program had problems particullary in understanding theoretical models 2.3. Mentors’ assessments Significant and competent persons in interaction with gifted children and youth realize formative action or have potential for its realization in various aspects of development. Theoretical and empirical findings point to the fact that mentors' guidiance is an irreplaceable and integral component of educational process and the program supporting the gifted [3]. The estimations of mentors have been considered in the work concerning the early stages of expertise with the adolescents interested in dealing with scientific research work. Assessing students work mentor who works directly with adolescents included in extracurricular educational programs, in boath areas, astronomy and psychology, underlines students benefits from their research experience, particullary in developing certain intellectual strategies and research procedures and methods important for the nature of certain scientific discipline. On the other hand, due to the lack of systematic scientific knowledge students make typical mistakes facing with difficulties in separating the essential, data interpretations and generalizations. 3. Conclusions

Expert thinking, specialized and domain specific way of thinking, seems to be based on general and specific capabilities and their interaction [4]. The capability for abstract thought, the ability to realize what is important as well as the domain of relevant specific capability are assumed to be of special relevance for understanding expert thinking. References
[1] Z. Krnjaic, Expert Thinking: Beginnings and Development, PhD thesis, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University, 2005. [2] I. Ivic, Profiles of Educators: Lev S. Vygotsky. In: Tedesco, J.C. & Morsey, Z. (ed.), Thunkers on Education, UNESCO: Prospekts 4 (1994), 761-785. [3] R. Subotnik, Beyond Bloom: Revisting Environmental Factors that Enhance and Impede Talent Development, 6th ECHA Conference "Potential into Performance", Oxford, UK. 1998. [4] Z. Krnjaic, Towards the Determination of Capabilities Relevant for Expert Thinking, Journal of the Institute for Educational Research, 38 (2006) 45-60.


Even gifted students can not see the wood for the trees
Srdjan VERBIĆ a,b,1 Petnica Science Center, Serbia b Institute for Education Quality and Evaluation, Serbia

Abstract. Since the very beginning of Petnica Science Center students do small research projects in order to learn the basic scientific methodology. Preparing reports and papers is unavoidable part of such learning. After 25 years of work, it is perfectly clear that students learned how to present their results and write papers. However, such results do not tell us anything about the students' understanding of the broader context of research problem and their attitude toward research process. We believe there is a plenty of room to make progress here. Keywords. learning through research, science education, scientific method, Petnica

Introduction Main goal of Petnica Science Center (PSC) is to provide facilities and stimulating surrounding for advanced education and scientific research. All parts of the research process are prepared and monitored by PSC associates. Their task is to advise and guide students through the research [1]. They are, also, supposed to “catalyze” process of research, because we don’t have years at disposal, but only a few weeks. However, research has to be student’s deed as much as possible. Otherwise, they miss pleasure, satisfaction for well accomplished job. Important feature of those projects is that they do not require full comprehension of complicated concepts of contemporary science and heavy mathematical apparatus. They demand creativity and teamwork. Probably, the most important part of programs in Petnica concerns methodology of scientific work and writing of science reports and papers - Learning through Research (LTR). This way participants of Petnica programs study by "discovering" various facts, relationships, structures or models under the supervision of more experienced researchers. School curricula cannot keep up with the current flood of information so we have to focus on a few specific students' capabilities; to know how to observe and access information, how to evaluate its content and credibility and how to infer its consequences and possible meanings. Learning through Research enables three important components in the process of acquiring of knowledge. The first one is an opportunity to "discover". The second one is an opportunity to implement new science in order to examine well-known fact or principle. Thus, we get results which, of course, don’t have to be numbers seen for the first time. Passion and excitement of discovery are more important. The third component provides young people with greater responsibility for their own learning. LTR model is individually oriented and all students are supposed to realize how important their own initiative is. Our

Corresponding author: Srdjan Verbić, Petnica Science Center, P.O. Box 6, 14104 Valjevo, Serbia; E-mail: 39

job is to prepare them for individual work. Students have to develop a skill of "navigation" through the ocean of resources and to learn how to learn more efficiently [2]. All students are required to make final reports on their research whether their experiments succeeded or not. Research level of those papers is less important then the fact that job is done completely, not just exciting part, i.e. research itself, but boring part all the way to collecting references and correction of text corrected so many times before.

Fig. 1. Teaching of scientific method is always hard Selected students' papers are published annually in edition called Petnica's Papers since 1992 [3, 4]. Ten years later, Petnica has started with students' science conference [5] in order to give students a chance to present their work in front of their colleagues and get significant feedback. So far, Petnica's Papers had nearly a thousand students' papers in fifteen scientific disciplines. All this material enabled us to see common problems with comprehension of scientific work and students' attitude toward topic of research, science, colleagues, prospective career, etc.


Top ten unrelenting problems of LTR

1.2 The lack of hypotheses and educated guesses If you observe research of students in spectrum of disciplines ranging from mathematics (formal) to ethnology (descriptive), it is likely that most of them could not recognize hypotheses in their work. It is logical consequence of more practical problem that students are not comfortable to use educated guesses as research tool. LTR students do not have fear of guessing, but their guesses are rarely designed to maximize the answer's information. One step further, they do not know how to tell whether an answer is reasonable or not. For example, they do not use heuristics such as checking limiting cases or dimensional analysis. This difficulty is related to their reluctance to guess. To overcome this natural reluctance, we must teach students heuristic methods; with practice, students will develop the courage to use them [6]. 40

Problem is particularly emphasized in more descriptive disciplines, deprived of adequate mathematical apparatus. 1.3 Enchanted by difficult recipes Seriousness and complexity of difficult procedures, algorithms or protocols always impress students. In order to build electronic device or synthesize some complex compound, it requires a lot of efforts and strict obedience to the rules. Students learn necessary craft and handiness this way, but it leaves no room for varying of procedures which is essential for learning through research. Science is based on diversification of procedures. Educated disobedience to the rules is one of corner stones of scientific edifice. Unreasonably complicated recipes are not suitable for students' research projects. In such cases, student simply can not see the wood for the trees. 1.4 Enchanted by shiny boxes Another thing that regularly fascinates students is new, nicely designed instrument. It does not matter what is written in the certificate, they always believe more a shiny piece of equipment. Measuring equipment with pompous names seriously endanger students' readiness to be critical about results. The same thing stands for software. The simpler it is, you think more about how it works and use more checking points. Do not give students sophisticated piece of equipment, it would mesmerize them. 1.5 Terminological barrier The first thing that LTR students learn is how to mimic professionals. They use scary terminology and slang of the "big science" colleagues. Students, probably, believe that using (or copying) of incomprehensive formulations and slang would contribute to the seriousness of the work. Also, we have protective effect of the terminological barrier. Students often use it to protect themselves against unpleasant questions. Unpronounceable words would keep curious characters away. The most serious problem that arises from this behavior is the lack of the feedback. Students are deprived from comments, critics, suggestions, proposals for further work, etc. The only person invited to express its opinion is the supervisor, the person who proposed or shaped the project at first place. When you enter such a circulus vitious, it is hard to get out. 1.6 The lack of comparisons Students' papers often look like series of self-sufficient, moderately redundant and not particularly informative statements. There are no comparisons with other models, methods, results, conclusions or interpretations. Why is that? Comparisons are basic idea of all observations, measurement and experiments. One would expect that students make comparisons all the time because that is the easiest way to add up small pieces of information. However, it seems that students do not see what are they supposed to compare. It looks like another example of students’ inability to tell apart important and trivial results. Practice of inventive and everlasting comparisons is something that we have to teach them. They should always compare their models, methods, results, conclusions, interpretations, etc. with counterparts in other papers.


1.7 Incomprehension of experimental error Teaching of error theory and probabilistic reasoning is important part of learning through research. Students calculate errors, probably because we asked them to do so, but they do not recognize information in this entity. They do not include error estimation in process of conclusions inferring. 1.8 Usage of statistics as a black-box Statistics also has some mesmerizing properties. It seems that statistical tests are recognized as magic wand which even provisional categories easily turns into "statistically significant" conclusions. This blind confidence that statistics will do something so we would not have to use brains at all is disastrous for learning through research. Really precious phenomena for practicing research are simple enough be explored and described in a few weeks, but hard enough so we would not be able to find "textbook explanations". Situations where straight-forward statistics fails to produce reasonable explanations are kind of problems that we are looking for. 1.9 Uninformative graphs The way that students present their results is yet another manifestation of incomprehension of relative value and importance of numbers they obtained. Principle that "graph's greatest value is obtained when it forces us to see what we are not expecting" [7] is hard to follow if you do not expect anything. This problem is strongly intertwined with the lack of educated guesses. The other minor problem concerning graphs is rote usage of graphical software. For general purpose software all data that given in a table are equally important. Students are supposed to exclude uninformative or redundant and emphasize really important parts. Not to mention that we expect them to be creative at this age. 1.10 Personal contribution Usage of references in students' papers is quite serious problem. Students do not distinguish what is a common place, their personal contribution or result produced by some other researcher. Of course, great deal of responsibility here goes to the supervisor. For the students alone, this problem might look marginal but resolving of these small dilemmas helps to extract what is really significant and present it adequately. Particularly important part of students' research work is to recognize fruitful ideas used in the research and to realize where did they come from. Meaningful usage of references and acknowledgements is indicator of maturity of researcher as well as a research tool. 1.11 Adopted interpretations Research papers can not be written without interpretations of results. Students, for many reasons, feel insecure here. They do not know enough to see the broader context of the problem they investigated. As interpretation is the assignment of meaning to abstract symbols, we surely need some meta-knowledge in order to construct such an assignment. This problem is, in most of cases, too hard for students. The trivial solution is to listen to the supervisor. If you do not have a supervisor, you can simply adopt interpretations from


a popular book or review paper. Unfortunately, sticking to a single interpretation is very dangerous practice. It would be much better to write a list of possible interpretations with adequate references, but students rarely do so. 4. Conclusions

There is a segment of research process where LTR science can not be different from “real” science: strict and persistent usage of scientific method. You can’t make any compromises here. Research work, of course, can be made on pretty bad model, uncompleted, with tentative results and trivial conclusions only and it still can be correct. Persistent use of scientific method gives no guarantee scientific value of obtained results. However, original scientific contribution has to be less important in LTR than learning of methodology and correctness in communication of results. Gifted students or students extraordinary motivated for science possess a lot of skills required for scientific research and autonomous learning through research. However, such endeavor is rarely autonomous. There are always “guides” that misguide students because of the lack of time, the lack of motivation, etc. Facilitators of extracurricular science education programs should be prepared to protect students from supervisors whenever it is necessary. This misguiding is just a part of a greater problem: students can not distinguish important pieces of information from the rest of material. They certainly need a help here. Finally, here are a few suggestions for facilitators of students' research projects: • teach students to use educated guesses • keep them away from unusually rigid procedures and instruments that one can not play with • protect them from supervisor "too busy" to discuss problems with students • ask them to find alternative, if possible non-statistical, way to discard hypotheses • ask them to write acknowledgements • ask them to make short list experiments that could reject applied model or inferred conclusions • propose peer review as the procedure for accepting students’ papers References
[1] V. Majić, The Petnica Science Center, Science Education Newsletter 152 (2000) 1-3. [2] S. Verbić and V. Majić, Petnica Science Center – A Model for an Institution of Extracurricular Science Education, Science Education International 3 (2002) 27-29. [3] Petničke sveske – Zbornik učeničkih radova (in Serbian). Petnica Science Center, Valjevo, 1992-2006. [4] S. Verbić ed., Learning Physics through Research – Selected student's papers. Petnica Science Center, Valjevo, 2001, available at [5] Web site of Petnica Students’ Science Conference, [6] S. Mahajan, Observations on teaching first-year physics, [7] J.W. Tukey, Exploratory Data Analysis. Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass., 1977.


Challenging gifted adolescents in international summer academies
Harald WAGNER 1, Volker BRANDT Bildung und Begabung e.V., Germany
Abstract. A German pre-college programme is described which since its inception in 1988 has developed into a most successful educational opportunity for highly able and achievement motivated 16 to 19 year-olds: the Deutsche SchülerAkademie (German Pupils Academy). Details are given about educational goals, structure of the academies, selection of participants and instructors, contents of coursework, programme evaluation, and finances. Recent extensions focus on academies for younger pupils and multinational academies with participants from middle eastern European countries. Keywords. gifted adolescents, residential summer programme, pre-college enrichment programme.

1. The German Pupils Academy Inspired by the Johns Hopkins University/Center for Talented Youth's approach to provide for highly able young people [1], Bildung und Begabung e.V., a non-profit German association, supported by the Federal Government, in 1988 developed residential summer programmes for 16-19 year-old upper secondary school pupils thus filling the critical gap between the last school years and higher education with a pre-college type of summer academy. Within a few years these programmes have grown into an outstanding opportunity for academically highly talented and motivated adolescents which seems to be quite unique in Europe. They are now well-known by the name "Deutsche SchülerAkademie" (German Pupils Academy). Following a visit to one of the academies in summer 2001, the Federal President of Germany assumed patronage over the Deutsche SchülerAkademie, which the current President, Horst Köhler, decided to continue. 1.1 Objectives

The general purpose of the Deutsche SchülerAkademie is to provide an intellectual and social challenge for the participants, to enhance their abilities, to establish contacts with like-minded peers with similar potential and motivation, and to engage them in demanding academic work under the supervision of expert instructors. The most important objectives of the academies are • to develop and improve methods and abilities of knowledge acquisition, interdisciplinary thinking, research techniques and autonomous learning; • to challenge intellectual potentials to their limits; Corresponding author: Harald Wagner, Bildung und Begabung e.V., Wissenschaftszentrum, Ahrstr. 45, 53175 Bonn, Germany, E-mail: 45

to improve techniques of oral and written presentations; to exercise cooperation and coordination in team work; to provide role models through encounters with highly creative, able, motivated and inspiring teachers and scientists; • to experience a community of able and motivated peers, to develop lasting friendships and thus to accept oneself as valuable and "normal"; • to help pupils with career-planning decisions; • to raise consciousness, that exceptional abilities carry the obligation to use them in a pro-social manner and in responsible leadership. Achievement motivation, willingness to exert oneself, ability to work in teams, creativity, communication skills, interdisciplinary thinking, initiative and readiness to take over responsibility are key elements of the pedagogical concept. 1.2 Structure A 16-days academy typically comprises 90 boys and girls, each one participating in one of six courses from a broad range of academic disciplines. As an example, one of the academies in the summer of 2007 offered the following courses (a complete overview of the courses offered in all academies of 2007 is to be found in the internet under –“Indra's Pearls” (Fractal geometry and complex numbers) –“Experimental physics – mechanics and fluid dynamics” –“Software – hard science” (computer science) –“Complex chemistry and its bio-anorganic relevance” –“Poetry slam” –“Can one argue rationally about moral issues? ” While there are in each academy usually one course in mathematics, one or two in the sciences, and one or two in the humanities, other courses may come from any academic, scientific or cultural area such as introduction to a foreign language and culture (Italian, Spanish, Polish, Chinese…), creative or journalistic writing, music history, computer science, economics, psychology, rhetoric or visual arts to name just some examples. Interdisciplinary subjects are favoured. The idea is to select a certain topic of a discipline which can be treated in thorough depth and breadth within the 16 days and which introduces participants to the terminology, methods, research techniques and literature of that discipline. The total amount of time spent on course work is about 50 hours. The level of work is mostly comparable with advanced university seminars. Two instructors plan and run each of the courses with a minimum daily duration of 4-5 hours. The rest of the day is filled with additional optional activities such as sports, music (instrumental, choir), excursions, discussions, drama etc. where participants from all courses mix and meet. Special emphasis is put on training and improving the ability to clearly formulate and present research findings in oral and written form. Prior to the academy the participants are expected to work through a compilation of relevant texts and to prepare a presentation. Extracts from the written reports are later published for each academy in a 150-page proceedings ("Dokumentation"; several examples can be found under and Between 1988 and 2007 110 academies with more than 9,700 participants were held in boarding schools which have proven to be ideal locations for such programmes in

• • •


Germany. In the summer of 2007 nine academies with a total of 780 participants took place. A staff of seven people at Bildung und Begabung e.V. takes care of the organisational tasks during the year; another 130 experts are annually needed to run the academies and the courses. 1.3 Selection of participants and instructors The ideal participant has a high intellectual ability, a strong motivation to achieve, diverse interests, and has already demonstrated far above average achievements. He/she should have completed grade 11 or 12 in the 13-year German school system and thus carry back his/her impressions and experiences from the academy into his/her home school. As there are no standardised achievement tests carried out routinely in Germany (as e.g. the Scholastic Assessment Test – SAT in the United States) two different criteria are applied to find suitable candidates: a) successful participation in one of the intellectually demanding national or state competitions and international olympiads or b) recommendations from schools; each year all ca. 4,000 high schools in Germany ("Gymnasium" or "Gesamtschule") are individually requested to nominate one or two outstanding pupils who would match the above-mentioned ideal profile. About 30 percent of the schools respond to this request. Over the years, both criteria have proven to be equally valid in finding the desired candidates. In 2007 about 300 recommendations came from competitions while schools provided some 1,700 names. A total of 2,069 pupils received a letter of invitation and the catalogue with the description of the academies and the courses on offer. Regularly ca. 80 percent of the candidates apply for participation. As there are usually twice as many qualified applications as there are places in the academies, difficult decisions have to be made whom to admit and whom to decline. Additional relevant and comparable information on the qualifications of the applicants is not available. Therefore, some pragmatic strategies guide the decisions, including (a) the course chosen; (b) proper representation of: boys and girls, winners in competitions and school nominees, the 16 federal states; (c) school grade level (higher ones preferred, lower ones may apply again in the following year); (d) usually not more than one participant per school and no repeated participation of the same pupil in order to include as many different schools and pupils as possible. Additionally, each year some 50 pupils from more than 20 foreign countries are admitted. They are selected by partner organisations or their home schools. Fluent command of German is an additional requirement for these candidates. A one week stay prior to the academy with the family of a German fellow participant is usually arranged to practice oral communication in German. The staff of an academy consists of a director, an assistant (usually a recent participant), an instructor for musical activities (choir, instrumental ensembles), and 6x2 instructors for the course work. The ideal profile for these persons would include expertise in their fields, additional abilities and interests, pedagogical talent, cooperativeness, idealism, and a willingness to become engaged in an intense and exhausting personal involvement for 16 days. These idealists are found among expert teachers, academic faculty and (in some cases) free-lancers. They receive a modest remuneration for their considerable dedication, but most of them value the exceptional educational opportunity to work with a highly able and motivated group of young people and they return year after year. 47

1.4 Finances The Deutsche SchülerAkademie is financially supported to a considerable amount by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science, by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, by foundations, sponsors and donations. Therefore, the participants are expected to pay a participation fee that covers only one third of the actual cost per place. However, this still amounts to 550 Euro for the sixteen days and does not include travel expenses to the academy. In order to ensure that no one who is eligible for the academies has to refrain from participating just for financial reasons, a reduction of the fee, if necessary down to a waiver is granted to families in need. As a rule of thumb 12 percent of the participants are annually subsidised by reductions.

2. Effects of participation Within a few days each of the academies develops an atmosphere which can hardly be described, filled with enthusiasm and motivation of both participants and instructors, with intensive personal relations, discussions, and gatherings until late at night. The numerous overwhelmingly positive evaluations and feedback from participants, their home schools and parents as well as from scientific programme evaluation confirm the immense impact the academy has on the participants. Apart from the academic level, the company of similarly interested and zealous young people is particularly praised which remains a lasting impression and results in a network of friendships, reunions and joint academic and leisure activities over the following years. Most of them are amazed by the energies that can be mobilised and the amount of work that can be accomplished by the coordinated efforts of inspired instructors and participants. Here are some typical examples of the feedback the academies receive: "The Academy was a very enriching experience for me. When I think of those two weeks they're still so alive in me! The days were so tightly and interestingly packed, the people so motivated and full of drive. It was great to always find people with whom you could get something going or turn upside down. (In those days I came to realise how much time you have to spend in everyday life just to get 'dull loafers' interested in anything; and above all: how much you can achieve when everyone pulls together. All at once you thrive in such a group and suddenly accomplish things you previously would never have attempted.)… I found the Academy (particularly for good students) terrifically important. One girl said to me: 'Do you know, in school I often used to feel so different; I actually thought I was abnormal. But here suddenly everyone's the same as me - I'm like all of them!' It was really a wonderful experience to meet 'like-minded' and not continually have to hide the fact that you're good in school – or (much 'worse') that you maybe even have fun there. Contact with the others then motivated me to stick to studying and not let my fun and interest in specific subjects be taken away from me. But aside from all these things it was the human component of the academy which I found most rewarding. Many friendships evolved and remained for which I am very thankful". (Participant) "What can't be put down on paper is the enthusiasm and interest of the participants which fundamentally distinguishes the SchülerAkademie from school. An enthusiasm which was manifest in discussions on Immanuel Kant during the lunch break or analytical conversations on course topics at lunch or dinner. An enthusiastic


exertion while preparing presentations, documentation and rotation which was apparent particularly on the part of the instructors who devoted their all to us even giving up a considerable amount of sleep. After the Academy I often missed the excited talk and enthusiasm of fellow participants. ... Above all it became clear to me during the Academy what fun learning new things can be. One occurrence that will stay in my memory is the surprising feeling of suddenly having understood something." (Participant) "Contact with the other participants was a 'revelation' for Nele. Finally studying, discussing etc. with peers who had similar interests and never tired of looking for challenges – nor ever eased up when tackling problems even when great exertion was required. ... By participating in the academy she was supported in an all-embracing sense. ... By the way, Nele has resolved to offer her services to hold a course at the Deutsche SchülerAkademie when she has progressed sufficiently in her studies." (Headmaster) "Dörte returned with extraordinarily positive impressions from the SchülerAkademie. The programme provided her with considerable guidance concerning decisions where to go after her school years. She plans now to study physics. Dörte is pleased that through the alumni club losing contact with other academy participants can be avoided and people she can talk to seriously remain within reach. She feels she has been admitted to a network full of stimuli and information." (Headmaster) "I enjoyed the openness and natural curiosity of all the participants, got involved till I dropped and came home deadbeat but happy to dream about the next academy." (Instructor [2])

3. Criteria for success These statements are exemplary for countless other similarly rapturous reports which the organisers of the Deutsche SchülerAkademie receive year after year. What is it, what makes the participants so enthusiastic? What are the secrets of the academies’ effectiveness? And how can we measure success? 3.1. Reactive measures The immediate indicators for the quality of a programme are reactive measures, that is statements, reports, feedback or questionnaires requested from participants, instructors, academy directors, teachers or headmasters of the home school, or parents of participants. Numerous features are mentioned in the above cited reports which are clearly indicative of the academies, contrast with normal school routines and therefore are clearly of particular significance for their impact and success: • the company of like-minded peers, i.e. interested, achievement motivated, enthusiastic and highly able students who are "on the same wavelength"; • the experience of their own growth as a result of the high standards; the awareness of what they can achieve in coordinated team work and the ensuing increase in self-confidence; • feeling "normal" and completely accepted without having to "apologise" for their special interests and standards or having to pretend; 49

• • • •

reinforcement of their enjoyment of academic work; the emergence of strong, profound and lasting friendships; the role model effect of inspiring and highly qualified specialist instructors; the "flow" experience connected with absorption in challenging work, the experience of acquiring knowledge and suddenly grasping a difficult issue which inspires further study.

3.2 Evaluative studies The reactive measures are, of course, rather subjective and especially when taken at the end of the programme, influenced by the euphoria and the enthusiasm which usually develops in the course of the academies. A more objective view on the effects of participation is provided by the results of the extensive evaluation studies by Heinz Neber and Kurt A. Heller (University of Munich, [3], [4], [5], [6]). According to self reports two to four years after participation and compared with the best possible control group (pupils who had equally applied for participation but could not be admitted simply due to lack of places) participants experience an improvement of motivation and social attitudes such as interests, selfconfidence, cooperativeness and sociability (cf. Fig. 1). They report changes in the awareness and the assessment of their own potential – in most cases positive, in a few negative, however towards a more realistic view of their capabilities. Having been in an academy eases the transition from school to university and helps with decisions concerning university studies. The most important effect however seems to come from the guidance to independent studies, the very close personal contact to the instructors and the encounter with like-minded peers. Neber and Heller conclude: "The academy has primarily a general promoting effect on development and competence. It clearly contributes in a positive way to the psychic development of the participants and thus enhances prerequisites for coping with challenging tasks." (Neber & Heller [5, p. 105, translated by the author]). A further evaluative study is currently being carried out by Prof. Ernst Hany (Erfurt University) which is to explore, in particular, the sustainability of the effects of academy participation after a distance of ten or more years.


academic achievement specific interests specific self efficacy cooperativeness general intelligence communicative ability trust in own abilities self confidence









Figure 1: Effects of academy participation on cognitive, motivational and social characteristics; self ratings ("Has the participation in the academy changed the respective aspect?"), percentage of consenting students (N=237). Adapted from [5] p. 104. 3.3 Non-reactive measures of sustaining effects of participation Although the 16-day duration of the academies is relatively short, they do have lasting effects. This can be shown by several actions and initiatives undertaken by the alumni. Many former participants keep in touch through the alumni association CdE ("Club der Ehemaligen"), organise reunions and holiday trips as well as academies for themselves and establish regional groups at university sites. A bi-annual periodical "exPuls" provides a forum for exchanging views and publishes reports on its members' activities. The alumni club also paved the way for the emergence of the association "Jugendbildung in Gesellschaft und Wissenschaft e.V." (Youth Education in Society and Science Inc., which has been organising its own pupils academies since 2004, thus creating additional capacity for those who cannot be accommodated by the Deutsche SchülerAkademie. Numerous former participants who have already completed their studies return to the Deutsche SchülerAkademie as instructors, and by now about one third of the instructors are former participants.

4. Extension 1: Junior Academies While the summer academies for senior secondary pupils undoubtedly play a most important role for the development of talents, motivation, study habits, self-esteem, social contacts etc., it was felt from the very beginning that this type of programme should already be offered to younger pupils as is practised by e.g. the Center for Talented Youth (CTY) at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, or the Talent Identification Program (TIP) at Duke University, Durham, N.C. In Germany gifted and talented pupils in the lower level (grades 5 – 10) of secondary schools face little additional challenge or support from extracurricular 51

enrichment programmes. They all have to follow the prescribed timetable of their class without the possibility to select subjects. Therefore, an early encounter with interesting and demanding topics in settings outside school is highly desirable. A matter of serious concern in Germany, as in many other countries, is the dramatically declining number of university students in physics, mathematics, chemistry and engineering. Many pupils tend to avoid these supposedly “tough” subjects in the upper level of secondary school (grades 11 – 13) thus ruling out these subjects more or less as options for university studies. Therefore pupils should have an opportunity much earlier in their school years to explore their interests and abilities and be encouraged to engage in activities in these fields – and this is especially important for girls who are still severely under-represented and who undoubtedly form a largely untapped reservoir of talents. So it was decided to develop a junior academy targeted at pupils in grades 7 and 8 (12 to 14 year-olds) and to put a strong emphasis on mathematics and sciences without, however, totally neglecting the humanities. Furthermore it was decided to restrict participation to pupils of the federal state of Rhineland Palatinate where the academy was to take place in a boarding school. Since summer 2003 junior academies have been held annually [7]. Applicants are expected to be highly motivated and to have already demonstrated exceptional achievement in or out of school, e.g. successful participation in an intellectually challenging competition. The majority of applicants come from recommendations from schools where each school may nominate not more than one or two candidates. The number of courses was reduced from six in the “senior” academies to four with up to 16 participants each. Course work covers about half the time of the academic days while the other half is filled with all kinds of activities (music and sports being the most important ones) where pupils from all courses can mix. About 60 percent of the pupils play an instrument, therefore a full time musician is part of the academic staff (site director and assistant, and eight instructors, two for each course) as is the rule in the “senior” academies. He conducts daily choir rehearsals and arranges and advises instrumental ensembles to work towards a generally quite remarkable public concert. Musical activities have a strong integrating effect on the whole academy. Other activities include drama, visual arts, games and excursions.

4.1 Results As can be judged from the five junior academies held so far*, this concept is also a great success. The participants were enthusiastic about the 16 days. They praised the excellent working atmosphere, the amount of independence and responsibility they were granted by their “cool” instructors, and the absence of marking. The course work was judged to be demanding, challenging, and rewarding. The instructors were very pleased with the high motivation and the quality of course work and presentations given by the pupils. They observed, however, certain differences between the “juniors” and the “seniors” in the traditional academies:

We acknowledge gratefully the financial support of the Zurich Group, the Klaus Tschira Foundation and the Ministry of Education of Rhineland-Palatinate.



1. Many of the juniors had difficulties systematically developing and following a path from a specific problem through to a solution. They lacked not only methodical abilities but also endurance and the insight to be responsible for their own learning. 2. The pupils needed many impulses from outside to achieve learning results, they needed detailed instructions and task descriptions but then they set off with joy, dedication and creativity, so that the instructors had to take care that the pupils did not become overexcited. 3. These pupils usually hold top positions in their schools. Thus they are not used to criticism and find it difficult to handle. They have to learn to accept criticism as a chance for improvement and growth. 4. The “juniors” seemed to be less willing and able to devise their own leisure time activities. Due to their younger age and less practice their musical abilities (playing an instrument) were less developed; this influenced the selection of scores for concerts. 5. While most of the concept and structure of the “senior” academies can be transferred to the junior academy without substantial changes some aspects need special attention: the juniors need more guidance and an emphasis on the development of autonomous learning and knowledge acquisition and the ability to work in teams. To improve the group dynamics from the very beginning and to get detailed information about the individual abilities and knowledge levels of the participants it was decided to have a preparatory meeting with the pupils well ahead of the academy. Meanwhile, organisations in seven other German federal states have established similar programmes which are promoted under the umbrella of "Deutsche JuniorAkademien" (German Junior Academies). This label is intended to stand as a hallmark for high quality residential summer programmes for highly able and motivated pupils in the middle level of high school in Germany and to inspire other institutions and federal states to develop similar programmes. To be included in the Deutsche JuniorAkademien a programme has to fulfil certain requirements concerning minimum duration, qualification criteria for participants and instructors, the variety of disciplines presented in the courses and the provision to allow for reductions of the participation fee for needy families. Bildung und Begabung e.V. plays the role of coordinator of these efforts.

5. Extension 2: International academies In 2003, a grant from the Haniel Foundation made possible the development of multinational academies to improve and intensify the relationship to our eastern neighbouring countries in the realm of talent development. In a first attempt young people from Poland, Hungary, the Czech and Slovak Republics and from Germany where brought together in a boarding school of the Benedictine Abbey of Metten, Bavaria. Four courses with 16 participants each were held, German being the working language. While the schedule of the multinational academy mainly followed the approved pattern of the tradition academies certain elements were added to enhance mutual understanding by presentations of the participating countries, their culture, language, traditional recipes, songs etc. The enormous success of the multinational academies 2003 to 2006 encouraged the Haniel Foundation to extend its support for a second multinational academy which had its premiere in August 2007 in the boarding school Schloss Torgelow, appr. 150 km to the north-west of Berlin with pupils


from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany, while the other multinational academy in Bavaria continued its programme with participants from Hungary, Romania, The Czech and Slovak Republics and Germany. Participants from the foreign countries are usually recommended by their home school; some have excelled in German language competitions. A very good command of German, outstanding intellectual abilities, high achievement motivation and broad interests are the most important prerequisites to be eligible as a participant. The participation fee is substantially reduced for foreign participants: The nominal amount of 100 Euro may be further reduced or even waived for families in need. The participants, however, in any case have to pay their travel expenses at least to the German border. All schools, psychologists and counsellors in the participating countries are strongly encouraged to recommend suitable pupils, preferably from grade 11 (ca. 17 yearolds) to

[1] Center for Talented Youth (CTY) (2007). CTY Summer Programs 2007 - 7th grade and above. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University / Center for Talented Youth. [2] Huchzermeyer, B. (2006). Zweieinhalb Wochen im Ausnahmezustand. (Two and One Half Weeks in Exceptionality.) Spektrum der Wissenschaft, February, 78-81. [3] Wagner, H., Neber, H. & Heller, K. A. (1995). The BundesSchülerAkademie – A Residential Summer Program for Gifted Adolescents in Germany. In M. W. Katzko & F. J. Mönks (Eds.), Nurturing Talent. Individual Needs and Social Ability. The Fourth Conference of the European Council for High Ability (pp. 281-291). Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum. [4] Neber, H. & Heller, K. A. (1996). Auswirkungen der Deutschen SchülerAkademie auf Schule und Studium (Effects of the German Pupils Academy upon School and University Studies). Bonn: Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft, Forschung und Technologie. (Research Report Published by the Federal Ministry for Education, Science, Research and Technology, Bonn.) [5] Neber, H. & Heller, K. A. (1997). Deutsche SchülerAkademie. Ergebnisse der wissenschaftlichen Begleitforschung (German Pupils Academy. Results of Evaluative Research). Bonn: Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft, Forschung und Technologie. (Research Report Published by the Federal Ministry for Education, Science, Research and Technology, Bonn.) [6] Neber, H. & Heller, K. A. (2002). Evaluation of a Summer-School Program for Highly Gifted SecondarySchool Students: The German Pupils Academy. European Journal of Psychological Assessment (18), 214228. [7] Wagner, H. (2005). Extending the German Pupils Academy to Younger Secondary School Pupils: The German Junior Academies. In P. Csermely, T. Korcsmáros & L. Lederman (Eds.), Science Education: Best practices of Research Training for Students Under 21 (pp. 91-96). Amsterdam: IOS Press.

The authors gratefully acknowledge the help of Menna Jones with the English translation.



Professional Support for Young Talents in Science – Examples of Good Practice

Summer Science Factory – an Alternative Approach to Science Education

Darja DUBRAVČIĆ a,1 , and Tamara MILOŠEVIĆ b Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia b Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences, Split, Croatia

Abstract. The Summer Science Factory is an international summer science school for children aged 8 to 16 years organized for the first time in 2007 at the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences (MedILS), Split, Croatia. Aiming at making science accessible and attractive, this project wishes to improve the science education using facilities of a research centre, children’s interaction with young scientists and hands-on projects and experiments. The evaluation of the first Summer Science Factory is presented, together with suggestions for improving the program and future plans. Keywords. science, education, children, youths, MedILS, Summer Science Factory

Introduction The Summer Science Factory was envisioned as part of the more global summer school taking place in 2007 at the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences (MedILS). The idea emerged as a combined product of the new, free and interdisciplinary approach to science nurtured at MedILS and the current situation in science education provided in schools. Given the fact that today’s school programs are mainly focused on very formal transfer of knowledge from teachers to students, and very little on fun experiments, projects and problems solving tasks, the interest and motivation arising from students themselves is very low. On the other hand motivated students are very often left on their own with their interests and ideas. The Summer Science Factory is a project created for every motivated child and aims to foster and encourage their interest in science by giving them new, fun approach through hands-on experiments, models, problem solving tasks and games in the environment where others share the same curiosity. Through this vision the name of the project arose, Summer Science Factory (Fig. 1). Like Charlie`s Chocolate Factory, we wanted it to be a science factory of fun, imagination and magic, where nothing is impossible and every idea is given a thought, counted like a little magic by itself.

Correponding author: Darja Dubravčić, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Horvatovac 102a, Zagreb, Croatia, E-mail: 57


Figure 1. The Summer Science Factory Logo


Materials and Methods

1.1 Participants Participants involved in this project included 27 children and youths, majority coming from the city of Split and others accompanying their parents who were participating in MedILS Summer School as lecturers (Table 1.).
Table 1. The Summer Science Factory participants in numbers

Sex distribution female 12 male 15 Origin distribution Croatia 20 abroad 7

Age distribution <9 3 9 4 10 4 11 4 12 4 13 2 14 5 15 2

The application procedure included filling out the application form and writing a motivational statement indicating the child’s motives for applying. All applicants from the city of Split were invited for an interview at the Institute, to get to know the place where the project would be taking place. The interview included a short interview with each child, an interview with the child’s parents and an observation of social skills and ability to interact in English while children were waiting for an interview and playing group games. The selection of applicants consisted of an elimination procedure which included ranking children’s motivation, understanding of spoken English, and the level of interaction. The most important factor was judging children’s motivation by asking questions about their expectations, but also their prior encounters with science in school, television shows or through projects. Children who had low motivation were not selected when it was obvious that there was a parental pressure put on them. Understanding of spoken English was a problem only for very young applicants, and they were not selected as the problems of understanding the scientific content in a foreign language could turn them away from science. Children who had not interacted with other children during group activities or had problems in conversation during the interview were not selected because of the highly dynamic and group-oriented nature of the project. 58

1.2 Moderators In order to escape the generation gap that may arise and interfere with the teaching of science in a fun and different way, special care has been taken in choosing the moderators who would transfer their knowledge to youths, but also take part in the group dynamics and interactions during group-bonding activities. Moderators included 16 students and young scientists coming from Croatia and France. Specialists in pedagogy and psychology were involved to help in formation of a healthy and balanced learning atmosphere. Specific workshops were led by moderators who had scientific knowledge in specific fields, with others participating in the workshop as additional teachers after they have been acquainted with workshop aims and procedure prior to the workshop. 1.3 Time and Place Considering the yearly schedule of school children, the project was held from August 5th to 19th 2007. during summer vacation. The workshops were carried out each day, beginning at 9 am and ending at 4 pm (Fig. 2). Last day was reserved for a 3-hour presentation of the 2-week program, which included exhibition of posters and models created during the workshops and group presentations of exceptional experiments the children have performed themselves for their parents.

Figure 2. Schematic view of daily workshop organization

Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences (MedILS) located in Split, Croatia, has been the venue of this project. This Institute cherishes creativity and multidisciplinarity with a special emphasis on educating the next generation of free-thinking scientists and therefore was the best place to start a novel approach in teaching science to youths. Every opportunity was taken to conduct the workshops “out of the classroom”, performing experiments at the laboratories used for ongoing research projects at the Institute, or making use of a beautiful pine forest and shore in the surroundings of the Institute. The Summer Science Factory tried to take the best advantage of being part of the MedILS Summer School, a one-month interdisciplinary program consisting of 6 scientific and educational workshops that gathered more than 150 science students and young scientists from 20 countries around the world. Children had an opportunity to observe scientists away from experiments, involved in lectures and brainstorming discussions in an interdisciplinary and international environment. 59

1.4 Themes and Groups Scientific areas covered through hands-on experiments, field trips, computer simulations and group projects included physics, geophysics, astronomy, chemistry and biology (Table 2). Basic concept was to introduce science in a fun and different way which required careful selection of topics and ideas. Instead of teaching science like it is taught in schools, all of the scientific fields were integrated throughout the workshops, which began with the most familiar thing – our bodies and how they work. The workshops continued further into the exploration of evolution and ecosystems, gradually zooming in to microorganisms, followed by the zooming out to the stars and electricity.
Table 2. List of workshops during the Summer Science Factory Mr. Skeleton: The secret of the bones Digestion system: One way trip Dr. Neno: Is there a doctor in the building? Illusions: Crazy thoughts Brain: Getting to know the Boss Neurons: High speed train Dr. Loony: How normal are you? Why everything is the way it is: The perfection of creation Heating up: Do you feel hot? Rock`n`roll planet called Earth Plants: Living on the edge Marine biology: The magic of the sea Bacteria: Our friends and enemies Yeast and genetics: Who are my mom and dad? E. coli: Watch me go! Genetics: Seeing the DNA Let's analyze: What we thought we cannot see Everything around us is chemistry Magical world of the candle Colours: Where do they come from? Acids and bases: Learn it from the plants Electricity: The world of the citrus fruits Matter and light: Riding on the waves Sight: Seeing the light Sun: What is the time? Planets: How big they really are Magic of the Universe






Although the emphasis was put on the science, significant amount of time was assigned for group activities, such as group-bonding games and sports, but also for creation of posters and models as representation of children’s newly acquired information and concepts (Fig. 3). All the activities were been performed in English because of the international nature of the whole project. Additional translation of more complex concepts to French and Croatian was employed for the youngest children. As the nature of all workshops was based on team-work activities, constant care was directed towards forming the most functional groups of participants, based on the nature of specific workshops. Given the big age difference among participants groups were mostly formed according to age. Whenever possible, heterogeneous groups were formed in order to facilitate exchange of experiences and knowledge between different age groups and nationalities. 60

Figure 3. Photographs showing activities on workshops (clockwise starting top left): Global warming, DNA extraction, Digestion system, Acids and bases

1.5 Funding One of the basic requirements for initiating educational programs is ensuring that the financial aspect does not hinder the realization of the project. Many project proposals with detailed budget plans were submitted to committees of major companies in Croatia, as well as to the EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation). The budget was covered by a generous donation of Croatian T-Com and EMBO Grant for Projects and initiatives in Science and Society and has enabled fee-free participation of all children. Local fundraising had proved useful for covering small expenses and a donation of laboratory supplies from a supplier company enabled enough resources for each child to perform experiments.


2. a.

Results Participants’ Evaluations

In order to acquire feed back from children taking part in this project, an evaluation questionnaire has been given to each participant at the end of the 2-week workshops program. After analysing the evaluation questionnaire, following results were observed. b. Group Dynamics

When asked to identify the problems in group work, children have pointed out: • dominant and loud individuals • inappropriate jokes • egoistic behaviour of some participants • inability to reach common opinion • English language c. Level of Acquired Knowledge

In order to get information if children have improved their knowledge of science through interactive hands-on approach and group work, we asked them to select their favourite workshops and the workshops they learned the most from (Fig. 4), but also to choose their favourite activity during the workshops (Fig. 5).
How would you grade the workshops?

12 10 8 6 4 2 0

Solar planets DNA extraction Illusions Electrical circuit Mysterious Candle Planet Earth Vision Human brain Bones Digestion system Acids and bases Chemistry Physics Marine Biology Bacteria Yeast

most interesting most informative

Figure 4. Votes for most interesting workshops were obtained by asking participants to choose their top 5 most interesting workshops, while they chose mostly only one workshop as the most informative (N=19)


What was your favourite activity? 12% 12% 26% 14% 26% 10% poster making games experiments model making quiz lectures

Figure 5. Diagram representing activities participants have favored the most, each participant naming one or more activities (N=19)



As motivation was a key concept for selecting participants to take part in this project, their motivation during the project would indicate if the applied methods were beneficial on individual level. Participants have been asked to comment on their activity during the workshops and to suggest what factors would motivate them to actively contribute even more (Fig. 6). To test participants’ satisfaction with their participation in the overall activities, they have been asked if their expectations have been met (Fig. 7).
How w ould you gr ade your activity in w or k s hops ? 0% 33% 20% 27% 20% 1 2 3 4 5 11% 45% 11% 22% 11% What w ould m otivate you to be m or e active in w or k s hops ? m or e e xpe r im e nts m or e fun inte r e s ting le ctur e s m or e outdo or activie s cr e ative w or k s h ops

Figure 6. Self-grading of participants’ activity during workshops (1 being the lowest grade, 5 being the highest) and identification of one or more key elements that would be even more motivating (N=15)


Did Summer Science Factory fulfil your expectations?

yes 42% 58% 0% no mostly

Figure 7. Participants’ satisfaction with participation in the Summer Science Factory (N=19)

Making science more accessible and interesting was one of the approaches to positively influence children’s opinion towards science, and was addressed through questions of choosing science as a profession in the future, and possible changes in their perception of scientists (Fig. 8).
Has your view of scientists changed? Do you see yourself as a scientist in the future?

20% yes no 80% 73%

16% 11%

yes no I don't know

Figure 8. Diagrams represent positive change in attitude towards scientists (explanations include “it seems like an interesting job”, “scientists can be social creatures, and I thought they were nerds”, “they are open and friendly like everyone else”) and a low percentage of participants not interested in choosing a scientific profession (N=19) 3. Discussion

We have used results of participants’ evaluations as an indicator of success of the methods we have applied to approach science education in an alternative and attractive way. Although choosing a wide age range, we have tried to integrate younger participants with older, but this has proven to be very difficult, as is indicated in the section regarding problems in group work. Children have been dissatisfied when the outcome of their teamwork projects were affected by individuals over expressing their will, which may be avoided by forming smaller groups of the same age and frequently monitoring individual effects on the whole group. English as a foreign language for all participants has been a problem, as level of understanding varied greatly, not only between age groups, but also within an age group. More thorough evaluation of understanding spoken English needs to be employed during the selection process, if the international character of the project will be fostered. 64

Translating all content to children’s mother language is time-consuming and interferes with group dynamics. Considering the content presented during the whole project there was a large preference to more attractive, interactive hands-on workshops, although they were not always appreciated as the most informative. Results of the participants’ favourite workshops also suggest they have graded workshops of the second week higher, and the cause of this may be that they have forgotten of some interesting workshops taking part at the beginning. The key to avoid this bias is to evaluate workshops after each day when the memory of the activities is still fresh. Choosing experiments and games as the most interesting parts of the workshop is an indicator that these activities are the best ones to use to introduce scientific concepts and critical thinking to youths. Participants’ motivation was stable throughout the project, and no participant has graded their own participation in a negative way, but additional creative workshops and experiments would boost the activity even more. The fact that majority of children were completely satisfied, and other mostly satisfied with their participation in the Summer Science Factory is reassuring and indicates the program has met their needs and expectations. The effect of this project on children’s perception in science has proven to be beneficial, as they have had slightly negative opinion about scientist being introverted, crazy and unsocial behaviour. Being in close proximity with senior scientists taking part in scientific workshops and everyday communication and interaction with young scientists has had a general positive effect which is also shown in the fact that a only small portion of participants are not at all considering a carrier in science. 4. Future Prospects

After successfully finishing the first Summer Science Factory great enthusiasm for working with motivated youths is a driving force for planning future development of the whole scheme. We plan to continue this project, inviting more young experts to join and offer their knowledge to the youth. As one of the aims of the Summer Science Factory is narrowing the gap between science and new generations, we also aspire to involve youths, especially the ones that participated in this years program, in creating projects on their own, with young scientists serving as catalysts in that process. Bearing in mind this year’s experience and expected increase in the number of applicants who wish to participate, an idea of a repeating oneweek program has emerged, focusing on interactive and creative experiments and games in the beginning and brainstorming and creating projects towards the end of the program. Whit this approach we would like to introduce them more to scientific way of thinking and scientific methods that will serve them as key start in solving future problems. Finally, as we have shown here, offering an alternative science education program in a research centre can be very attractive and beneficial, so we hope our idea will evolve and propagate itself reaching more and more motivated children around the world, ultimately influencing the community and helping in education of the new generation of scientists.



Useful Resources on the Web Summer Science Factory 2007 Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences EMBO Science and Society Programme


“I Love Biochemistry”: More Than Ten Years On
Josep M. FERNÁNDEZ-NOVELL1 & Joan J. GUINOVART Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Institute for Research in Biomedicine, University of Barcelona.
Abstract. Here we present the results from eleven years of the “I Love Biochemistry” course. This initiative focuses on promoting research vocation in talented secondary school students. Furthermore, this course provides an excellent opportunity for graduate students to gain experience in science teaching. Moreover, this course seeks to improve university-secondary school relationships. Keywords. Biochemistry, secondary school, students, course.

Introduction "I love biochemistry" (I tu? Jo, Bioquímica) [1,2] has been running for 11 years as a summer course for talented secondary school students in their final year. This kind of course complies with one of the six categories of out-of-school science experiences described by Subotnik [3]. The lectures and lab practices have contributed to widening students’ scope of biochemistry. The main features of the course are: • Organization: The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Barcelona [4, 5] designed this course in collaboration with The Spanish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM) [6] and The Department of Education of The Government of Catalonia [7]. • Objectives: To increase research vocation among talented secondary school students and support those who are potentially interested in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology. • Target: Final year secondary school students (public and private education) in Catalonia and the surrounding regions interested in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology. The course usually takes place the last week of June. • Structure: Monday to Friday (five-day course). The course includes laboratory sessions (DNA extraction, glucose concentration measurement, cell culture, protein structure analysis by Internet, etc.), lectures (metabolism, DNA and RNA, microbiology, biotechnology, gene therapy, etc.). • Lab sessions: Biochemistry graduate students are laboratory instructors of the course and in this way they have the opportunity to explore science teaching. Instructors give participants an overview of scientific details, the use of instruments and a protocol of each experiment before it is started. Instructors and Faculty members stimulate discussion among students through

Corresponding author: Josep M. Fernández-Novell: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Barcelona, Avgda. Diagonal 645, Edifici nou, planta -1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain; E-mail: 67

“brainstorming” and round table sessions on results, procedures and research ideas. Lectures: These are given by university professors who cover relevant aspects of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology that have a considerable impact on society, such as issues on basic research, health, genetics and ethics. Exchanges between students and the speaker make lectures highly interactive. Course feedback: A questionnaire is used to obtain an evaluation of the course. Furthermore, every year participants from previous courses are asked to report on their academic trajectory.

1. Course Applications. In the eleven years that this course has been running, a total of 5842 applications have been received; 61 of these have been rejected because the applicants did not meet the course entry requirements. Organized during the first selection round, the biochemistry laboratory practices have been attended by 1128 students. Of these, 264 were accepted to do the full course. Furthermore, in the eleven years of the course, more than 340 secondary schools have participated and more than 990 science teachers have been involved (Table I). Table I. Course applications. Number of Applicants Number of Students Selected for the first round interviews Final Number of Students Accepted Secondary Schools Involved Secondary School Teachers Involved

TOTAL 5842 1128 264 342 991

2. University Degree Choices. Analysis of participants’ questionnaires show that 4 out of 10 students have enrolled in a Biology degree, and more than 3 out 10 in Medicine, while fewer have registered in Pharmacy (14 %) and Chemistry (11 %).(Figure)


% University science degrees

Chemistry; 10,6 Rest; 3,4 Pharmacy; 14 Biology; 40,2

Medicine; 31,8

3. Key Characteristics of the Course. • The Student Selection Process. It was based on a combination of recommendation letters provided by secondary school teachers, student’s own “statement of interest” letters, and personal interviews. The first selection round focused on student academic records and recommendation letters, which resulted in the pre-selection of 100-110 candidates. These students were then interviewed by instructors and Faculty members to assess their degree of motivation and interest. Before interviews, the students were given the opportunity to spend around 3 hours performing biochemistry experiments in a laboratory. Finally, a group of 24 students, identified as the most hardworking and motivated, were chosen to follow the course. The relationship between students and teachers. Students and instructors spent as much one-on-one time as possible so as to develop factual knowledge, laboratory techniques, etc. The age proximity between students and instructors motivated communication. Furthermore, very good interaction between students and lecturers was also noted. Most of the lecturers joined the group for lunch, thus facilitating further discussion in a more informal atmosphere. The student-research relationship. No absenteeism was detected and students compared their experimental results and conclusions. They were encouraged to ask questions and to think rationally and methodically about research and biochemistry. The process of questioning reinforced the knowledge learnt. University teachers and instructors considered that 95% of the students were actively involved in the research they performed. Round tables. Given that the transition from secondary to university education involves a long period of adaptation for many students, the round table sessions focused on university education requirements, student aspirations and expectations.


4. Follow-up. The fundamental features of long-term evaluation were: • The follow-up of all students who participated in the course (Table II): A large proportion of the students (80 %) have maintained contact with the course organizers and more than 95 % have enrolled in degrees in which biochemistry is compulsory. In addition, 3 out of 10 course students went on to enrol in a Biochemistry degree* and 2 out of 10 in PhD programmes related to Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology. (*In Spain, university science degrees are structured into three periods or cycles, Biochemistry is a second cycle degree, therefore to enroll in this discipline, students are required to have completed the first cycle, two to three years, in life-science degrees or chemistry.) Table II Student follow-up. Final number of students accepted Number of students who have remained in contact with us. Students enrolled in degrees in which biochemistry is compulsory, Students who went on to enrol in a Biochemistry degree Students who went on to enrol in PhD programme related to biochemistry. •

TOTAL 264 80 % 95.1 % 28 % 18 %

Continued research interest. Some of the students continued to participate voluntarily in extra-curricular research, thereby furthering their knowledge of biochemistry. In their first university year, students have spent a couple of weeks working on a research project together with university teachers and scientists. During this time, they can use standard techniques in biochemistry and have the opportunity to learn particular methods in which they are interested. “I love Biochemistry”-Club. A couple of times a year a large number of former students hold a get-together. Initially a scientific/research lecture is presented by several participants. These speakers are normally graduate students enrolled on a PhD programme and all participants are given the opportunity to discuss the presentations. Usually questions are raised regarding general biochemistry and research. Students also ask the teachers of the “I love Biochemistry” course questions about university degrees, subjects, future options, etc. These meetings are held in an informal atmosphere, and therefore participants are not pressured to end fruitful discussion.

5. Conclusions. In designing the “I love Biochemistry” course and its follow-up activities, we aimed to develop a setting in which to encourage learning and passion for Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology. Secondary school students have received the course with interest and have greatly appreciated the chance to participate in this initiative. Furthermore, this course has served to provide instructors with a sound initial training as science teachers. Finally, this course is a good example of how to improve university-secondary school relationships. 70

Worthy of note has been the response of secondary school science teachers to this course. This community has requested the Biochemistry Department of the University of Barcelona to design a programme to provide continuing education for teachers [8]. 6. Acknowledgements. We thank T. Yates for her assistance in preparing the English manuscript. The courses were supported by the University of Barcelona, the Sociedad Española de Bioquímica y Biologia Molecular (SEBBM) and the Department of Education of The Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya) References.
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] J.M. Fernàndez-Novell, R.R. Gomis, E. Cid, A. Barberà and J.J. Guinovart. Bridging the gap in biochemistry between secondary school and university. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education. 30 (2002) 172-174. Fernández-Novell, J. M. and Guinovart, J. (2005) Promoting biochemical research in the secondary school. Science Education: Best practices of Research Training for students under 21. P. Csermely et al Eds. IOS Press. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Subotnik, R (2005) Out of school science programs for talented students: a comparison. Science Education: Best practices of Research Training for students under 21. P. Csermely et al Eds. IOS Press. Amsterdam, Netherlands. M. Martínez, B. Gros, T. Romaña. The problem of training in Higher Education. Higher Education in Europe, vol XXIII, n. 4 (1998) 483-495. J.M. Fernàndez-Novell, E. Cid, R.R. Gomis, A. Barberà and J.J. Guinovart. A Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Course for Secondary School Teachers. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education. 32 (2004) 378-380.


CusMiBio: an opportunity for talented young people in biosciences
Cinzia GRAZIOLI a, Paolo PLEVANI b, Maria Luisa TENCHINI c and Giovanna VIALE c,1 a Liceo Scientifico “Vittorio Veneto”, Milan, Italy b Dept. of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Milan, Italy c Dept. of Biology and Genetics for Medical Sciences, University of Milan, Italy
Abstract. “Attend a top science research projects”, is a Cus-Mi-Bio new initiative involving, throughout the entire school year long, selected High School students to promote their predisposition for science studies and research activity. We will present the results of the 2007 project “Following the footsteps of evolution, looking for new genes”. Keywords. Talented High School students, University, Cus-Mi-Bio, science studies, research activity, bioinformatics, new genes

Introduction Biology is producing more data and new findings per year than any other science, and it’s accelerating fast. That has consequences for both research and education. This rising “data flood” can be “metabolized” only if strongly integrative work, together with new research methods, are going to be developed. As a consequence, rapidly growing trans-disciplinary branches of biology are growing up and becoming major areas of the “New Biology”. There is a lot of new information to learn, and more skills are necessary to interpret them. To face this challenge, the education system must be able to develop a new generation of scientists and researchers. The quality of students in School and University becomes a crucial priority for our educational systems. The present situation in secondary school education in Biology is a very critical one [1]. Major problems involve both teachers and students. • Overloaded, outdated curricula; • Outdated text books (10 – 15 yrs); • Insufficient time for teachers to cover contents; • Lack of proper practical work; • Deficiency in the students’ interest and enthusiasm for Biology. Biology is usually perceived as a “soft option” by students as a consequence of the restricted space/time dedicated to it in the curricula


Corresponding author: Department of Biology and Genetics for Medical Sciences, University of Milan, via Viotti 3/5, 20133 Milan, Italy; E-mail: 73

In conclusion: • Teachers need updating, need to recover a social role and to receive new stimuli to work in a more participated, creative and effective way. • At the same time, undergraduate students need a novel and more discoverybased science education to develop interest and enthusiasm for biosciences. An University School in Biology must aim to recruit the best freshmen in order to obtain good graduates. It follows that University and High School have to discuss and plan together new initiatives to improve students education. This is what we are trying to do at the University of Milano. In this context, in 2004, the University of Milano [2] started a close collaboration with the Educational School Office of Lombardy [3], a big institution coordinating all public High Schools in Lombardy (about 1.000 schools, over 1.500 life science teachers and more than 300.000 students). The result of the collaborative agreement between the two institutions has been the establishment of a center specifically dedicated to science education for High Schools. This center has been called Cus-Mi-Bio, whose acronymous means Center of the University and High School of Milan for Bioscience education ([4]) This center wants to be a bridge between the two educational systems, University and High School. Cus-Mi-Bio believes that all institutions dealing with science education, including University, should make efforts for raising interest in science. However, the diffusion of scientific culture is a complex and articulated task; there are a lot of players and subjects to integrate in order to reach this goal. In any case, a key step in this direction is to improve and stimulate science education in High Schools. CusMiBio activities are directed toward two players: High School teachers and High School students. High School teachers participate at continuing education groups that meet regularly under the supervision of an University teacher to provide them constant scientific and cultural updating (up to now, more than 500 High School teachers attended these initiatives). The practical products of these education groups are publications that can be used by the teachers during their work at school and the development of laboratory activities that will be offered to the students (see “Try the BioLab” activities). Moreover, specific courses on the frontiers of modern biology are organized for the teachers. For the High School students, Cus-Mi-Bio has dedicated fully equipped biology and bioinformatics laboratories. In these spaces they will practice the “Try the BioLab” activities with the final aim to increase their interest in biosciences, to promote their understanding of science content and process. In this way we believe to provide them with adequate support for conscious planning of their future studies and to attract young people to careers in science and technology. The major initiative for High School students are hands-on activities to be performed in the dedicated laboratories located at the University Campus. These labs are equipped with high-tech materials and instruments, usually not available in High School laboratories. Up to now, more than 9.000 students have participated in at least one of the “Try the Biolab” initiatives which are focused on hot topics of genetics and biotechnology (DNA fingerprinting, GMO, Genetic diseases, Gene hunting). The selection strategy underlying Cus-Mi-Bio activities for High School students is “From many to few”: all the students can take part in “Try the BioLab”, but only the most motivated and skilled can participate in a competition to select 10-15 students/year who, at the end of their school year, will perform the stage "A week as a researcher" in a national or international research lab in the bioscience field (Fig. 1). This contest


represents a real scientific challenge for the participants and invariably selects very talented young students.
First selection step performed by each class teacher: multiple choice questions (the same for all classes) Second selection step at Cus-Mi-Bio: computer-assisted + oral evaluations


Students attending “Try the BioLab” (~ 280 classes)


Best student from each class


Fig. 1. Selection steps in “A week as a researcher” and “One-month stage in an international lab” prizes reserved to talented High School students attending Bio-Lab activities. Numbers refer to 2007 edition.

Moreover, Cus-Mi-Bio does not want to loose the talented students selected through the annual student contest. Therefore, a new project, “Attend a top science research project” was launched, for combining professional-quality research with a strategy for researchbased undergraduate education. Attend a top science research project In October 2006, a new initiative reserved to the most talented students to further develop their predisposition for science and their attitude for research was launched: "Attend a top science research project". It consists in a research-based undergraduate education project involving, throughout the entire school year, selected High School students in a real top science research program (Fig. 2). "Following the footsteps of evolution, looking for new genes" is the 2006-07 research project, which consists in a bioinformatic analysis of the human genome, aimed at the discovery of novel and as yet unidentified genes. Bioinformatics, molecular evolution and molecular medicine are rare to be found in European secondary curricula. Through a bioinformatic approach, molecular evolution and molecular medicine can be covered. The newest areas in biology do not have to be taught formally; indeed they can be covered effectively by more participatory, discovery and literature-based methods.


Fig. 2. Talented High School students in University of Milano during a bioinformatic activity.

“Following the footsteps of evolution, looking for new genes” The 10 winners of the prize and other 35 students with the best positions in the selection process were enrolled in this long-term stage called "Following the footsteps of evolution, looking for new genes". As anticipated, the research project consisted in a bioinformatic analysis (Fig. 3) of the human genome, aimed to discover novel genes. The students were split into small groups, and each had assigned a different part of the human genome (belonging to the regions selected in the ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Project) (Fig. 4). The ENCODE project aims to identify all functional elements in the human genome. The pilot phase of the Project is focused on a specified 30 megabases (~1%) of the human genome sequence and it is organized as an international consortium of computational and laboratory-based scientists working to develop and apply highthroughput approaches for detecting all sequence elements that confer biological function. The results of this pilot phase will guide future efforts to analyze the entire human genome. In particular, our task was to assess whether a region of the human genome, found to be conserved also in the mouse genome, could be a novel protein-coding gene (or at least a novel exon) by checking whether: 1) the region mapped on an already annotated gene (RefSeq or Vega) 2) the region was transcribed, according to mRNA and EST annotations 3) the region showed a protein-coding potential, according to computational gene prediction algorithms. Although the ENCODE regions are now thoroughly analysed, we were able to single out at least three possible novel protein coding genes, and a large number of novel as yet unannotated exons.


Fig. 3. A web page of a bioinformatic database used for the project.

Fig. 4. A presumed new gene discovered by Alessandra Gangai, a student attending the project.

Future perspectives We are planning to extend next year this type of initiative, by increasing the size of human genome analyzed and to start a comparative analysis with other genomes. Because this is going to become a huge task, we are planning to establish collaborations with other European countries that might be interested in this activity. References
[1] [2] [3] [4]


Badatel – Czech Project for the Cooperation of the High-School Students and University Experts

Martin KUBALA a,1 Faculty of Sciences, Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic

Abstract. The project Badatel started on the Faculty of Sciences on the Palacký University in Olomouc during the spring 2006. The project aims to give the opportunity to high-school students interested in science to develop their skills in the laboratories of our university under supervision of the top experts in the field. Most students participate to the projects solved in our laboratories; nevertheless we try to find also a proper support for students, who want to solve their own projects. One year after the start of the project, we registered almost 60 actively participating students; most of them were able to report about their research on the small conference that we organized in the May 2007. Notably, most of the contributions were fully comparable to the presentations of the bachelor- or master degree university students. Keywords. Out-of-school education, Science for high-school students, Universityand-High-school cooperation

Introduction Olomouc is a center of a region within the Czech Republic that has strong tradition of agriculture. Recently, however, the region suffers from high unemployment, namely in its highland parts. Obviously, the prosperity of our society in the future is closely connected to the education level and high-tech skills of the inhabitants. The Palacký University in Olomouc is naturally an important educational and cultural center of the region and has a great potential to raise the region to become the center of prosperity. During the last decade, we have observed continuous decrease of interest for sciences among the high-school students. Moreover, we noted that this fact inevitably influences also the quality of the education process on the university. In order to invert this trend, Faculty of Sciences started to develop numerous activities toward high-school students that could attract them to sciences and to improve there knowledge and skills, before they enter university. Fortunately, it seems that the high-school students are hungry for the out-ofschool activities and they do not exclude science. Recently, there are numerous events organized to support the interest of young people for science, and in principle, they can be divided into three categories:

Correponding author: Martin Kubala, Faculty of Sciences, Palacký University in Olomouc, tř. Svobody 26, 77146 Olomouc, Czech Republic; E-mail:


various workshops, shows and exhibitions, where the students are left in the role of passive spectators; • contests, where students solve difficult problems (e.g. scientific Olympics), which, however, only poorly develop the creativity of students; • contests, where the students can presents results of their own creative work (e.g. SOČ; Středoškolská Odborná Činnost – high-school professional work), which have another drawback; though the system of the competition is well organized, the organization start only from the moment when all the experimental work has been done. We started another project that could complement the abovementioned activities where we would like to support the enthusiasm and creativity of the young generation and to attract the students to science.


Basic Principles of the Project “Badatel”

The project Badatel (Badatel is an older Czech word for a scientist, nowadays rather poetic) offers the possibility for high-school students to develop their skills under supervision of the experts from our Faculty of Sciences and with the use of the modern instruments in our laboratories [1]. The basic principles of the project can be expressed as follows: • “no money” – students don’t get any money for they work, in turn they don’t have to pay anything; • “no selection” – students don’t have to pass any test, anybody, who would like to spend his/her leisure time with science, is welcome; • “no formalities” – the modus operandi in each project is just a matter of the agreement between the student and his supervisor.


How (and Why) Does Our Project Work ?

Our internet site ( seems to be the most important element for the project functioning. The student can visit the database of available projects and select the most attractive one. In the case when student cannot find a concrete project but defines his/her area of interest, the coordinator of Badatel tries to seek a proper coworker within the university scientists who would be willing to cooperate with the student. Also, the coordinator seeks the help for the students who already started to work on some project on their own and seek for the professional support. Another thing important for the successful run of the project is its propagation. Despite the internet site is easily accessible and we also distributed leaflets to high schools in our region, the most successful seems to be personal propagation of the project, either directly to the students or mediated through their teachers. Last, but not least, is a propagation of the project inside our university. Fortunately, in the beginning, few enthusiastic people started the project, and now it seems that the first results have convinced more people to participate.



First Observation and Results

The project started in the spring 2006, and nowadays we can already see the first fruits of our effort. The participation of the high-school students exceeded our expectations, and after roughly one year from the project start, we registered almost 60 actively participating students. Not surprisingly, they are mostly interested in chemistry and biology (Fig.1).

Fig.1.: High-school students actively participating to the project Badatel. In the May 2007, we organized the first conference for young scientists, where the students got the opportunity to present results of their work. Though our project is on its beginning, we could hear 12 oral presentations and see another 7 posters. The level of all presentations was surprisingly high and fully comparable to the performance of our university students. Moreover, two students claimed that they start to prepare their first scientific publication. During the conference, students were asked to fill a small questionnaire. They answered that the project Badatel brings them mainly: • novel experiences and knowledge, • the possibility to work with modern instruments, • the possibility to experience a laboratory work, which is in line with our expectations. Moreover, connection with the Network of Youth Excellence [2] enabled participation of our students to the international events. In turn, we expect that there will be numerous high-school students with the enhanced science knowledge and laboratory experience, who will enter the university. This will not only raise the quality of the education process, but on the longer time scale, also the quality of the scientific research. The growing interest for the project Badatel promises that the project will further successfully develop. 81

I would like to thank all the collaborators from the Faculty of Sciences, who supported the project Badatel with their effort. I would like to thank also Peter Csermely for initial inspiration and many useful hints. Finally, the Ministry of Schools, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic is acknowledged for the financial support within the grant MSM 2E06029.

[1] [2]


Your meeting with the Science at the Science Festival School
Joanna LILPOP 1 Science Festival School, Poland
Abstract. The initiative that took institutes of Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw Science Festival, the Warsaw University of Life Sciences and BioEducation Foundation gives a unique chance for young people to work in professional laboratory and experience what is a modern biology research like. People can meet science in the laboratory of molecular biology at Science Festival School in Warsaw. Keywords. Biology, science, workshop, laboratory.

Introduction Science Festival School (SFS) is a first non-governmental, non-profit, fulltime biology popularization institution in Poland. Since 2002 it has been founded by The International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw (IIMCB), Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of Polish Academy of Sciences (IBB PAS), Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology PAS (NIEB), Warsaw University of Life Sciences, BioEducation Foundation and the Science Festival. The SFS aims to reduce the gap between science and society in Poland by conducting educational activities popularizing biology: open lectures, workshops for students and all interested participants, as well as courses for biology teachers. All activities are focused on improving biology education and the awareness of biology in society. In 2006, a total number of 1360 young participants took part in laboratory workshops together with 116 biology teachers and about 1000 lectures listeners. In 2007 the number of participants will certainly rise because in the period of 8 month there have been already over 1100 visitors. During 5-hours workshop at the two professionally equipped laboratories at IIMCB and the Warsaw University of Life Sciences participants can explore their own DNA, clone genes, study molecular evolution or investigate differences between proteins.


Master of Science Popularization in Poland

SFS helps in solving the main problems in Polish education system which are: lack of practical experiments in comparison with too much theoretical knowledge, low founds for education and often low qualified teachers. One of our main challenges is to help teachers in their work by giving them good examples of school practice and support them in professional, up-to-date knowledge of molecular biology and modern research fields. Teachers participating in SFS courses have

Corresponding author: Science Festival School, 4 Trojdena str., 02-109 Warsaw, Poland, E-mail: 83

an opportunity to learn how to use modern equipment and molecular biology techniques, and how to make experiments that can be easily implemented in schools. During our workshops for teachers, we try to build a connection between them and scientists so they can feel like a part of the science community. We also equip them with lesson scenarios and affordable experimental kits that can be used at school laboratories. After each workshop, the participants receive certificates, which in turn, help them to develop their own career. SFS helps all teachers, especially those from small towns and villages, whose access to such forms of self-improvement is the most difficult. The SFS laboratories of molecular biology are open not only for teachers and talented students but also for average pupils from secondary schools a little interested in biology. They can participate in one-day long experiments such as gene cloning, molecular diagnosis, DNA fingerprinting, exploring gene evolution or transformation of bacteria. It has been proven that these kinds of activities not only help to learn and understand complicated thesis but also motivate for further learning and strengthen interest in scientific research. Appart from teaching laboratory practice, SFS presents theoretical issues of modern biology. Open lectures on biology given by top Polish scientists are organized every two weeks. The lectures are accessible to anyone with a basic knowledge of biology. Some popular topics like genomics, evolution controversies, genetic diseases or genetically modified organisms bring huge audiences. But also more specific themes refering to gene expression regulation, immunology and the RNA functions are in the center of interest of young students and biology teachers. In the second “Master of Science Popularization” contest, organized by the Polish Press Agency and Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Science Festival School received the first prize in the category of “Journalist, Editorial Office or Non-Scientific Institution of Science”. This award was given for the efforts of SFS to develop the interest of young students in biology and furthermore in science, and in encouraging teachers to incorporate a molecular biology curriculum into the biology courses at schools. In this way, the SFS changes biology education in Polish schools.


Working with talented students

We offer 2-weeks training in different areas of biology covering the interest of many young biology enthusiasts. SFS board chooses participants of the training among the Polish Biology Olympiad laureates. The students send to the board an application letter with declaration of their interest and the most desired subject of research. Then SFS search for laboratories and research teams who whish to enclose young enthusiastic one and take care of him/her for one or two weeks during vacation period. The strength of SFS is a good contact with almost all biology laboratories in Warsaw – we closely cooperate with the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics Polish Academy of Science, the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology PAS and the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. The first laboratory training for four gifted secondary school pupils was organized in 2005 during summer holidays. Four of laureates of Polish Biology Olympiad joined for a week the research groups at: Laboratory of Neurodegeneration, IIMCB, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, IBB, Biophysics Laboratory, IBB and Laboratory of Calcium Binding Proteins, NIEB. The two of them started in National level Biology


Olympiad next year, became a finalists and took part in the 17th International Biology Olympiad in Argentina 2006 winning the very good Silver and Bronze medals. Next year during summer holidays two weeks laboratory training for seven gifted secondary school pupils was organized. Two laureates of the Polish Biology Olympiad joined the research groups at IIMCB: Laboratory of Neurodegeneration and Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, two joined the Laboratory of Ethology at NIEB and one the Laboratory of Neurobiology of Development and Evolution, NIEB; one person joined Department of Endocrinology at the Polish Academy of Sciences Medical Research Center; and one the Department of Parasitology at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. In every case SFS organized initial training for participating students in laboratory practice covering the main laboratory techniques and laboratory chemistry basics. SFS usually cover costs of travel and accommodation in Warsaw as well as costs of accident insurance during the time of trainig of our young researchers.


The international cooperation at the “VOLVOX ” project

In 2005, Science Festival School started the implementation of the Volvox Specific Support Action project funded by the European Commission within FP6, officially entitled: Coordinated internet-linked networks for promoting innovation, exchanging knowledge and encouraging good practice to enhance bioscience education in European schools ( Volvox consists of nine partners from Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and the UK. The Volvox project aims to: • implement mechanisms to help teachers, scientists and others develop, exchange and adapt resources for biology teaching; • identify barriers that prevent the exchange of new and novel ideas between those with a professional interest in bioscience education; • investigate practical means of enhancing the uptake of new and novel ideas by European biology teachers. The Volvox network will provide teachers with authoritative briefings, proven laboratory protocols, classroom activities addressing the social impact of bioscience, accounts of the careers of young scientists and numerous other educational resources to help motivate them and their students. Furthermore, Volvox will provide a dynamic forum for the exchange of creative ideas and good educational practices across the European Union. The Volvox project combines elements from the developments such as: refereed electronic publication, open source, exchange networks, and flexible copyrights. Such resources free available in the Internet should encourage more young people to develop positive attitude towards studying science and to consider a scientific career. In the article I’ve mentioned the main trends in SFS activities and highlighted the main ideas that we try to implement into practice. SFS organizers hope that active popularization will cause the rise of interest for Science in the society and increase the number of students finding their careers at science research fields.


Think Globally, Act Locally – The Case for New Approaches to Science Education
Daniel MIETCHEN a,b,,1, Henry ROMAN a,c, Rehana JAUHANGEER a,d, Steven MANSOUR a,e,Gaëll MAINGUY a,f and Ravinder BHATIA a,g a World Academy of Young Scientists, Budapest, Hungary b Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany c Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, RSA d University of Westminster, London,.UK e Acorn Active Media Foundation, Montreal, Canada f Institut Veolia Environnement, Paris, France g The Scholar Ship Research Institute, London, UK
Abstract. Many political problems that we face today have both a strong scientific component and a global dimension. However, these elements are insufficiently reflected in current science curricula or in the political decision-making process. Efforts to address this gap must arise from high level governance and scientific insitutions, but also from the grassroots community of scientists. We present a project that introduces this holistic perspective into the education of future scientists and decision-makers: capacity-building workshops conducted during the itinerary of a ship-based and thus globally mobile campus, where young scientists engage with practitioners to address challenges at global and local levels. Keywords. science education, young scientists, sustainable science, sustainable decision-making, North-South collaboration

Introduction The view we have of our planet and its relationship with the rest of the universe has experienced profound changes over time, not least due to the results of the scientific inquiry process. During the Copernican revolution, for example, our geocentric view of the world changed into a heliocentric one. Today, many people are aware that even the Sun is not particularly remarkable amongst the stars we know. Humanity’s scope of action, however, is still tightly bound to our planet, and perhaps increasingly so since the latest onset of globalisation. Many political problems that we face today (as addressed for example by the initiatives to achieve the Millenium Development Goals of the United Nations) have both a strong scientific component and a global dimension, yet this is insufficiently reflected in the current science curricula. Moreover, this is also true of the political decision-making process, whether on a global, national or local level, in spite of the increasing number of policy papers that have been generated to support this decision-making process.

Corresponding author: Daniel Mietchen, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, Dept. of Psychiatry, Philosophenweg 3, 07740 Jena, Germany; E-mail: daniel.mietchen (at) 87

This gap must be filled from both ends – by providing researchers and fledgling scientists with insights into political and economic decision-making and by endowing political decision-makers with a basic understanding of the process of accumulation, improvement, maintenance and application of scientific knowledge. By relying on traditional methods of knowledge transmission and use, the learning processes in the education of scientists, decision-makers, the media and the public is perhaps too slow in light of the urgent need for action. One option to speed up this process is to identify and publicise examples of best practices or, where there are few such best practices, to stimulate their generation. In the following, we describe an endeavour which aims to bring together political, economic and scientific perspectives in efforts to address current global challenges, with the active participation of young scientists. The mechanism proposed for this is through capacity-building workshops co-organised by The World Academy of Young Scientists (WAYS) and The Scholar Ship Research Institute (TSSRI), both in the industrial and the developing world, and within the framework of a truly global and interdisciplinary science education program. 1 The World Academy of Young Scientists WAYS is an international organisation supported by UNESCO and ICSU and dedicated to the dissemination of scientific knowledge and to empower young scientists in their careers worldwide. WAYS creates a global community with communication that is web-based, but now increasingly in person through active regional and national chapters. 1.1 WAYS 2.0, an Active Online Community

The WAYS website (WAYS 2.0: is open to all with an interest in science. WAYS 2.0 currently represents more than 1500 registered members, half of whom are located in Africa. The website receives more than 8000 visits per month. Upon registration, members create an account to display their biography and research interests. The website facilitates searches for other members according to different criteria such as location, language, discipline, or key words. WAYS 2.0 provides different communication tools to share and seek information. For instance, members can post an announcement for a conference or a job, a link to an exciting research paper, or share a personal opinion on their own blog. Members can also search for others interested in a particular topic, search for help, seek for jobs or recruit in-kind support for a project. WAYS 2.0 makes use of integrated collaborative tools such as wiki or google.doc to allow different members at a distance to easily work together on a document. Most of the features of WAYS 2.0 are collective aggregators, and the conference announcement section for instance can manage announcements from all countries in all disciplines at the same time.



Regional Organisation of WAYS

Beyond this online toolbox that give access to a growing and increasingly diverse range of knowledge, WAYS is also structured in the physical world at the local level. After the creation of Arab-WAYS in 2006 in Alexandria, Egypt, WAYS-Africa was launched in March 2007 in Pretoria, South Africa, with the financial support of the South Africa National Research Foundation, the International Council for Science Regional Office for Africa, and the International Science Programme. Representatives of thirteen African countries elected the executive committee and established the constitution of the organisation. The WAYS African chapter, WAYS – AFRICA, is now a robust community of more than 800 members across English-, French- and Portuguese-speaking African countries. To empower young African scientists, WAYS-Africa makes use of WAYS 2.0 to develop its network and to exchange information.

2 The Scholar Ship Research Institute The Scholar Ship is a semester-long academic programme aboard a dedicated passenger ship that traverses the globe as an oceangoing campus. The programme is built in partnership with leading universities from around the world. Students and staff together form a transnational learning community designed to develop their academic knowledge, intercultural competencies and leadership skills. The overall objective of the programme is to prepare global leaders to tackle global challenges. Worldwide voyages aboard The Scholar Ship are 16 weeks in duration, and occur two times each year beginning in January and September. The Scholar Ship Research Institute (TSSRI, performs interdisciplinary research in the natural and social sciences by harnessing international academic partnerships to address critical global challenges. TSSRI performs research in Environmental Sustainability, International Relations, Human Development, and Intercultural Communication. Within Environmental Sustainability, the Institute conducts research in oceanography, atmospheric sciences and the coastal environment, with climate change and biodiversity being the two overarching themes of research. Other science-related topics include public health (focusing on the HIV/AIDS pandemic and on malaria transmission) and the uses of information technologies to promote literacy and human rights. Research is conducted both on-ship and on-shore, through collaborations developed amongst the academic network of The Scholar Ship. One laboratory on the ship is devoted to physical, chemical and biological oceanography research. A second on-ship laboratory is devoted to DNA barcoding, including a programme to understand the dynamics of malaria transmission via mosquito vectors in equatorial regions. An overview of the on-ship science projects is given in Figure 1. The Research Institute’s broader goal is to connect leading scholars, policymakers and students across the world, in order to advance scholarship whilst contributing to the development of timely, policy-relevant curricula. Academics and students associated with the Research Institute’s workshops and collaborative research endeavours seek to engage and educate policy makers by connecting innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship to the central challenges of global leadership. By bringing together leading scholars and practitioners from across the world and from different 89

academic disciplines, the outputs of the research are fed directly into the policy process. This truly international and interdisciplinary perspective provides a key mechanism for furthering our understanding of how to address global challenges.








Figure 1: Science Research Projects of The Scholar Ship for Voyages 1&2.

3 Capacity-building Workshops Science offers practical solutions to many different problems that the world faces. Creating adapted solutions requires the rare combination of up-to-date knowledge of what is feasible along with a sound understanding of corresponding constraints and opportunities. Knowledge is now evolving so quickly that a crucial component of the training of young scientists is to learn how to access, filter and control information. Information technologies are in fact a powerful tool to promote training and capacity building. Making use of the unique combination of WAYS 2.0 tools to build knowledge and share information, WAYS is partnering with TSSRI to set up a workshop series aiming at developing a scientifically literate and empowered world community of young practitioners and scientists. These workshops are being organised to promote capacity building of young scientists to conduct research and to employ the results of that research for the public good, particularly in developing and transitional economies. Ultimately, the workshops will build decisionmaking capacities and collaboration between the young scientists of the developing world as well as those from the developed nations. Over time, this can potentially have significant impact on the way science is conducted.


To present and teach these various technical skills, it is important that most of the workshop speakers be recruited locally. Each of the geographic regions has its own specific issues and only speakers familiar with the area can understand the problems that the attendees face on a daily basis, and present practical solutions within the nuances of the region. The workshop content is science and technology-based, but also addresses career issues. Web-based tools are used by the organizers to plan the workshops, thereby improving skills in the IT area. The participation of female scientists on all levels is strongly encouraged. The first collaborative capacity-building workshop in Cape Town will serve as a pilot experiment to design and implement a series of workshops at different locations around the globe where The Scholar Ship is docking. From an African perspective, telecommunications infrastructure and internet connectivity are poor in many countries on the continent. Since electronic format has become the privileged vehicle of knowledge, and given the expensive price of most print copy, most researchers cannot access all the updated information they need. In addition to these structural and financial problems, a limited IT proficiency hampers many African scientists to browse efficiently and navigate today's databases and scientific repositories. The Cape Town workshop tracks therefore aim to promote the development of core skills such as writing strong grant proposal and articles, harnessing information technology, and intellectual property management. These core skills are widely lacking in many developing countries and are now mandatory for many young researchers worldwide, independent of their scientific discipline. The workshop outline program is shown in Table 1. Track 1 Remote Sensing for Policy support DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 am pm am pm am pm am pm Bilko Bilko The Policymaking process Policy Support with Remote Sensing Policy Support: Case Study Track 2 Science Basics: Training the Trainers Research Design Online Literature Searches Writing a scientific article/ policy paper Introduction to Intellectual Property Prepare article and presentation Track 3 Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Introduction to IP. Online searching for prior art. Online filing of patents

Presentation skills Fundraising – resources and skills

Research commercialisation and Business Incubation Business Plans

Non-academic Career Development - Tools and Strategies

Table 1: Program for the Cape Town Capacity-building Workshop. A second workshop is in preparation for Panama in September 2008. The workshops are organised by local committees, with continuity and sustainability issues being addressed by a Steering Committee, which is also responsible for fundraising. 91

Eventually, each workshop will be composed of tracks drawn from a selection of tried and tested modules, thereby allowing a cost-effective reuse of pedagogical content from one workshop to another whilst maintaining flexibility to meet local needs.

4 Outlook Today’s scientific agendas are increasingly dictated by national, regional and corporate needs and constraints. However, to tackle global issues effectively, there is an urgent need to take a different – geocentric – world view. The proposed workshops are designed to help prepare the next generation to collaborate internationally and in an interdisciplinary manner to handle the complex political, social and technological issues that we already face today. Although The Scholar Ship will itself visit port towns only, these joint capacity-building workshops could serve as role models for similar events in other areas, be they rural settlements or urban centres. It is our hope that this stateless and itinerant initiative will help the emergence of a more informed Geocentric 2.0 vision for the future of our planet.

5 Acknowledgements We are most grateful to Adelina Mansah and the members of the WAYS-Africa executive committee for their active participation and constant support and to Eric Churchill and Armando Durant for enthusiastically preparing the Panama Workshop. The Scholar Ship Research Institute gratefully thanks the Ship's owner, captain and crew who have all assisted with the establishment of the onboard research facilities.


XLAB – an Offensive in Science Education
Eva-Maria NEHER1 XLAB, Germany
Abstract. XLAB is an educational institution, which wants to bridge the gap between high school and university. XLAB organizes experimental courses in Biology, Chemistry, applied Computer Sciences, and Physics for classes and individual students from Europe and from all over the world. The students do intensive experimental work with state-of-the-art-equipment. Theoretical teaching by experienced scientists runs parallel with the experiments.

Introduction In nearly all industrialized countries the number of students enrolling in natural science studies at universities has been decreasing dramatically for more than 15 years. On the other hand science and technology provide the key to the problems and challenges that our societies are facing today. Much effort has to be invested to encourage young people to pursue scientific careers. Young people have to get enthusiastic about the great research adventure of today. Students should get to know how to do research: what it means to work in a laboratory, what it means to solve a theoretical problem, and for what purpose a computer is really needed, instead for fun. That means students should get to know the reality! The strategies and activities of scientists and research institutions are numerous and manifold: Institutes organize science festivals and open their laboratories for the public on weekends. Scientists give public lectures, visit high schools to show some spectacular experiments. The latest events are the ”Long Nights of Science” were they invite the public to visit the research facilities at nighttime. All these activities all very ambitious, but do they really reach our future scientists, the young people being still in High School lacking the need of better science education. XLAB offers hands-on experiments in well equipped laboratories. Scientists design the experiments and supervise the students. They are experts in the subjects they teach and the experiments reflect more or less the latest results in research. Hands-on experiments play the most important role in science teaching. Theory comes along with the experiments and not separately or exclusively, as this is the reality in most school systems. The economical situation of high schools does not allow installing sophisticated experiments: the equipment is much too expensive and teachers are normally not trained in supervising experiments on a scientific level. Therefore, the establishment of central laboratories makes good economic sense: Central laboratories can serve regional schools and may also be accessible nationwide and - as is the case for XLAB – worldwide.


Corresponding author: Eva-Maria Neher, XLAB-Göttinger Experimentallabor, Justus-von-Liebig Weg 8, 37077 Goettingen, Germany 93

Aims of XLAB Concurrent with the Bologna Process XLAB is following the general aims of the EU in promoting the attractiveness of the European Higher Education Area and promoting the mobility of the students and encouraging them to take up university studies abroad. In particular XLAB tries to raise student’s interest in science subjects in order to increase the number of future scientists. Teaching at the XLAB The XLAB tries to provide an atmosphere of real research laboratories with authentic tools and machines and most important: lecturers who are experienced scientists. XLAB offers a variety of practical experiments in Biology, Chemistry, applied Computer Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics. The experiments are designed and supervised by scientists. Scientists and science schoolteachers work together in a very tight collaboration. The performance of the experimental courses is supported by qualified technical assistance. This guarantees a specialized scientific knowledge, experienced didactical teaching, and a successful performance regarding the technical prerequisites. Students work in the laboratories for the entire day and mostly for several days. They concentrate on one subject; that means there is no interruption by other lessons as it is the case at school. This provides an intensive learning at a level, which can be compared with university teaching. Most of the students are very satisfied with their progress in learning by doing hands-on experiments. Others learn, that taking up university studies in science would be not the right decision for them. This is very important and prevents them from frustrating experiences during later university studies. Another group of students get to know about non-scientific-careers in the field of science, and technology, which is also very important, since well-educated and highly motivated technical assistants are of great demand in scientific research. Target groups The target groups are: 1. School classes with their teachers coming from Germany and neighboring countries. Classes stay for one to five days after having made special appointments. 2. High school and 1st year university students coming individually, attending weekly courses during school holidays in winter, spring and autumn. 3. International students participating in the XLAB Science Camp for three weeks during the summer holidays. The number of students representing one nationality is limited to 4 to 5 in order to avoid the formation of subgroups.


Worldwide acceptance of XLAB’s offer

Number of Students

XLAB started in August 2000 and today we count more than 56000 student x days. Since operating in an own building the number of student x day reaches about 11000 per school year, and nearly 20% are coming from other countries. Laboratory space is still not limiting, the bottleneck is due to the number of apartments in the University Guesthouse. XLAB-building


In November 2004 XLAB moved into a new building, especially designed for teaching high school students in the various science subjects. The four story – nicely colored building has laboratories and seminar rooms to teach more than 100 students simultaneously. Each floor is dedicated to one of the four subjects but nevertheless the interdisciplinary character of modern research can be experienced. For example in Neurobiology, Biochemistry and of course in applied Computer Sciences. Moving to the new building does not mean, that XLAB became independent from the research laboratories. Whenever special measurements like NMR-Spectroscopy, electron microscopy and many others are necessary, the students work within the different research laboratories of the University and the Max-Planck-Institutes in Göttingen. International Science Camps In summer XLAB organized International Science Camps. Since 2003 more than 200 students form nearly 30 different countries participated. The common language of the camp is English in teaching as well as in social life. Each science camps last for 3 and a half weeks. The scientific program takes three weeks. Each student chooses three weekly courses out of a program of 9 to 12 different experimental courses in the fields of natural sciences. Students present the results of the each course to each other on Saturday morning.

In the third week an excursion to Berlin highlights the social program. Science is international, and the scientific community resembles a worldwide family. There are no prejudices with respect to nationality and political or religious affiliations. Scientists from all over the globe, having a common interest in special research topics, meet each other at international congresses and workshops at various places on all continents. The XLAB international Science Camp conveys this experience to our future scientists. Young people, 17-21 years of age, will regularly meet in summer in Goettingen, discover their common interest in sciences, work and live together, make international friendship across the borders of cultural heritage, get to know the country of their host, and 96

get a feeling of what it means to become a member of the various international scientific communities.


Adults, The Neglected Science-Deficient Sector
Zvi PALTIEL Young@Science, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
Abstract. The Network for Youth Excellence, its members and other organizations are all deeply engaged in educating the young generation. Specifically we all are concerned with promoting the genuine engagement of youth with science, encouraging them to take an interest in as well as actually study science. The underlying thought is that educating the youth is more effective than educating older adults as all their career life is still ahead. Youth are often also open to new ideas and fresh scientific concepts. Moreover, they are not yet committed to their career, family and social duties; hence they are willing to spend more time in studying. It is argued here that informal adult science education should not be overlooked. As voting citizens in a democratic society, adults have tremendous power in shaping the future of our society, nation and our one and only home planet as a whole. Moreover, adults have significant direct and indirect influence on youth attitudes. Hence, neglecting adults in general, and the science-deficient sector in particular, may have severe consequences. Three examples of programs for adults will be discussed. They are selected not only because of the adult participation, but primarily due to the advantages of mixed adult-youth attendance. 1

Why Adults? Youth science programs are the natural preference of science educators. Youth are the adults of our future community, youth are often both eager to and capable of learning new ideas and embarking on intellectual journeys. On the other hand adults are already occupied by their job, career, family and community duties, and have little time and patience for new science adventures. Nevertheless, as far as science literacy is considered, we cannot afford to neglect our adult citizens for various reasons. First, as members of a democratic society they have to decide and vote on various issues from genetically modified food to global warming policies; from stem cell research to environmental pollution, which all require certain basic comprehension of scientific ideas and terminology. Probably new science-associated issues will appear in the future and moral and intelligent decisions will have to rely on even more scientific literacy. Citizens have to prioritize scientific research and science education, and allocate accordingly the required resources. Once again, lack of understanding of science and the relevance of both scientific research and science education may have a significant and dangerous impact on our future. On top of their voting power some citizens have an excessively prominent influence due to their official or unofficial power as high ranking officers, politicians, leaders or influential media people. Corresponding author: Zvi Paltiel, Young@Science, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, E-mail: 99

It is thus apparent that we cannot afford risking our future by neglecting the adult sector. There is however another indirect reason for engaging adults in informal science programs. Naturally adults have tremendous influence on youth. Be it a family member, friend or influential idol, they all shape the attitude of young followers. Our computer science after-school clubs may serve as an illustrative example. For years they were highly popular among high- and middle-school students. A few years ago, right after the major downfall of the high-tech and software industry, the attendance shrunk by over 50%, though no such change was seen in other fields. As it is unlikely that the genuine excitement of computer science changed so abruptly, we believe the apparent and hidden messages of influential adult people as a result of the downfall accounts for this change. It is argued that adult, and specifically parent and family member, interest in science has major influence on youth. It is therefore essential that a student be able to share with his parents and other family members her or his excitement in revealing new scientific ideas. Likewise, parents should be encouraged to share there own science associated excitement with their children. In short, there is hardly any better way to encourage students than by exciting their parents. Adult Science Deficiency In general, adults are science-deficient, especially when they are not engaged with science in their career. At least three factors can be accounted for this. Many adults were virtually never exposed to sciences at their schools. Difficult political or socio-economical conditions, old fashion educational system or simply inadequate teachers are all to be blamed. Yet another reason for adult science deficiency is our limited memory capability. After all, how much of our school learning do we remember when our middle- or highschool children study just the same material? Often our recollections are too poor to allow intelligent parent-child discussion. Finally, even in case we adults still remember our school science curriculum, it is often irrelevant old fashioned material. It might have been replaced by new curriculum in the same field due to the rapid significant progress of the associated scientific field. Alternatively, the ever changing interest of science and the emphasis of the science curriculum are constantly on the move. Thus even a parent who recalls all his school material may often be unable to discuss new scientific concept with her or his child. To name just few: Gene therapy, numerical analysis, nano-technology, are some of the fields which no one could study at school just thirty years ago. It is therefore argued that due to the lack of science studies at school, the forgotten material and the ever changing emphasis of the sciences, most adults are to some extent science deficient. Consequently, it is upon us, science educators, to bring science to the adult sector as well, on top of our mission among youth. Adult, Youth, Mixed Activities One may conceive of all sorts of social and educational activities which may engage adults with science, exposing science to the people and people to scientific context. Here, only three examples are discussed based on our own experience. These specific examples were 100

selected due to the mixed attendance of youth and adults in all three. We believe such mixed attendance is advantageous as youth and adults may mutually share their interests and excitement. Moreover, adult attendance may accredit the activity with certain esteem which is missing in youth only program. “Astronomy for All” is a popular monthly program which may take place either on-campus or occasionally at low-light pollution sites off-campus. Fig. 1 was taken on an excursion to a two-hour ride off-campus site for meteor shower gazing under the clear desert sky. Dozens of adults and school students attended this activity. They certainly had a lot to discuss and share in the aftermath of this event.

Fig. 1: An Astronomy Club excursion to a low light pollution site is attended by both adults and youth.


Fig. 2 (a)

Fig. 2 (b) Fig. 2: Venus transit event with over 1,000 adults and youth in attendance. Mixed audience outside (a) and inside (b) the over-crowded on-campus lecture hall


Yet another mixed activity is the popular science lectures presented by top scientists for over 40 years. In Fig 3.the lecturer, is sitting on the podium after an hour long lecture followed by a 30 minute question and answer session. Youth and adults who still have urgent questions come forward to discuss them with the mathematician lecturer.

Fig. 3: The remaining mixed adult-youth audience is discussing some of the burning questions with the mathematician lecturer (sitting), following a popular science lecture and a long Q&A session. Our final example is the popular Science Café events in which scientists discuss their research with the Café attendees. Admittedly these events draw primarily adults, but some school students do attend them, depending on the specific topic and the scientist. Summary It is argued that adults should not be overlooked when science enrichment is considered, both due to their central role in our society as voters and influential people, and because of their deficiency in science. This deficiency may be the result of poor science teaching at their school age, poor recollection, or due to the advancement of science in course of time. It is further argued that science enrichment of adults may eventually also encourage the interests of youth in science. Finally, it is argued that mixed activities of both adults and youth may best serve the science interest and literacy cause.


Science camp of Archaeology
Tamás RÉVÉSZ and Csaba BÖDE1 Hungarian Student Research Foundation, Budapest, Hungary
Abstract. This paper introduces an international summer science camp – organized by the Hungarian Research Student Association for high school students – held in Szeged, Hungary in 2007. Despite its special focus – Archaeology and Biochemistry – this camp combined several disciplines, ranging from social to natural sciences. Keywords. Science camp, NYEX, archaeology, biochemistry, high school students, interdisciplinary, student-organized, international program

Introduction In summer 2006 members of the Hungarian Research Student Association decided to organise an interdisciplinary science camp to foster the collaboration between different international and national talent-supporting organisations. After careful consideration archaeology was chosen as the focus field of the camp. The camp was organised by high school students for high school students with the help of the Network of Youth Excellence, NYEX.

1. Why Archaeology? Why Szeged? Hungary is famous about its archaeological heritage, due to its special geographical location between East and West. Various archaeological findings remained here with dating ranging from the stone age to the Second World War and many archaeological sites of the Carpathian-basin gained international reputation. There are numerous examples of successful natural science camps, but we wished to organise a program equally attractive for students with social and natural scientific interest. Archaeology is an ideal candidate, since it synthesises the application of many natural scientific techniques (for example physics and biology) with its social scientific approach. Since Archaelogy is not a part of the secondary school education this camp gave an insight for students into an completely new part of scientific discipline. Situated on the banks of the river Tisza, Szeged’s historical past dates back to 24000 A.D., from when the river lured people to this region. Szeged was a very important strategic point for the Romans as well, lying between the two provinces, Pannonia and Transylvania. The city retained its importance in later times, due to its good geographic location and by being a riverside trading post. In 1921 the University of Kolozsvár moved to the city, from then Szeged became one of the cultural centres of Hungary.


Corresponding Author: Csaba Böde, Director, Hungarian Student Research Foundation, Budapest, P.O.B 108. H-1363, Hungary, E-mail: 105

2. The Program While planning the program for the one-week long camp we tried to balance scientific and social activities (Table 1.). On average three scientific lectures or activities took place in during a day from morning till late afternoon. These were held by leading lecturers from Hungarian universities. Topics covered the widest possible range from aerial archaeology and pollen analysis to radiocarbon dating and molecular biological analysis of findings. Beside the lectures many practical sessions were organised, where the participants could touch real archaeological objects or for example try out the reproductions of tools from the Bronze Age. To involve students even deeper, they also had the opportunity to prepare and hold scientific presentations in various topics. Examples of student presentations include “How to extract DNA from human remains” or “Age determination by amino acid racemization method”.
31. July 01. Aug Pollen analysis Arrival Roman empire Pollen analysis Group forming Intercultural night 04. Aug Date assessment methods Archaeological research Date assessment methods Traditional dances City trip 05. Aug Archeology Antropology Open-Air Festivals 06. Aug Archeology Free program 07. Aug Excursion to Ópusztaszer 02. Aug Antropology 03. Aug

Archeology Visiting Anna Spa Departure

Date assessment methods Traditional dances

Free program

Table 1. Daily program of Science camp of Archaeology.

Informal conversations with the lecturers were also important part of the Camp. After the lectures during lunch and dinner time students had the opportunity to discuss further the lecture topics at the dining table.


In such an international camp social programs are important, too – since most of the participants do not know each other. Therefore we organised a group forming event in the first evening. On the other evenings we organised city visit and dance courses to make camp-friendships even deeper in the camp. The participants had the opportunity to introduce their own countries beside getting acquainted with Hungarian dances and folk traditions. Students also visited Ópusztaszer, the National Historical Memorial Park near Szeged. 3. Conclusion The camp was completely organized by high school students for high school students. According to the participant’s opinion the camp have showed them that such a social science, like archaeology can also have various natural-scientific aspects. They have realised that many research topics can be studied from another aspects with the means of another scientific discipline. Since the organizers were also students, it made the communication between the participants and the organizers more simple, still did not cause problems at organizing the scientific programs. In the future we would like to improve the practical part of the scientific programme: with more laboratory exercises, for example introducing DNA sequencing into the programme. If the conditions allow, a two-day work in an excavation spot would also be inserted into the program. This would shift the program from the formal Academic-style lectures towards the non-formal learning methods. 4. Acknowledgements Such an event cannot be organised without help. We thank the Network of Youth Excellence (NYEX, and the Federation of European Biochemical and Molecular Biological Societies (FEBS, for their financial help. We thank Csanád Bálint the director of the Archaeological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences for his scientific support. We would like to thank all the organisers of the camp: János Daru, the former president of the Hungarian Research Student Association, who also developed the idea of organising such an archaeological camp, and Erna Burai and Lilla Barabás for their help in organising the Camp. Last, but not least we would like to thank Dávid Fazekas, the co-ordinator of the camp for his enormous devotion.


STaN and Gifted Children Education: Experience, Policy, Plans, Cooperation

Eva VONDRÁKOVÁ a,1, Martina PALKOVÁ a,,b,c Společnost pro talent a nadání – STaN (Association for Talent and Giftedness), Prague, Czech Republic b First Private Elementary School for Gifted Children, Prague, Czech Republic c Masaryk University, Faculty of Social Studies, Brno, Czech Republic
Abstract. Many able young children are curious, active and internally motivated to learn. Very often their curiousness disappear shortly after they start the compulsory school attendance. STaN (Association for Talent and Giftedness) aims to change such situation. This paper presents examples how STaN members and its associates support children´s curiosity, motivation and talent development. Paper informs on our activities, cooperation, plans and experience with changing educational policy in the CR. Keywords. NGO activities in GC education, private schools, very young students, interest in science and technology.

Introduction There is lack of experts, namely in science and technology, around the world. Many clever and initially curious children lose their motivation to think and learn in the course of compulsory school attendance. In addition those who are motivated for science and technology in the preschool age can hardly find someone (teacher, mentor) able to support and develop their interest and giftedness at such young age. State educational policy is rigid and needs a lot of time to realize changes. Children cannot stop their development and wait until conditions will be better. So many of them lose their motivation and some later do not want to study at all, despite their high intellectual abilities and previous motivation. Parents of such children look for a solution. Those active and able enough try to organize their children´s education using “self – help”. Let us to introduce you the first private elementary school for gifted children “Cesta k úspěchu” (Path towards success) in Prague. This school cooperates with STaN – Association for Talent and Giftedness (NGO). There are also some “mainstream schools” looking for the way how to educate their gifted students well and cooperating with STaN. Let us to mention briefly 18 years long history of STaN, its main activities and to inform you about several examples of our cooperation in GC education in the years 20062007.


Correponding Author: Eva Vondráková, Bellušova 1827/53 155 00 Praha 515, Czech Republic; E-mail:; 109

1. STaN – Association for Talent and Giftedness 1.1. History and activities Association for Talent and Giftedness (Společnost pro talent a nadání – STaN) started its work in spring 1989, as the Czechoslovak branch of ECHA, It was founded (as well as Mensa Czechoslovakia) by Dr. Hana Drábková, psychologist, specialized on the heritability of giftedness. Thanks to it she was invited to attend the 1st ECHA conference (Zurich 1988). STaN-ECHA has been very active from the very beginning of its existence. Since the autumn 1989 seminars for psychologists and teachers have been held regularly three to four times a year, mostly in Prague. Until now (Autumn 2007) there were 56.STaN seminars realized. STaN had its paper and poster at the: 17th WCGTC conference Warwick, August 2007, England.

Figure 1. Cityhall of Prague 13 where ECHA seminars are realised There were also meetings of Club for Clever and Curious Children organized once a week at the 1989/90 and 1990/91 school years. Students 11 – 14 years old could meet interesting experts from various fields of human endeavour. Club for Parents has been operating since the 1993. Parents of gifted children look for advice and help with their children’s education. Among main 110

problems GC had at schools there were boredom, loneliness and sometimes bullying. Also underachievement, learning disabilities and behavioural problems, often because of nonconformity of the GC (mostly boys). More than 100 such meetings took place until now.

Figure 2. The club of parents STaN-ECHA offers consultations to parents, teachers and students (mostly future psychologists and teachers). In addition to mentioned problems many parents of preschool children and toddlers want to know if their child is really gifted and how to care for him/her.

2. The first private elementary school for gifted children in Prague 2. 1. School for the Children Parents mostly prefer preventing problems to their solving later. They are looking for the school corresponding to their ideas. If they do not find such school, some of them try to establish private school or choose home schooling for their children. Both is allowed but not supported by the Czech Ministry of Education. STaN-ECHA collaborates with Dr. Ing. Stanislav Svoboda, father of a “twice exceptional” child and founder of civil association „Škola dětem“ (School for the children) and the first private primary school for talented children. His school Cesta k úspěchu v Praze (Path towards success in Prague) was registrated in 17. 10. 2006 after long and hard effort of the association. Despite the fact that the project was highly elaborated and all due formalities were all right, Ministry of Education didn’t accredit it for several years. It changed in the October 2006, with the new ministress. Thanks to it they are opening their classes for 111

gifted children at last in school year 2007/2008. Sadly, basic school “Cesta k úspěchu in Prague” is still a rare opportunity for developing the potential of gifted children in CR. 3. Young technician – case report Hundreds cases report on small gifted children´s show strong inner motivation of many very young children in science and technology. Parents at STaN-ECHA meetings report their children´s thirst for information and effort to gain insight into problems. Matyas Kosik (12) is extremely gifted boy. At his 4 years he used to wake up his mother early mornings and demanded reading from the Journal of radioingeneering. When he was in the 2nd class of primary school he was able to repair lamp lets. At his ten he became successful in repairing radios. Before his 12th birthday he constructed a functional radio set. In the picture you can see Matyas with his favourite part of his collection of electron tube radios – the Telegrafia Triumf Bali. With the help of one of his friends, he brought the antique piece back to function .

Figure 3. Matyas (12) and his favourit electron tube radio. The first school for the GC in Czech Republic was private Mensa gymnasium (grammar school). This project was developed in 1991 year by Katerina Havlicková and Eva Vondráková. The school exists since the September 1993. Matyas became one of its students last year.


4. Small Owls – young scientists in Kindergarten STaN-ECHA seats in the Kindergarten “Rozmarynek”. There was established “Small Owls” class for gifted children in cooperation with us.

Figure 5. Small Owls Thanks to international conferences, meetings and informal communication with our colleagues from all over the world we are informed on current news and trends in the gifted children education. Our aim is to apply what is known in this topic and improve the chance of GC to realize their potential fully. References [1]



Contributions to Gifted Science Education

What kind of science communication do we really need? The case of science café.
Michael S. ARVANITIS 1 Euroscience Greek Regional Section, PO Box 3125, 10210, Athens, Greece
Abstract. This paper describes in brief, the action plan that the Greek regional section of Euroscience has followed, in order to promote science in Greece. Focusing mainly on young children, the science cafe activity achieved to attract the interest of children, university students and to become one of the most popular scientific actions in Greece. Keywords. Science and Society, Science Communication, Science cafe.

1. Introduction How far can we go with science communication activities? How many, if any, gifted children can we attract to science and how creative and innovative can we be in developping new activities? In this paper, we present our experience from the science cafe project that is running in Greece since 2004. We try to evaluate this 4 year period and examine whether or not has fulfilled our expectattions. 2. The Science cafe project Started in 2004 as a cooperation between major institutes in Greece, the science cafe project soon gained publicity and publicity sponsors. Although it began as a joint event it became obvious at an early stage that most of the parnters preferred a sole organization than joint events. This year only in Athens three different cafes are running, hosting different speakers, hosted at different places, each having its own audience. For Euroscience Greece, the National Contact Point for the thematic “Science in Society” of the Seventh Framework Programme, the concept of science cafe remains an important, valuable and attractive tool in order to bring science in to society. What is a science cafe? It is a place where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place in cafes, bars and even theatres, but always outside a traditional academic context. For the first time in Greece we moved science cafe to a real cafe and we also experimented with junior science cafes during school holidays (during Christmas and Easter mainly). Although we try to keep up with the actual matters that have an affect on the society our main concern is to provoke people's interest (and especially children) with controversial matters and subjects, moving a science cafe more to a debate style of

Correponding author: Michael S. Arvanitis, Euroscience Greek Regional Section, PO Box 3125, 10210, Athens, Greece; E-mail: 117

interaction between scientists and the public. To this, we introduced as well a series of scientific and societal debates. These debates are slightly different than the traditional science cafes, as there is no more one speaker but at least three from totally different backgrounds. Keeping debates open for public discussion we try to keep the same style as this of science cafe trying at the same time to make a more interesting discussion with the public.

Pic 1. A science cafe The thematic of our science cafes depends mainly on the actual matters that the greek society wants to listen to (e.g. environment, food safety, molecular biology etc) but also to be in accordance with global matters or events (i.e. Year of Earth 2008, this year's anniversary of Spoetnik launch etc) Our experience from video conference cafes, which we organized jointly with the British Council in Athens, shows that people, especially young people, are more embarassed and less loose when they know that they are being recorded by a camera. These cafes showed also a smaller participation than the others and we assume that the reason for behind that is that we used the english language than greek. Although we can not say that the video conference cafes have been a failure we have to rethink of how events like these can attract more people at a local level. Future Steps: Our plans for the future of the science cafe in Greece is to find new, attractive speakers. To this, we have the valuable support of the British Council which trained a small team of young science communicators, the winners of the “Famelab” competition. We need to keep up with a short-cycle renewal if we want to keep and expand our audience. Also its necessary to develop training networks for both speakers and organizers in collaboration with other science communication organizers in Europe. Its also needed to strengthen the interaction between science cafe and its territorial context and move as well science cafes outside of the big metropolitan cities. A global network of science cafes and a stable and wealthy way of financing it should be a major priority.


[1] M. Arvanitis, Field work experience as a research initiation for students: the case of applied geophysics, In P. Csermely, T. Korcsmaros, L. Lederman (ed.), Science Education: Best practices of research training for students under 21, IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2005, pp.106-109 [2] S. Tisseron, Comment l’esprit vient aux objets, Aubier, Paris, 1999.


The Geographic distribution of the young talents in Albania
Sokol AXHEMI 1 University of Tirana, Albania Introduction One of the main issues, that is a part of the education system in different countries of the world is the approach and policy taken to support and sustain in different ways, the talents and gifts shown by different pupils, young people as they are called in general the young talents in a various of fields. Such a thing influences in different directions in the comprehensiviness of the education system of a particular country. Firstly it plays an important role in the creation of the premises for the creation of a secure developing base for the different fields where we can find or such talents show up. Secondly through them, it becomes possible their involvement in particular fields and their orientation toward those issues and objectives for what a particular field requires or needs. Thirdly it impacts in the creation, perfection and identification of an elite class that is exposed in different directions, fields and activities of the country. However different scholars of social, didactic and methodic sciences representatives of other countries educational systems represent even different but important directions, mainly of more specific and detailed aspects. Such a thing is closely linked with the role, development or progress that such policies play toward the young talents. There are known experiences and examples of different kinds in this particular direction. Thus the government of different countries, societies and different educational systems of the social character or private through the special policies and programmes make the necessary attempts with the goal of drafting different plans and active ways to support them. Let’s mention that such policies are shown differently in different countries influenced from different factors and elements. Below we are trying to show in a general way some thoughts in relation with the situation and the policies being followed for the young talents, their level, the evolution that they have had in different historical periods of the country development, which are closely related with the particular measures and effects. At the same time we have made our attempt to show them even from their geographic distribution, always seeing them under the impact of the different conditions and factors that have influenced in such a distribution.


Corresponding author: Sokol Axhemi, Department of Geography, University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania 121

Young talents in Albania until early 1990 The education system in Albania has passed through a long road of development and consolidation by making it possible that in organized or spontaneous ways there could be created the possibilities and opportunities that in different fields there could emerge young talents. The road through which passed the identification and developments of these young talents knows a long slope full of deviations, ups and downs and features that belong to different stages and period of development of the country. Different scholars of the educations and of social sciences have tried to work on this field by attempting at the same time to present even the different stages of the historic development of the education in Albania, by stopping even in the different policies taken for the young talents. We are emphasizing that in a special way changes and special characteristics a system likes this has shown in two phases. The first phase can be considered the one until the early 1990, which is the so called period of the communist system domination and the second phase the one after 1990s identified as the phase for the development of this educational system during the period of democratic transition. Each one of them is distinguished from the followed policies and from different measures of the practical character, that have been applied in direction of identifying and developing further the young talents in Albania. The essential characteristic of the first phase until the early 1990 was a special volountureest policy followed from the government policy in the direction of creating the opportunities that the young talents could show thier abilities in different fields. In order to achieve such a goal it became possible that in all the administrative urban regions of the country, almost in all cities and towns there could be built different culture houses for the children (called pioneer houses), where in an organized manner there were being realized different lessons and different extra-curriculars and extra-scholar activities that were directed toward a different fields. The main fields over which it was made possible the tendency toward emerging and identifying the young talents were mainly those of the scientific direciton as in other directions where there could be distinguished those of the artistic and sportive character. Such an activity was led and managed from the special government organisms where to their disposal there were being involved different teachers, coaches in dependence of the different directions and activities that were being realized. Through this special “pioneer houses” as they were called in that period it was made possible that to these talents could be given a supplementary assistance in continuation for the different scholastic programmes that was realized at the different schools of the country. There should be appreciated the fact that a considerable number of talents and gifted people in different fields have been identified through such institutions where they have been further developing their gifts. We should praise the fact that real examples we have encountered for the coming years in particular way, in fields such as those of artistic character ( where we can mention different singers, instrument players, dancers, painters and sculptores), etc where in the coming years made it possible with their priority presence by giving a lot to the different national activities to such fields. At the same time another direction that should be mentioned are the young talents which have emerged especially in the sport fields( where football, voleyball players and 122

athletes, etc) with the passing of the years have given a lot not only to the sport life in their own cities but have also contributed to the Albanian national sport. Where some of them were identified as winners of different medals and rewards in the several activities that were being organized at that time. The young talents that emerged during these activities organized by these institutions took different appreciation and awards even in international activities where our country was being represented. So many awards, titles and medals were won in respective fields that were related with the song, balet and dance and the different sports, etc. Lets emphasize that the concentration in different international acitivities in general was limited and oriented mainly toward artistic and sport fields by marginalizing different fields of science as it is the case of different olimpiads of the Balkanic, European or world size in different scientific subjects, where our country started to participate massively after the 1990s. But the identification and the work for the development for the young talents could not be called or finalized only in these different cultural houses for the children. It was important that the school was going to play a prioritarian role. Thus another identification for the further development of the young talents it was also the one inside the school environment throughout the country. A policy like this was being realized through the organization of different scientific circles out of the school that were created in the whole pre-university educational system in accordance with the different sciences subject being taught in these schools. So we can mention the scientific circles of history, geography, chemistry, mathematics, physics etc. In these scientific circles the respective teachers of these scientific disciplines were choosing theirs best students and especially those that were showing gifts or clear signals for the opportunity to move ahead or deepen themselves in a particular scientific discipline. In these circles there were taking place and studied extra materials, which beyond the school curriculum that was being presented in the official teaching sessions for the respective hours in the framework of the different scientific disciplines. We emphasise that these themes mainly of the special character, were becoming an orientation for the desires and the passion that the most distinguished students were showing in these particular scientific disciplines. These ways were influencing in the creation of the premises and the opportunities that several elements could be selected and identified, that were being defined as talents, that could serve to be oriented in the future toward the work and elaboration of special disciplines or toward different fields of the knowledge. However it should be mentioned that beside the positive sides of the implementation of such policies toward the identification and development of young talents, again a system like this was not able to bring till the end the mission for the one it was created. By being at the core a socialist and statist policy , and in the building of such volunteerism policies, the idea of their massive involvement, by eleminating the selective character and the real identification of the talent in a particular field. In some cases, initiated from the political conjucture even though there were being distinguished or identified in different fields as the most capable and promising ones, some of these talents because of not having the same political thoughts with the powerholders were obliged not to develope their talents and gifts in the particular fields.


The history of development of our country knows many cases especially of the different science fields, as well as in sports and art where some of the distinguished talents were not allowed to continue their activitity in the respective fields. There lacked the absence of the reward, support and sponsor of the different talents that were being seen, thus not creating the opportunities that these people could continue further their work and their talents, in a selective way and to be assisted with teachers and respective coaches. In some cases we have even the termination of their training and technical assistance after finishing the compulsory education. Such a thing was making it possible that many of them would be abandoned to spontaneity and not to the continuation of their training in respective fields where they were being identified as promising people New talents policies in Albania during transition The period of transition in our country, as in many other aspects, had its influence on education. We must underline the fact that there were made efforts policies to transfer voluntary policies in a more productive in the course of these years. Nevertheless we must point out that in general these policies have a more sporadic character in the way of in and the application at the same time and its role and real importance changes from time to time that they have on the unmark and develop new talents. We must point out that there are not clear policies and long term strategies in this field, that would promise and make possible a consolidated development of various qualitative steps in this aspect. Therefore they gave up massive policies or type of the houses of pinners which existed during the previous political regime, they didn't consider the role and function of the new children’s cultural centres which replaced them. In this way the previous massive policies were replaced by such policies made up constructed the given budget for various activities that performed with these cultural centres, not giving technical and methodical assistance for special elements of the gifted children which come out. This greatly influenced such policies to be spontaneous and in the same time within the framework of small activities like sport and art. Individuals who were talented or gifted in various science branches, school was considered the way of their turn (identification) and development. But it was not consolidated a productive tradition in this aspect even in different school in the country. Nowdays, there exist only these centres in different administrative regions called children's cultural centres with the main direction artistic activities, to same extent sports. Meanwhile the undertaking of state policies is sided with finding (absorbation) of the talented through different olympiads and science competitions organized within the local or national framework. The best are gathered and organized to represent the country in various international activities, in certain science fields. The sponsorship of winners is made possible in a sporadic way with modest financial support. The importance and weight of private education is important to find out and develop new talents in our country in the transition period. Different kinds of private schools of the compulsory education, high education, high school and university they are trying to give their support, the financial support, but also giving the necessary methodical and scientific with teacher and trainers in the respective fields. It should be underlined that the undertaking of such policies by the private educations institutions has encouraged to find out winners or declared as among the best of different individ framework of local, national and international activities organized in many directions. 124

Another novelty which should be pointed out in the transition period is the liberty and spaces that democracy guarantees, especially for an isolated country as Albania for a long period of time. Therefore after 1990 it was made use of relations made at various international activities and other friendly and family relations, many of the new talents considered to develop their talent and abilities in many European educational institutions and so on. It should be mentioned in this aspect many talents of art, singers and dancers and various instrumentalists and most of them nowadays present themselves successfully in all European and world scenes. Different initiatives in certain business fields, although with sporadic character also represent a special interest where the business itself is interested to take the best and most interested in the fields they are interested in stipulating these individuals with rewards sponsorship on a scholarship, technical and methodical assistance in the country and abroad. Especially certain initiatives of the business in private sector are oriented towards fields such as: information technology, different economical sciences (finance, business administration, banks, etc).It seem that this is tightly linked with the future of such businesses which undertake such initiatives, searching elite personnel to make possible their progress towards success. It should be underlined that in addition to way of dedicating to the new talents there are some other initiatives outside their business fields which aim philonthropical investments and sponsor different talents of various fields. Through these sponsorship they are given special scholarship expenses for their activities, the necessary assistance in all aspects, etc. Although we must point out that such a sponsorship is more oriented towards sports and talented people of different kinds of sport. It seems such a situation made it possible that the finding, development and consolidation of new talents in our country, should be consisted with the teachers conscience and passion of different subjects in every school of Albania. Adding the materials given within the framework of the material programmed at school, new special information/closely tied to the respective discipline, training only based on passion of these teacher is the best and may be the only way influencing new talents mainly at different branches at school. The geographical distribution of new talents in Albania The geographical distribution of new talents in Albania deserves special attention not only for their evidence but mainly related to the conditions and factors which had an influence. It must be underlined that even in this aspect it is emphasized the interaction of various factors at different periods of the development of the society. During the period of the communist regime it was a more harmonious distribution of them in all geographical space of Albania. Whereas in the transition period and anwards such a geographical distribution is mostly concentrated and oriented towards the main urban regions. Nowadays, in the present, new talents are mainly in the urban regions of the country. A sporadic case exists in rural regions of the country. Indeed the latest cases are mostly related to individuals who express their talents and gift mainly on different kinds of sport. There are some concrete examples in the region of Kukes and Tropoja in wrestling and skiing, and also the case in Shtermen (Elbasan) where they have found talented persons on lifting.


Such a disproportion seems to be tightly connected to conditions and quality of education expressed in different ways in rural and urban regions of the country. According to the statistics mainly the urban areas of the country are generally characterized by low standards of the quality of education, very low quality of teaching and even with a considerable percentage of teachers without diploma of higher education. Quite the opposite happens in the urban areas of the country. The good quality of teaching, the best conditions with laboratories and didactic and materials has given a great chance and favour for the creation and development of different talents within the framework of various scientific disciplines. Another important marker having important role to find out new talented persons is the set up and development of a new system of non public or private education in Albania. Such a system has been more widespread in different urban regions than in those rural affecting and in the same way offering new possibilities for competition among the two main systems of the development of education, on one side public education and on another side non public education or private education. Some new interesting phenomena appears within the framework of the geographical distribution of new talents. Their evidence at different science fields or other kinds of art and sport generally are noticed more in cities or as they are called big urban centres. This is tightly connected to the important efficiency in the statistical point of view that takes the number of pupils in these cities, which in the same time are distinguished as big centres of concentration of population. From the statistical point of view this greatly influences the growth of the possibilities of appearing and noticing a great percentage of talented individuals. Similarly other reasons affecting this aspect seem to be closely tied with the improved conditions in the system of education, which were previously mentioned some cities which find out such talented persons in different fields are: Tirana, the capital city, Shkodra, Durres, Fier, Vlora, Korca, Elbasan, etc. Although we must stress out sporadic case of the appearance of new talents in other towns in the north part, south, east, and central part of the country. Therefore the individualization of such talents are prominent even in Tropoja, Saranda, Permeti, Puka, etc. Conclusions The policies they used to find out new talents in Albania are closely connected to the economical, social and political developments that Albania come during different historical periods. The policies they used with reference to new talents they have not for a long time the real possibility not only for their identification, but mainly there were problems in respect to the continuance of the development of the talents. The appearance of new talents is mostly dedicated to the spontaneity with regard to their development and not the presence of the structures or the application of new efficient policies with reference to premises and favourable possibilities. The period of the development of the democracy in Albania after 1990,s gave rise to the necessary conditions to make possible the transition from the massive voluntary policies to the application of the elite selective policies. Within this framework, even spontaneous these are made efforts to make possible the application of suportives policies. The first step with regard to this are dedicated to special sponsorships, different scholarships, etc. 126

A novelty in this period is also making up of certain policies in the system of private education with reference to the support of new talents not only for their financial motivation, but also the realization of the optimal conditions for their technical and methodical assistance. There should be estimated even the support from different kinds of business with reference to the financial support of new talents. Therefore it should be underlined that the area in supporting of this business is mostly concentrated in the proper fields according to the kind of business and less in other directions, except for some sporadic appearances with philanthropic character.


Fractal intelligence development The “David Star” Model
Florian COLCEAG 1 IRSCA Gifted Education and EDUGATE - The Romanian Consortium for the Education of Gifted Children and Youth, Romania
Abstract. The fractal intelligence development model uses the “David Star Model” to offer an understanding of unity in variability for human differentiation, giftedness, evolution, and adaptation in structuring the individual set of dimensions and values. Keywords. Fractal intelligence, david star model, giftedness, gifted students

Introduction Many researchers in educational psychology noticed some behaviour patterns that seems to be universal in human terms. Jean Piaget, and Edward De Bono made some observations regarding the repetition of some structural patterns regarding domineering behavior, and group relationships in cooperating environments. Piaget noticed the repetition of a three-position pattern (domineering, dominated, pacifist), De Bono noticed the repetition of a six -position pattern (six thinking hats). Renzulli also created the threering model that characterizes giftedness. Many other models suggest that there are two different kinds of psychological characteristics interfering within a human mental formula, but there are in fact two main generators of characteristics, a natural human set of characteristics, and a socially nurtured set of characteristics. Structural Niches Model vs. Fractal Development These observations led to a fractal development in the structural niches model, that can explain both directions of differentiating aptitudes, and the dynamics of intelligence development (see Fig [1]). Fractal intelligence is developed by the interfering of two sets of characteristics, one corresponding to the social characteristics of humans (commitment, intelligence, creativity), and the other one to the natural characteristics of humans (wisdom, balance, optimization).The interference among these characteristics is determined by a certain topology, and will generate other characteristics. For example intelligence and wisdom will generate leadership capacities, and the second set of characteristics will be able to recover the primary characteristics, for example leadership and strategic thinking will generate wisdom. The opposite characteristics will generate dimensions of human intelligence behaviors. For example wisdom-commitment will generate the “to- do Corresponding author: Florian Colceag, Gifted Education IRSCA Gifted Education and EDUGATE- The Romanian Consortium for the Education of Gifted Children and Youth, Romania 129

dimension”, intelligence-balance, the “to-be dimension”, creativity-optimization the “tohave dimension”. The second set of opposite characteristics will generate different dimensions: social skills-success, the “to-become dimension”, leadership-care the “toprotect dimension”, and efficiency-strategic thinking, the “to- succeed dimension”.

Fig 1. Fractal intelligence model. Author: Florian Colceag.

The main generating model will engender other new characteristics that can be described by smaller David stars models. Those new characteristics will correspond to new structuring dimensions. For example, care and success will not generate only balance, but also self- esteem, creating a new psychic dimension, the “harmony dimension”. The main characteristics modeled by the main David Star can be considered as general for the human species. The smaller David Stars can be considered as connected with cultural local model, even smaller David Stars can be connected with family models, or even individual characteristics. These characteristics are created by the interference between the social-cultural needs expressed in niches of needs, and profiles of personality corresponding to these niches, and the individual personal aptitudes which can be developed into a symbiotic correspondence with these social niches. The level of richness of this symbiosis can describe giftedness into a complex socio-cultural, economic, individual context, and can measure success. The model is not deterministic, giving a big degree of individual and cultural freedom, but is self- sustainable for each people’s logic. There are various degrees of cultural and individual specificities describing both cultural dimensions of thinking, and individual abilities adjusted to various social and economic niches. This fractal intelligence model allows us the understanding of unity in variability for human differentiation, giftedness, evolution, and adaptation in structuring the individual set of dimensions and values.


Conclusions We can therefore understand why and how students in a classroom will differentiate the own characteristics, and why they have stable roles into the class economy of communication (for example, the leader, the clown, the dumb, etc.). We can also understand why there are two students competing for the same position, each one developing slightly different personal reactions, and skills in the same learning environment. All this is due to the following: the normal tendency for a group of people to structure itself as shown in the David Star model, and to extend the generating model for new characteristics into smaller David Stars in a fractal way. These characteristics explain why a big group of people can be led, why they obey to the same rules or customs, and why there are differences between the David Star dimensions of a nation’s leader, and the David Star dimensions of a simple family man. References
[1] Dabrowsky, K. (1964) Positive Disintegration. Boston: Little Brown & Co. Edi. [2] Dabrowsky, K. (1967) Personality- Shaping through Positive Disintegration. Boston: Little Brown & Co. Edi. [3] De Bono, E. (1985) Six Thinking Hats, Boston, Little Brown & Co. [4] Guilford, J. P.(1967). The Nature of Human Intelligence. N.Y.: McGraw-Hill. Jacobson, W 1979, Population Education, Teachers College Press, New York. [5] Milgram, R. & Goldring, E. B. (1991) Special Education Options for Gifted and Talented Learners. In [6] Milgram (Ed.), Counceling gifted and talented children: A guide for teachers, councelors, and parents, 23-26. Norwoon, NJ: Ablex. [7] Milgram, R. & Dunn R. (1993) Teaching and Counseling Gifted and Talented Adolescents. An International Learning Style Perspective. Praeger. [8] Myers, I. B. (1962) The Myers- Briggs Type Indicator, Palo Alto, CA.: Consulting Psychologists Press. [9] Myers, I. & Mc Caulley, M (1985) Manual for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press. [10] Mc Donald, K. B. (1998) Evolution, Culture and Five-Factor Model. Journal of Psychology, 29 p. 119-149. [11] Piaget, J. (1958) Growth of Logical Thinking, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. [12] Power, E.1995. Educational Philosophy, New York, Garland Publishing Inc. [13] Renzouli, J.S. (1988) The Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness. Baum, S.M., Reis, S. M & Maxfield, L.R. (Eds) Nurturing the Gifts and Talents of Primary Grade Students. Mansfield Center, C.T.: Creative Learning Press. [14] Sternberg, R. J. (1990) Methaphors of Mind: Conception of the nature of intelligence. Cambridge, University Press.


Quagmires and Quandaries: Ethical Uncertainties in Scientific Research
Peggy CONNOLLY 1 Network of Youth Excellence, USA
Abstract. Ethical conduct of research requires anticipation and thoughtful consideration of the processes and consequences of scientific inquiries. This essential skill can be developed. While regulations and professional codes of conduct provide guidance, they cannot address the complexities and nuances of real-world research, nor can they foresee all ethical issues that arise as new technologies emerge. Case studies are an effective way for young researchers to develop skills in the slippery, messy, imprecise practice of ethical research.

Keywords. Ethics, Research ethics, Case studies

Introduction Even the most conscientious scientists cannot control all the uses of knowledge derived from their research, nor prevent their negative consequences. Many situations pose challenging quandaries where the appropriate action is not easily determined. Even so, it is essential that young scientists examine the ethical dilemmas of their work. Case studies are an effective way to develop skills in ethical analysis and decision making, by engaging young scientists in the complexities of real world ethical issues. Analyzing and discussing cases helps students understand how difficult it may be to make ethical decisions, even with the best of intetntions and efforts. As they examine and discuss cases, students develop the ability to anticipate and address ethical challenges in their own research. It is unlikely that as scientists they will face the exact conundrums they previously considered, but in developing a repitoire of responses to a number of ethical problems, they will develop a moral sensibility and competency that can be applied to a wide range of ethical dilemmas in their research


"You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis, 3 v. 5)

1.1 “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” (from Robert Burns) Dr. Lawrence Brody is head of the Molecular Pathogenesis Section of the National Center for Human Genome Research at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). One day in 1994, as he was examining research files of breast cancer subjects, Dr. Brody noticed that the files included an unusually high number of women with Jewish surnames. His first

Corresponding author: Peggy Connolly, Network of Youth Excellence, 1445 Brentwood Lane, Wheaton, IL 60187-8427 USA 133

reaction was that this was an aberration, but a “what if” lurked in his scientific mind. He examined additional NIH files to see if there were an historically disproportionate number of women with Jewish surnames who had suffered breast cancer. It appeared that Ashkenazim1 Jewish women were at significantly higher risk for breast cancer. When he discovered that the high incidence of breast cancer in this population was consistent over time, Dr. Brody was faced with an ethical dilemma. One the one hand, preventive measures and early diagnosis of breast cancer save lives. On the other hand, there was a real danger that a group who had already suffered extreme discrimination and stigmatization could face more prejudice if his hypothesis was confirmed and the findings made public. The Ashkenazim Jewish population (descendent from Central and Eastern European ancestors), like other populations of common ancestry, is at higher risk for certain genetic diseases. Ashkenazim Jews are at greater risk for cystic fibrosis, a systemic disease that causes deadly build-up of mucus in the lungs; and Tay-Sachs disease, an incurable, progressive, fatal neurological disease. For over three decades, Jewish couples considering marriage have been screened for Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis. If both partners are carriers of either gene mutation, they have a 25% chance that each child will have cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs disease, and are advised to consider different marriage partners, adoption, or other reproductive options. Dr. Brody and his colleagues identified a specific deletion in BRCA1 (a gene associated with a 50% risk of developing breast cancer) in many of the tissue samples of Jewish women who had been treated for breast cancer. Exactly the same mutation was found in a significantly high number of 858 banked tissue samples from Ashkenazim Jews screened for cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs disease. Not a single similar deletion was found in tissue samples from a control group of 815 non-Jews. Expanded surveys continued to yield the same result. Evidence that Ashkenazim women were at particular risk for a specific genetically-triggered breast cancer continued to mount and Dr. Brody, an ethically conscientious scientist, had to decide what to do. Public awareness of a population of common ancestry at risk for genetic disease may create a perception of genetic inferiority. In the United States and other countries without universal health coverage, members of that population face discrimination in obtaining health insurance and, because of the high cost of employer-provided healthcare, discrimination in employment. Young women whose mothers have had breast cancer may have their marriage prospects limited. Population genetic research may cause social and emotional harm for all members of the community, including those who have not consented to participate in research. Recognizing both the burdens and benefits of expanded research on the comparative prevalence of the BRCA1 deletion in Jewish and non-Jewish populations, Dr. Brody met with rabbis from Washington DC area synagogues to discuss his finding and the possible consequences of continued research. As a scientist, he wanted to continue the research with sufficient tissue samples and medical information to allow statistically significant conclusions, but would do so only if this was supported by the Jewish community. The rabbis discussed the medical and ethical ramifications with their congregations. The response from the Jewish community was overwhelming: within six weeks, Dr. Brody received the number of tissue samples he had hoped to collect in a year. Further studies confirmed that Ashkenazim Jewish women are more likely to carry a
1 The Ashkenazim Jews are descendent from Central and Eastern European ancestors, as opposed to Sephardic Jews whose ancestors originally lived in Spain and Portugal.


BRCA1 deletion mutation than the general population, and are at higher risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer than women without this specific mutation. These results encouraged women at risk to consider screening for the mutation, have more frequent mammograms, and make behavioral changes to lessen their risk. However, these benefits were accompanied by burdens. Dr. Brody’s concerns materialized: newspaper editorials raised the issue of genetic inferiority, he received reports of employment and insurance discrimination, women diagnosed with breast cancer felt compelled to leave the community for treatment so their daughters’ marriage prospects would not be diminished, some women had unnecessary prophylactic mastectomies and ooverectomies. In addition, tensions arose between family members who wanted to know their risk status or participate in research and those who did not, as genetic testing reveals information about blood relatives, whether they want the knowledge or not. This case is useful to demonstrate that even most thoughtful planning cannot prevent harms in research. It raises intriguing questions for discussion: • Who has the right to know an individual’s genetic makeup? Individual? Spouse? Potential Spouse? Parent of a minor child? Parent of an adult child? Siblings? Children? Physician? Employer? Potential Employer? Government? Insurance carrier? School? Potential adoptive parents? • Do parents have the right to know a child’s predisposition to a genetic condition (Breast Cancer? Sexual Orientation? Huntington’s?) • When is it ethical to use genetic information in medicine? To predict predisposition or malady? To treat? To diagnose? In preimplantation selection? (Does the reason for the selection make a difference?) To select against disease or malady? To select for desired traits? To select against a malady (cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease)? To select for a malady (i.e. deafness, dwarfism)? • Does the physician have an obligation to protect confidentiality of a patient with a genetic condition or an obligation to inform family if the condition can be prevented or treated? (Courts have ruled both ways: focus on the ethical dilemma, not the legal issue.) • When should children be tested? When parents request it? If there is evidence of a genetic condition in the family? To diagnose predisposition or genetic condition (Does it matter if treatment is available or not? If patient can afford it or not)? • When should information about a genetic condition be released to parents and when to the child? Should the school be informed? • Is it ethical to make genetic tests available directly to the public? How will this effect Standard of Care if consumers self-diagnose and demand treatments? How should physicians respond to public pressure to create a new standard of care in genetic treatment that doctors feel is inappropriate or ineffective? How will this affect physician time with patients? Who should judge the efficacy of genetic tests? • When a physician orders a genetic test, whose responsibility is informed consent? How complete should information be? Is it ethical to explain only the medical consequences and fail to address the potential consequences of genetic discrimination in insurance, employment, purchasing a home, etc.? • Do physicians have enough education to understand whether the benefits of genetic intervention outweigh the risks? (i.e. of the 1000+ BRCA mutations, which are dangerous and which are innocuous?)


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Non-directiveness is a fundamental principle of genetic counseling. Is it ethical to offer prenatal testing without allowing reproductive choice? Who should have access to genetic screening? Testing? Treatment? Who should own and control genetic information? The individual? Physician? Insurer? Government? Pharmaceutical Company? University Research Center? Is it child abuse to choose to have a child with a genetic malady? Is it ethical to test without treatment? Does it matter whether appropriate treatment is unknown, or because it is not available due to insurance coverage or cost? What should happen to clinical specimens? Should fully informed consent always secured before specimens are taken, stored, used? Genetic tests are unlike other medical tests in that the information affects not only the patient, but also the patient’s family. This puts family members at risk for discrimination based on information that may not be applicable to them. How should the confidentiality of patients be protected in genetic records? Are protections necessary for electronic records? How will patient confidentiality be protected if Smartcards become standard? (Smartcards are credit card sized and will hold information about the individual on about 10,000 genetic conditions.) Is it ethical for a community to be screened for genetic conditions without the consent of all members, especially when they may be harmed by the knowledge of the results (i.e. discrimination because of traits or conditions such as alcoholism, Huntington’s or breast cancer linked to identifiable populations)? What should physicians do when genetic testing could result in appropriate treatment, but there is a possibility that the patient will lose insurance coverage, employment, etc.? Should the patenting of genes be allowed? Patenting cell lines created from diseased organs? Should patients be told all of the information revealed by a genetics test? Should the patient who has an APOE test for heart disease also be told if it indicates Alzheimer’s? Should information be entered on the medical record without informing the patient? Should the patient be informed if the record will be made available to insurers, employers, or others? Should the patient be informed if the record already has been made available to insurers, employers, or others?

1.2 “The awful shadow of some unseen Power floats though unseen among us...” (Percy Bysshe Shelley) In contrast to Dr. Brody’s conscientious efforts to make ethically wise decisions, the case of John Moore is an example of deliberate deceit. When John Moore was diagnosed in 1976 with hairy-cell leukemia, a rare cancer, he sought treatment from a specialist at a prominent research university hospital. The physician was aware, but did not inform Mr. Moore, that certain of his blood and tissue cells had enormous scientific – and financial – potential. The doctor recommended that Mr. Moore’s spleen be removed. Before the operation, and without telling Mr. Moore, the doctor and a university researcher made written arrangements to take the spleen to a separate research unit and conduct research unrelated to the patient’s medical care. The 136

goal of the research was the development of commercially lucrative products from John Moore’s blood products and tissue. Although Mr. Moore consented to have his spleen removed, he was not informed about the research, not the commercial potential of his biological products and their financial value to his doctor, the researchers, and the university. Following surgery, Mr. Moore’s doctor instructed him to make repeated return visits to provide samples of blood, blood serum, skin, bone marrow aspirate, and sperm that the doctor said must be done only under his direction. From 1976 to 1983, each time these procedures were done, Mr. Moore traveled over two thousand miles between his home and the hospital. He became increasingly suspicious of the follow-up care, and asked his doctor if any products of commercial value could be derived from his tissue and blood products. The doctor told him no, and actively discouraged him from asking such questions. In 1979, the physician and researcher successfully established a cell line from John Moore’s tissue. In 1981, the university applied for a patent for the cell line: the patent was issued in 1984. The physician and the university regents negotiated a contract with a biotech firm for the firm’s exclusive use of products derived from Mr. Moore’s cells in return for stock shares, $15 million, and other compensation. Mr. Moore’s physician, the researcher, and the university shared in the profits. John Moore received nothing. When John Moore discovered the truth, and realized how he had been deceived, he sued his physician, the university regents, the researcher, and two biotech firms that profited from sale of his patented cell line. Despite acknowledging that the physician failed to disclose a conflict of interest and his repeated denial of any commercial value of Mr. Moore’s cells, a strongly divided court ruled in favor of the defendants. The majority opinion stated that giving patients ownership rights to their tissue would impede scientific research and medical progress. The value of products developed from John Moore’s spleen to date has exceeded $3 billions in sales. Because the John Moore case is so disturbing, it raises a number of provocative questions that generate excellent discussion: • Was John Moore harmed? • Do patients have a right to share in profits from commercialization of their tissue? Do their doctors? • Should it be acceptable for scientists, physicians, corporations, and institutions to profit from products developed from human tissue and organs, while denying patients and donors the same right to profit? • If it’s unethical for patients and donors to profit from commodification of human bioresources, is it not also unethical for scientists, physicians, corporations, and institutions to profit from products developed from human tissue and organs? • If patients or research subjects are allowed to share in profits from their biological resources, will this encourage others to demand a greater share of the profits or delay research? • Should donors be compensated? Should they receive a proportion of profits? • Should patients have the right to own or determine the disposition of their excised tissue or organs? Who should decide what will become of discarded tissue? Patient? Doctor? Right of eminent domain? Scientists? Government? Hospital? Corporation? Educational or research institutions?


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Should any right of individuals to own their diseased tissue and organs be greater than the right of society to benefit from the knowledge and products they may provide? One of the justices who heard the Moore case suggested that rather than allowing private enterprise to profit from trafficking in human organs, all valuable excised body parts should be placed in a public repository from which all scientists would be free to obtain materials for research. Is this a good idea? Has the Moore decision created greater acceptance for commodification of human body parts? If doctors are not allowed to profit from clinical research, will this hinder medical and scientific progress? What is the affect of patenting on scientific research? Even when a medical procedure is necessary or therapeutic, is there a duty to disclose the doctor’s potential to profit financially from it? What is the purpose of intellectual property protection?

2. 2.1.

Additional Case Studies Neuroscience

Imaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have proven to be powerful diagnostic tools in clinical medicine, allowing physicians to identify the presence and course of many diseases and conditions that otherwise go undetected or are misdiagnosed. This technology has provided biomedical researchers a detailed map of a wide range of physiological processes, especially those related to the human brain. A recent innovation, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), permits neuroscientists to track the flow of blood through the brain, allowing them to correlate various mental states and processes with neuronal activity in certain areas of the brain. Researchers have found that some parts of the brain are specifically associated with language use and development, while others correlate more closely with particular cognitive and emotional states. Neuronal patterns associated with complicated processes, such as decision-making and memory retrieval, and with personality traits, such as empathy and extroversion, appear to be identifiable through fMRI. While the commercial use of brain scans to test for personality traits is only hypothetical at this time, another kind of practical application of the fMRI is already available to consumers. Last year, San Diego-based No Lie MRI opened its doors for business, offering lie-detection services using fMRI. Likewise, Cephos Corp. of Pepperell, MA offers the same services at the Medical University of South Carolina. Both boast an accuracy rate of 90-93 per cent, slightly higher than that of polygraphs (85-90 per cent). Polygraphs detect deception by sensing, among other things, perspiration, heart rate, and respiratory activity. Subtle increases in heart rate or perspiration are associated with the nervousness people typically experience when lying. As these outward signs can be suppressed, polygraph examinations usually do not offer enough reliability to be admissible as evidence in court. fMRIs may enjoy an advantage in this regard. By tracking neuronal activity associated with lying, an examiner can identify the veracity of statements with a high rate of accuracy.


The fMRI has found practical applications unrelated to medicine, lie-detection, or pure research. One proposed use relates to the possibility of detecting personality traits and mental capacities. Employers, insurers, and schools are interested in the character tendencies and capacities of applicants. Applicants for sales positions might be screened for extroversion or persistence. Others might be screened for the capacity to multi-task. Health insurers might screen for personality traits associated with high-risk behaviors. Credit card, mortgage, and other financial institutions might screen applicants against specific character traits. Not everyone shares the enthusiasm surrounding the use of fMRIs for liedetection and characterization of personality traits. Civil libertarians worry that it is one more threat to individual privacy. Some fear that the technology will be used to read people’s thoughts. Others charge that scant attention has been paid to potential misuses and the negative impact it would have on civil liberties. Information that is usually legally off-limits could be gathered through an fMRI. There may be temptation for employers and schools to use this technology to screen applicants for desirable traits and to weed out other candidates whose tests suggest undesirable characteristics. Another concern relates to the storage of personal information gathered through the use of fMRIs. How will confidentiality be maintained? Some worry that brain scans have not proven themselves in the real world. That is, they may work reliably with test subjects when little is at stake, but may provide in accurate results when there are serious real-life consequences. Nonetheless, entrepreneurs of fMRI technology remain unconvinced that any serious irresolvable ethical challenges loom on the horizon. 2.2. Intellectual Property Dwayne Kirk had a long and excellent relationship with his mentor, Charles Arntzen of Arizona State University, Tempe…until he discovered large sections of his first publication copied word for word in a book by Arntzen. Arntzen excused his use of Kirk’s work without his knowledge or consent, claiming that this is common practice in science, using another researcher’s work, he said, is “a way to conserve energy”. Arntzen further argued that since Kirk worked on his research team they had a history of sharing materials, and because the book was not peer-reviewed his unauthorized use of Kirk’s work was acceptable. When Kirk complained, Arntzen removed him from research projects. Other students who challenged their mentors’ or professors’ use of their work, have suffered retribution, such as failure to defend their dissertations successfully, poor recommendations, removal from research teams, loss of teaching positions, professional ostracism, and blacklisting. Many colleges and universities have severe penalties - including failure, suspension, and expulsion -for plagiarism. Although institutions vary slightly in their definition of plagiarism, it is universally understood to be taking credit for another’s work without acknowledging the source. Some schools expect students to acknowledge anyone with whom they have discussed their ideas: Harvard requires students to credit others in their papers if they have had conversations with them that significantly influenced their ideas. Lawrence University students are expected to affirm the honor code on all written work, for example, acknowledging if they used a tutor. To ensure proper credit is given, Presbyterian College requires the writing center to report to teachers the names of students who have sought help. Some feel this is extreme: in a survey at the college, one professor argued against such stringent requirements, suggesting that seeking assistance in learning how to write is a normal part of the educational process. 139

Less strict standards appear to apply generally for faculty in academia. Some lab directors are routinely included as authors on all publications coming out of their labs, although they may have done little of the research and none of the writing. Some professors assign students to write articles or chapters for them, without acknowledging the students’ contributions in the publication. Other teachers use excerpts from student papers in their own work, justifying their actions with the argument that these are not the students’ original ideas, but are an expansion of the teacher’s ideas. Professors also complain about intellectual theft by colleagues: ideas stolen in the peer-review process, or delaying a review to allow another colleague to publish first. Sometimes failure to cite appropriately is blamed on the pressure to publish to preserve a career, or charged to inadvertent oversight in the rush to meet publishing deadlines, or to confusion when trying to write multiple papers at once. In the past few years, several prominent professors and scientists have published as their own work excerpts from the work of others. When exposed, they frequently excused their actions by blaming their students for oversights, protesting that they were unaware of the plagiarism – e.g. quotation citations accidentally missed by research assistants, or material inserted by research assistants that the professor did not intend to be in the text. Some excuse their actions on other grounds. Laurence Tribe, a Harvard Law professor, acknowledged that he used the (unattributed) work of Henry Abraham in his book, “God Save This Honorable Court”, but claimed that he was attempting to write a book for lay readers, without those footnotes that can be so intimidating. He also cited the tradition in law of relying on law clerks to do much of the lawyer’s writing, suggesting that this makes the rules of plagiarism murkier for lawyers. Not all believe it is appropriate for professors to claim credit for students’ work. Richard Lewontin, Harvard Professor Emeritus calls the practice dishonest, decrying the culture of academia that gives those in authority exploitative power over their students …”much as a lord had unchallenged property rights in the products of serfs…” a) Social Sciences In 2000 a reporter for the New York Times, developing an article about gay and lesbian teenagers and the Internet, posted a notice in an on-line chat room. The reporter received responses from a number of adolescents, and followed up by meeting and talking with them. She learned that the Internet was helpful to many children with questions about their sexual identity. For example, children who worried about their homosexual interests found support from others in similar situations. Many found consolation in discovering they were not "the only one". Some were developing mutual interests and even falling in love. Adolescent lust made its presence felt in these interviews as well. One teenager reported he had been visiting pornography sites, and thrilling to the experience, since age 11. The reporter asked teens about sexual experiences ("cybering") they had carried out on-line. Masturbation to sexy messages and pictures was common. The reporter learned some teens had been in contact with people many years older who were interested in them sexually, and that one boy had hacked his way into the account of someone in whom he was sexually interested, viewing and deleting messages from a competitor. In one instance, the reporter traveled to a rural Southern town and met with a 15 year old boy without the knowledge of his parents. Such an approach would not be permitted by the codes of conduct for researchers in areas other than journalism (e.g. psychologists and sociologists) relative to the protection of research subjects. Such 140

protections are considered particularly important when dealing with children; for example, typically interviewers are not allowed to question children without their parents' consent. Particularly when topics are sensitive (e.g. sex, religion, illegal activity) parental consent must be obtained before children can be asked to give information. The reporter's article in the New York Times stressed the value of the Internet for early exploration of sexual identity, especially for children who are isolated and worry about their parents' reactions. While articulating many benefits of a cyberculture protected from prying eyes, however, the article made clear the dangers of sexual predation. Still some critics of the article worried that in touting the benefits of on-line conversations, the article may have the result of exposing naïve or troubled teens to sophisticated sexual predators. The Society of Professional Journalists recognizes a commitment to avoiding harm. It appreciates that "gathering and reporting information may cause harm," and that reporting is "not a license for arrogance." The Society further recognizes the importance of being especially sensitive when dealing with children, as well as an obligation to the "voiceless," and to support exchange of viewpoints, especially those that others might be loathe to air. b) Biochemistry/Chemistry In 1939 when DDT was introduced as an insecticide, it was widely believed to have little toxic effect on plants and animals. Over the following two decades, DDT was widely used worldwide to control disease carrying insects, particularly mosquitoes and typhustransmitting lice, as well as insects that cause crop devastation. However, after about a quarter century of use, it was recognized that DDT causes severe accumulated environmental damage, including disruption of the life cycles of plants and animals, high toxicity in fish, decline of bird-life as eggshells became too fragile to withstand the mother's weight, proliferation of resistant insect species, and effects on human endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. The Center for Disease Control identifies tremors, seizures, reduced duration of lactation, and increased premature birth as some of the risks DDT poses to humans. In the 1970'S, many countries banned DDT. Malaria is the most widespread disease in the world, striking about 500 million people a year, and killing about 2.7 million, mostly children. In Africa alone, over a million children under the age of 5 die annually from malaria. Many adults who are stricken with the disease are unable to work or care for children. Malaria is a chronic parasitic infectious disease, passed to humans through the bite of one of about 35 different species of malaria-transmitting mosquito. Malaria also is transmitted through tainted blood transfusion and shared needles. It is passed from pregnant women to the fetus, causing the placenta to become infested with the parasite. Control of malaria is difficult due to the complex interactions of the numerous, genetically variable parasites and disease-transmitting mosquitoes, local ecologies, and human hosts. The most effective, cost efficient method of fighting malaria is DDT, applied twice yearly to interior walls of homes. The female anopheles mosquito, whose bite transmits malaria, feeds on humans mainly at night, when people tend to be at home. Nonresistant mosquitoes die quickly upon exposure to DDT. DDT is also irritating to resistant mosquitoes, however, which respond, when exposed to it, by flying outside to avoid the irritation. The goal of United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) treaty negotiations is to eliminate DDT because of the environmental damage it causes. Although the twice141

yearly application of DDT to the interior of homes has only minor environmental impact, it would be banned under the treaty. Most wealthy countries support the ban. It is opposed, however, by many poor countries, in which malaria is a serious problem, that lack the scientific and technical resources to develop alternatives to DDT. c) Reproductive Technologies

Sharon Duchesneau and Candace McCullough are both deaf, and are the parents of a deaf child, Jehanne. To increase the chances of having a second deaf child, they selected a sperm donor with a family history of several generations of deafness Their son, Gauvin, was born with a complete hearing loss in one ear and a serious hearing loss in the other. Although a hearing aid would allow Gauvin some level of hearing in the one ear, his parents refuse any treatment that allows even residual hearing, saying they will allow him to choose hearing or deafness when he is older. The use of reproductive technologies to select for desired traits has long raised ethical concerns about using technologies to give children a disproportionate advantage. The decisions of Gauvin’s parents to ensure he would be born deaf, and remain deaf, have raised the issue of defining “handicap” and “enhancement”. While many believe deafness to be a disability – it is listed as such in the Americans with Disabilities Act, and many sperm banks will not accept sperm from donors who have congenital deafness - others, such as Gauvin’s parents, believe deafness to be a benefit. Critics of genetic selection for deafness or failure to remediate hearing loss consider deafness to be a disability that limits a child’s potential. They believe deafness limits pleasure and safety, creates difficulty in acquiring language, impedes communication, and may cause a child to be ostracized. Children's rights advocates strongly oppose selecting for deafness, as inability to hear limits language development and career options, and eliminates ability to hear the sounds of music, nature, or human speech. Children who grow up with hearing playmates find these friendships diminish as talking in adolescence becomes as important as physical play in childhood. Others fear that selecting deafness for a child may lead to more restrictive use of reproductive technologies for parents at risk of conceiving a child with genetic maladies such as cystic fibrosis or Tay Sachs. If parents are allowed to select for deafness, some ask if parents may also select for blindness. Proponents argue that the deaf community experiences a degree of emotional intimacy not achieved in the hearing world, and these bonds of community outweigh the benefits of hearing. Deaf people often have a heightened sense of smell, touch and vision. In an interview in the Washington Post, Candace McCullough called deafness a cultural identity, not a handicap. Supporters say that McCullough and Duchesneau did not create a handicapped child: they allowed a handicapped child to be born. Jim Roots, of the Canadian Association for the Deaf, sees no difference in deaf parents who wish to have a deaf child like themselves, and hearing parents who fit a child with hearing aids, use cochlear implants, or resort to surgery to allow their children to hear. Clients of sperm banks are able to choose characteristics they want in a donor, such as height, hair color, race, and other traits, and are able to choose a donor without evidence of disease or disability who matches themselves as closely as possible. Why should deaf parents not be allowed to select traits that reflect themselves in their children?


d) Genetics In early fall 2000, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston) and Duke University Medical Center were the first of several health care facilities to enter into a partnership with Ardais Corporation, a biotechnology company. Ardias Corporation's stated goal is to accelerate understanding of the links between certain genetic patterns and disease, and so improve clinical applications by facilitating better diagnosis, drug development, and treatment. Ardais has created a tissue bank to provide genetic researchers with diseasespecific tissue and detailed patient information to enable researchers to link specific genetic sequences with diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and neurological disorders. Ardais provides biological materials that would otherwise be discarded as medical waste, processes them into usable samples, and makes them available to researchers. Prior to surgery, a hospital nurse asks patients if they would donate tissue samples left over from their surgery to the tissue bank. Surgeons do not know which patients have consented, to prevent the possibility that additional tissue will be removed for the purpose of providing samples. All patient information is anonymous, protected by a rigorous coding system. The hospitals sell this tissue to Ardais. Ardais in turn sells the patient information to biomedical researchers. Ardais also receives license fees. Although sale of human organs is illegal in the United States, no similar legal restriction applies currently to the sale of human tissue. The medical community, at this time, has not discussed extensively either the morality of selling human tissue or who might have a right to share in the profits. There is concern about the legitimacy of consent given immediately before surgery. e) Final Notes

The cases were written to reflect that more than one perspective has moral legitimacy, and that intelligent and caring people can hold diametrically opposing opinions, it is interesting to have students defend both positions, and try to propose common ground. Cases 2.1 was written by Martin Leever, and cases 2.2 through 2.6 were written by Peggy Connolly for the National Collegiate Ethics Bowl, and are used with permission of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.


Training of Creativity: Theoretical and Practical Aspects

Daiva GRAKAUSKAITĖ KARKOCKIENĖ a,b Vilnius Pedagogical University, Department of Psychology of Didactics, Lithuania b Educational Center for Gifted in Lithuania
Abstract. This article describes theoretical and practical aspects of training creativity. The research was done in in Lithuania in Educational Center for Gifted in Lithuania as well as in Vilnius Pedagogical University. Many programs and courses in creativity have proposed ways of seeking to deliberately stimulate and develop creativity. Differences in the understanding of creativity influence the kind of training strategies applied. Scholars who see problems solving as a central aspect of creativity use techniques based on heuristics. If the main aspect of creativity is associational mechanisms, imagery techniques are suggested. There have been identified a number of general of approaches of creativity training including: cognitive approaches, personality approaches, motivational approaches and social interaction approaches (Scott et al., 2004). The effective programs are those that try to influence different aspects of creativity – cognitive, personality, attitudes, behavior, interpersonal, affect, and environmental. Creativity training, then, can be effective. Sizable effects can be observed using four major criteria applied in evaluating training – divergent thinking, problem – solving, performance, and attitudes-behavior (Scott, et al., 2004). The different techniques of creativity training are also recommended. These techniques were successfully used in the special program of creativity in Lithuania training the creative abilities of Vilnius Pedagogical University students (Grakauskaitė– Karkockienė, 2005, 2006; Karkockienė, Butkienė, 2005). The research was represented in the volume of Science Education, 2006 (Grakauskaite-Karkockiene, 2006).

Keywords. Key words: creativity, training of creativity, effectiveness of creativity training, programs and methods of creativity training.

Introduction Over the course of the half last century, psychologists have a particular focus on creativity abilities training. Developing educational programs help to enhance students’ creativity is among the most important goals of our educational system. Creativity means one’s ability to perceive a problem and to generate new ideas, or to think independently and deal quickly and easily with a problem situation, or to find an original way of solving a problem, or to create novel things (Guilford, 1968b; Torrance, 1974; Sternberg, O’Hara, 1999; Sternberg et al., 2005). Ability to think creatively depends not only on one’s knowledge and skills. Rather, it is determined by one’s special ability to distinguish a problem, and to utilise, speedily and in multiple ways, information contained in tasks one has been set (Guilford, 1968; Torrance, 1962). J. P. Guilford (1968) worked out a three-dimensional model of intellectual structure covering 120 intellect factors. J. P. Guilford sought to distinguish a factor responsible for the ability to perceive or feel problems. Such a factor was eventually located within the intellectual structure model. It was called divergent thinking. Divergent 145

thinking means a particular type of thinking accounting for the emergence of a wide variety of original ideas; more specifically, it means thinking in many directions, proceeding from particular things to general ones. Divergent thinking is considered by many scholars to be a vital and most important creative skill able to bring into effect both creative problem solving power and creative behaviour (Feldhusen, 1994; Sternberg, O’Hara, 1999; Mumford, 1999, Scott et al., 2004). E. P. Torrance elaborated the concept of creativity advanced by J. P. Guilford to produce eventually the worldwide-known creativity tests designed to elicit from a testee his or her divergent thinking ability (Sternberg et al., 2005). Basing himself on J. P. Guilford’s theory, E. P. Torrance (1974) distinguished four parameters of divergent thinking, namely, the fluency, the originality, the flexibility, and the elaboration, and worked out a creativity test (Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, TTCT, 1974). This instrument was purposed mainly for the investigation into divergent thinking. 1. The Effectiveness of Creativity Training Programs

The belief that creativity can be enhanced is discussed. Many authors agree that creativity can be enhanced because human potentials can be fulfilled. Efforts to enhance creativity will not expand one's inborn potentialities but they can insure that potentialities are maximized (Plucker, Runco, 1999). Different components of creativity such as cognitive, attitudinal, interpersonal components can be enhanced through a stimulating environment that induces ideas and creates solutions to problems. Different psychological studies give different views on creativity and the chances and methods of training for creative thinking. Hardly numerous on a world scale, multiple studies on creativity training have provided rather contradictory evidence. To provide a comparison of research into creativity by different authors is a complicated task. Firstly, different authors work with subjects differing in terms of age. Secondly, they use different training techniques. And thirdly, relevant programmes differ in terms of their duration. Studies on creative thinking are available only from foreign psychological sources aiming, in the main, to demonstrate the effectivity of definite training methods (such as the “brainstorming” by A. Osborn, or the “Purdue creative thinking programme”). Foreign authors have failed to produce a more exhaustive analysis of assumptions on which relevant programmes are based or to discuss in detail the circumstances of programme validation, or to provide the contents of definite tasks or research procedures. Possibly, this circumstance may account for the almost absolute absence of a comparative analysis exhaustive enough to encompass works by different authors. This makes it difficult to compare, in greater detail, the specific qualities of the present programme and of the ones offered by other authors. 2. „The Creativity and Self-actualisation“ Training Program

The special program of creativity in Lithuania training the creative abilities of Vilnius Pedagogical University students (Grakauskaitė-Karkockienė, 2006) was utilised for educational and training purposes within the framework of “Creative Psychology” subject at a higher school, namely Vilnius Pedagogical University. This was done to make students feel practically the effectivity of creativity training methods. We have also attempted to determine the programme’s influence on the subjective rating of one’s own actual and desired creativity by students. As far as we know, similar research works on the 146

application of creativity training programmes to the teaching of psychology is missing both in Lithuanian and foreign sources. The program is based on the assumptions of humanistic psychology. The human capacity for growth is central in humanistic theory. Humanistic theories have suggested that self–actualization and creativity are strongly related. A. Maslow, leading humanistic psychologist, suggested that creativity and self-actualization “may turn to be the same thing” (1971). A. H. Maslow talks about three categories: primary creativity, secondary creativity and integrated creativity. C. R. Rogers wrote about “man’s tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities (…) the individual creates primarily because it is satisfying (…) because this behavior is felt to be self-actualization” (1961). Creativity according humanists is a part of being healthy human being. Human nature is understood as a conscious, self-directed, self-actualizing, healthy process. Selfactualization is fundamentally equivalent to the goals of education, learning environments, and creativity, espoused by notable educators and psychologists. The role played by a group leader is essential in programs designed to foster creativity. The group leader did the best to promote an atmosphere of honest work and friendly co-operation which is absolutely necessary if one seeks to make each group member feel safe and free to join oncoming activities according to his or her abilities without feeling tense or repressed. Lively and enthusiastic learning prevailed. The leader’s behavior encouraged each participant to be active and outstanding. The leader offered a chance to everyone to express his or her opinion and ideas. „The Creativity and Self-actualisation“ Training Program was sucessfully used seaking to devlop and sistematically stimulate the creative competencies of students teaching the course of „Creative Psychology“.

Figure 1. Participants of „The Creativity and Self-actualisation“ Training Program in Vilnius Pedagogical University 147

Figure 2. Participants of „The Creativity and Self-actualisation“ Training Program in Educational Center for Gifted in Lithuania at summer camp

Figure 3. Participants of „The Creativity and Self-actualisation“ Training Program in Educational Center for Gifted in Lithuania (photos from author’s selection) 148

3. • • • • •

The model of creative competencies (abilities) which were develop Knowledge (theories of creativity, creativity training, research) Cognitive abilities of creativity (divergentive thinking, metacognition, solving of creative problems) Practical abilities (ability to apply different methods of creativity training) Ability to coolaborate with groups members Ūsharing ideas, ability to reflect the experience in the group) Attitudes toward their own creativity (positive self evaluation of their own creativity, self-motivation to reveal their own creativity in learning process as well as in different social situations).

The methods used teaching according the program: reflection and discussion, role playing,individual work, work in the pairs, working in small groups, different creativity techniques. 4. Conclusions

1. Findings of the present research may be utilised by future researchers seeking to draw up creativity training programmes or to investigate into programmes’ effectivity within groups differing in terms of participants’ age or education. This particular programme may be used successfully for the training of students’ creative power. The programme may be utilised by specially trained professional psychologists in their daily working activities. Findings of possibilities to use the program for developing creativity may contribute to the improvement of the overall quality of studies at Lithuanian schools and universities. More specifically, they may facilitate the renovation of methods used to impart education contents to students, or they may help to introduce active teaching techniques for the encouragement of independence and co-operations. 2. The effective programs are those that try influence different aspects of creativity – cognitive, personality, attitudes, behavior, interpersonal, affect and environmental. Creativity training, then, can be effective. Sizable effects can be observed using four major criteria applied in evaluating training – divergent thinking, problem-solving, and attitudesbehavior. References
[1] Grakauskaitė Karkockienė D. Kūrybos psichologija (Psychology of Creativity). Vilnius: Logotipas, 2003, 256 p. [2] Grakauskaitė Karkockienė D. Kūrybos psichologijos pagrindai (Basics of Psychology of Creativity). Vilnius: Logotipas, 2006, 101 p. [3] Grakauskaitė Karkockienė D. Kur dingsta Kodelčiukai? (Where do the "why askers" go?, Handbook for teachers, parents, students). Vilnius: Logotipas, 2006, 74 p. [4] Grakauskaitė Karkockienė D. Creativity Training Programme – a Part of Gifted education Programmes in Lithuania. Science Education: Models and Networking of Student Research Training under 21, Vol. 16 (2006) 240-248. [5] Maslow A. H. The farther reaches of human nature. New York: Viking, 1971. [6] Parnes S. J. Programs and Courses in Creativity // M. A. Runco, S. R. Pritzker. Encyclopedia of Creativity. San Diego, Ca: Academic Press, 1999, p. 465-477. [7] Plucker J. A., Runco M. A. Enhancement of Creativity // M. A. Runco, S. R. Pritzker. Encyclopedia of


Creativity. San Diego, Ca: Academic Press, 1999, p. 669-675. [8] Rogers C. R. On becoming a person. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1961 [9] Scott G. , Leritz L. E., Mumford M. D. The effectiveness of Creativity Training: a quantitave review. Creativity Research Journal, 2004, Vol. 16, Issue 4, p. 327-361.


Equity in Educational Outcomes in Serbia: Recent Findings and Expected Trend
Dragica PAVLOVIĆ BABIĆ 1 Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade, Serbia
Abstract. The question of the educational equity is one of the most influential on the educational policy. Recent international research findings estimated Serbian educational system as comparatively equitable, but low achieving. Keywords. Educational outcomes, equity, performace, international student assessment

Introduction Among the issues that have has the greatest impact on the educational policy in recent years, particulary in Europe, the question of equity occupy the prominent place. This is visible in research evidence, as well as in discussions and decision making at the policy level in number of European countries. Equity is seen as one of the most important indicators of efficiency of an educational system, or even it takes precedence over the efficiency. During the last decades, equity has been defined by the syntagm "equal educational opportunities for all" which is, lately replaced with the view that a fair system is one that offers equal chances of achiving educational success and, consequently, equal qualification and equal access to better jobs [1].


How to Measure Equity?

In short, recent research works reported equity mainly by one of three folowing aspects: 1. low proportion of students below the minimumm skill treshold; 2. low educational inequalities between social groups; and 3. moderate inequalities between the most and the least educated. In this paper, equity is considering in its second meaninig, as a lack of connections between socio-economic background and educational achivement. The discussion of the equity as an outcome of Serbian educational system is based on the research evidence collected in OECD/PISA 2003 study (Programme for International Student Assessment). PISA study in Serbia is conducted on the representative sample o 4400 15-years-old students attending the first grade of secondary schools. The survey covered mathematics, reading, science and problem solving literacy. Since the main focus in 2003 were on mathematics performance, this paper refers on student achievement in mathematics.

Corresponding author: Dragica Pavlović-Babić, Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Čika Ljubina 18-20, Belgrade 11000, Serbia; E-mail: 151

1.1. How Educational Achievement is Measured? Overall mathematics performance is expressed on a scale constructed to have the average score of 500 points and standard deviation of 100 points. In other words, it is expected to have about two-thirds of students scoring between 400 and 600 points. Also, student scores were grouped into six proficiency levels, where each level represented groups of tasks of asccanending difficulty/complexity. The range of one proficiency level is about 60 points on the math performance scale. The average performance of students from Serbia is 437 score points. It means that a typical student in Serbia is able, after nine years of schooling, to reach Proficiency level 2. In the words of knowledge and skills, he or she can interpret and recognize situations in context that require no more than direct inference; extract relevant information from a singe source; employ basic algorithms, formulae, procedures and conventions; he or she is capable of direct reasoning and making literal interpretations of the results [2]. In short, mathematical tasks on this level require no more than reproductive cognitive skills. In addition, more than one quarter of students failed to reach the treshold (they perform below Proficiency level 1), while only 2% of them are able to solve tasks required evaluative skills (they perform on Proficiency level 5 and 6). Mean performance scores are typically used to assess the quality of educational systems. Based on these results, we can estimated educational system in Serbia as oriented on reproductive knowledge and skills with tendency to unify students' achievement on a low level [3]. This non-ambitious educational policy could provoke strengthening of so-caled "education in shadow" which, consequently, can raise differences related to SES background. 1.2. How Socio-Economic Background is Measured?

Socio-economic status for PISA 2003 is a composite measure, derived from three variables related to family background: 1. educational level of parents, calculated on the basis of years of schooling, 2. occupational status of parents (data were obtained by asking students open-ended questions), 3. educational and cultural resoureces available to students (number of books at home, access to educational and computing facilities, books of poetry, works of art ...), as well as household possessions (car, television set, telephones and mobile phones...) [4]. Index of student’ socio-economic status (SES) is expressed on a scale with average of 0 and standard deviation of 1. Estimated on this scale, the average index of student in Serbia is negativ, and scored -0.23. Among remaining 40 participating countries, eleven scored below Serbia on the scale of socio-economic status. Among them, 4 countries are members of OECD. Among all PISA students in Serbia, 18,9% has the index of SES one standard deviation below the international average, which is qualified as higly unfavorable background. In other words, every fifth student in Serbia is endagered by the poverty. 2. Socio-economic status of students and performance in mathematics

Correlation between SES and achievement in mathematics of Serbian students is 0,314 (which is statisticaly significant on the level 0,02). SES explains 14,1% of variance in Serbiam student performace, which is below OECD average. According to this result, we can estimate Serbian educational system as relatively more equitable in comparaison to


systems of other participating countries. Despite this relative success in comparaison to other educational systems, SES remains one of the most powerfull factors influencing performance in Serbia. One standard deviation change in the SES index is associated with 36 mathematics score points difference, which is equivavalent to a half of one proficiency level, or, to one school year in learning mathematics. The effect of SES on math performance is negative: if there is no correlation between SES and math performance, the average score points of Serbian students will be 440. Percentage of variance expalained by SES can be considering as the index of educational eguity (Fig. 1, Tab. 1), where the absence of correlation between performance and SES represents a case of perfect equity. Strenght of this relationship differs across countries. There are countries in which students tend to perform well, irrespective of their socio-economic backround (which are Canada, Finland, Japan, Hong Kong, Iceland, Macao). Considering the great potential impact on the educational policy, below are listed, in short, common characteristics of the educational systems of those countries: Recommended typefont sizes: • Public, non-selective system of schooling; • Inclusive schooling, including gifted students; • Schools are able to provide appropriate and equitable opportunities for diverse student body, including individual tuition accordant with student's capabilities and special needs; • Prolonged period of comprehensive education, selection of students by abilities and/or by educational achievement on later educational levels; • Highly qualified teachers, obligatory in-service trainings; • Involved network of schools [5,6].
40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

% of variance explained by SES

Performance below average SES impact above average

Performance above average SES impact above average

Performace below average SES imapct below average
300 350 400 450 500 550

Performance above average SES imapct below average
600 650 700

Performance in mathematics Figure 1. Performance in mathematics and the impact of the socio-economic background

Conclusions International researches, as well researches conducted in Serbia show that home background influences student development on a stable and predictable way. Home background makes a substantial contribution to student differences. Moreover, when 153

children enter school, the impact of SES has raised. Research of educational outcomes in Serbia, conducted in year 1989, showed this trend [7]. What we can expect in following years, if there are no systematic and substantial changes in the educational system? Chronically low achievement level and discontent with educational capital acquired in the school probably will raise the contribution of private sector in the education. Number of private schools on all educational levels is bigger year by year. In addition, NGO sector will offer certified trainings in different fields. The accsessibility of education will depend on the parent' readiness to pay for. In other words, we can judge Serbian educational system as comparatively equitable toward students with different SES background, at the moment. By the time, it will progresivelly loose this quality, if all other relevant educational opportunities remain the same. This work is part of the project "Psychological Issues in the Context of Social Changes", implemented by Institute o Psychology and financed by Ministry of Science, No 149018D (2006-2010). References
[1] D. Meuret, Equity and efficiency of compulsory schooling: is it necessary to choose and if so on what grounds?, Prospects 140, (2006) 389-410 [2] OECD, Learning for Tomorrow's World: First Results from PISA 2003, OECD Publications, Paris, 2004. [3] D. Pavlovic Babic, Evaluativna istrazivanja obrazovnih postignuca: konceptualne i metodoloske mogucnosti i ogranicenja u interpretaciji rezultata (Student Assessment: conceptual and methodological possibilities and limitations in the interpretations of results, PhD Thesis, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade, 2007. [4] OECD, PISA 2003 Techical Report, OECD Publications, Paris, 2005. [5] J. Valijarvi, P. Linnakyla, P. Kupari, P. Reinikainen and I. Arfman, The Finnish Success in PISA and Some Reasons Behind It, Institute for Educational Research, Jyvaskyla, 2002. [6] S. Lie, P. Lynnakyla and A. Roe, Northern Lights on PISA - Unity and Diversity in the Nordic Countries in PISA 2000, University of Oslo, Oslo, 2003. [7] N. Havelka et all, Efekti osnovnog skolovanja (Effects of Elemenatry Schooling), Institute of Philosophy, Belgrade, 1990.


Training of pedagogy specialists to work with gifted children within the Bachelor’s and the Master’s degree levels
Dobrinka TODORINA South-West University “Neofit Rilski” – Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
Abstract. The paper offers: 1. A sample training model for pedagogy student how to work with gifted children 2. A sample curriculum for MA training program named “Pedagogy for gifted children and growing-ups

Keywords. gifted children, training of pedagogy specialists, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree

Introduction At the beginning of the XXI century, in the conditions of market economy and the membership of Bulgaria in the European union, the task of the development of “the golden children of society” (cf. Plato) has quite reasonably been given a central place in the European and in the Bulgarian educational space. The children with a high level of intellectual development and special abilities in the field of science, art, and sports are relied upon to become the driving forces of the overall economic, social, and spiritual life. It is their calling to be useful not only to themselves but to society as well due to their original thinking, their rich imagination, and their well-developed competence to research, create, compete, solve difficult problems by searching for ingenious and optimum choices. In connection with the establishment of the European pedagogical space and the Euro-space for higher education Bulgarian educators are expected to do their best to solve the topical and significant problem for the identification and development of children with manifested talents. It is expedient that this should take place on the basis of the European philosophy for gradual diffusion of the differences between the educational systems of European countries, while at the same time care is taken to preserve the specific national characteristics, priorities and identity (see 1). In order to expect a positive result in this direction it is vital that we should start from the preparation of teachers on that matter. This is in accordance with the task to provide conditions for the creation of the European space for higher education as regards the maintaining of its high quality and the achievement of the goals of the European Council concerning the highly gifted children. (see 2 and 3) Directive 1248 (1994) for the education of gifted children is included in the decrees of the European Union. Its function is to give certain recommendations. It outlines the goals (what should be achieved) and gives the member countries freedom to establish by themselves the ways and means of achieving them. It recommends that


the programs for teacher training should include strategies for the identification of gifted children with exceptional abilities. In the Republic of Bulgaria the work with children and adolescents with manifest talents is handled by the Law for the Protection of Children, the State Agency for the protection of Children, the Decree treating the conditions and procedures for the protection of children with outstanding gifts. Despite this voluminous documentation and the good prerequisites, however, the problem of work with gifted children and adolescents has not yet been solved completely in the mass practice of educators. This is why what is necessary must be done at all levels of education. It is quite possible that in higher schools the preparation of future teachers to work with gifted students should comprise all educational levels – bachelor, master, and doctor. This can be encoded in the study plans (inclusion of relevant disciplines from the field of psychology and pedagogy), in the curricula (arranging of the study content into specific topics treating relevant problem in both theoretical and practical aspects), profound analysis of these topics during lectures, seminars, hands-on experience subordinated to the problem of work with gifted children (inclusion of discussions, problem solving, case studies, tests, pedagogical situations, variants of interactive methods, etc.); preparation of textbooks and guidebooks focused on both the theoretical and the practical aspects of the problem, work on projects, diploma papers, dissertations. (see 4). This paper suggests a system of methods for the preparation of future teachers to identify and develop gifted children within the bachelor's level of education and qualification. It contains two major modules: I. Theoretical orientation module. Here the strategy for the development of gifted children on the basis of the humanistic approach through a subject – subjective position towards the others and oneself is of major importance. I suggest it should comprise several interrelated stages. (for more details cf. D. Todorina – source 4, 5, 6, 7, 8): [2] Determining the features of giftedness, abilities and talent characterizing gifted children. [3] Using relevant systems of methods for work with gifted children. [4] Applying efficient techniques and technologies for preparation and development of gifted children. The order of these stages is logically coherent. Before we start to work with gifted children we should naturally diagnose their abilities, interests, and capacities. To this end we should have a prior knowledge of their giftedness, abilities and talents. In accordance with the stages outlined so far, I suggest that the following organization be employed in the theoretical survey of the problem: 1. Characterization of gifted children: • System of concepts; • Distinctive features; • Myths and reality concerning gifted students; • Problems of gifted students 2. Identification of gifted children: • Diagnosing the interests of the children; • Methods of diagnosing; • Systems of methods for the exploration of common intellectual capacities;


Systems of methods for the exploration of special capacities; • Determining the personal profile of gifted children. 3. Strategies and technologies for efficient work with gifted children: • Historical sources of the idea for the development of inborn talents; • Conditions, prerequisites, and laws of the development of gifted children; • Positive and negative qualities of parents and teachers in their work with gifted children. The theoretical problems discussed so far have already bee explored in “A Strategy for Work with Gifted Children” (D. Todorina, source 2). II. Practical preparation module. In this module the establishment of students’ competence is accomplished for identification and development of children and adolescents with outstanding gifts. It is carried out in the form of a training (group and individual) which provides conditions for the self-perfection and development of future teachers. Three cycles are envisaged, with 5 stages each, which correspond in terms of their goals, content and objectives with the theoretical survey of the problem. Diverse interactive methods of study are used, as well as combinations of frontal, group, and individual forms of education. Different solutions to problems are offered and a number of guided games, case studies, and tests are advanced. Varied inventories are created to be employed in the practice of education – questionnaires, adjustable individual programs, strategies and technologies, projects. The training are diversified, with varying complexity, they are also adjustable and give an opportunity for the inclusion of students in both imaginary and real situations from the practice of education. They allow for activities with partially or wholly exploration character. The training program generally includes the following: Cycle 1. Characterization of gifted children. First meeting: Introduction to the program for the seminars (the training) – goals, objectives, methods, forms and means of teaching. Second meeting: Distinctive features and problems of gifted students (group training)- problems, objectives, test, etc. Third meeting: Myths and reality concerning the gifted children (group training) – problems and objectives, case study, test, etc. Fourth meeting: How to recognize gifted children? (individual training) – problems and objectives, case studies, a test for self-control and self-esteem. Cycle 2. Identification of gifted children First meeting: Diagnosing the interests of the children (group training) – problems and objectives, versions of a questionnaire. Second meeting: A survey of the common intellectual capacities (group training) – problems, objectives, versions of a questionnaire. Third meeting: Survey of the special capacities (group training) – problems, objectives, versions of a questionnaire. Fourth meeting: Determining the personal profile of the gifted student (individual training) – problems, objectives, inventory for determining the personal profile.


Fifth meeting: Self-control and self-evaluation of the competence for using the systems of methods for the identification of gifted students – a test for self-control and selfevaluation. Cycle 3. Strategies and technologies for work with gifted children (in class and in extra curricular activities) First meeting: Conditions, prerequisites and laws for the development of gifted students (group training) – problems, objectives, case study, test, etc. Second meeting: Bearings, techniques and procedures for efficient creative activities (group training) – problems, objectives, guided games, versions of individual programs for gifted students. Third meeting: Technologies for the development of gifted students in class and during extra curricular activities (group training) – problems, objectives, case study, projects for term and diploma papers. Fourth meeting: How should I behave while working with gifted students and what are the mistakes I should not make? (individual training) - problems, objectives, case study, projects for term and diploma papers. Fifth meeting: Self-control and self-evaluation of the competence for the use of strategies and technologies for the development of gifted students – a test for selfcontrol and self-evaluation. (for more details concerning module II see D. Todorina – source 9 ). The system of methods presented here has been tested with the students in a number of education departments in South-West University “Neofit Rilski” - in the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Arts. The results are encouraging, which shows its efficiency and expedience. Elements fro this system of methods are being used in the student problem team for the identification and development of children's talents (team leader – D. Todorina). The team already enjoy their first success in the carrying out of their own surveys and the creation of inventory for work with gifted students as well as their participation in a TV program, a scientific forum in the Department of Pedagogy at the Faculty of Pedagogy. They have also contributed to a students collection of scientific articles, etc. The tendency is that the students' projects should enhance into diploma projects so that they can be realistically tested in the practice of education. The system of methods for the preparation of future teachers to work with gifted students presented here is an attempt to achieve a higher level of teacher preparation who will be able to appreciate and develop “the golden children of society”. They should be worthy of the opportunity for the implementation of the idea for the awarding of an international higher education diploma of Pedagogy of gifted students. I have developed a Master's degree program for diagnosing and development of children and adolescents with outstanding talents. This contribute to the quality of teachers' preparation as regards this important problem and it also guarantee a high quality research and rational practical solutions in the search for optimum strategies and technologies for the development of the creative potential of the nation. The students who graduate the MA programme, have acquired competence to create and apply methods and techniques/technologies for diagnostics and education of students and gifted students to be used in and out of the classroom, in curriculum and extra curriculum activities in the fields of science, arts, sports, technology, etc. Those can also be used in developing individual educational curricula and space for gifted students in order to enhance their skills and in the psychological-and-pedagogical 158

consulting of gifted children and their parents about diagnostics, enhancement of skills and choice of career. The programme allows the development of a number of socially sufficient personal characteristics in MA students, based on of the changed function of the teacher - from an information source to a facilitator and mediator, which are essential for their future work with students. The creation of a Center for the diagnosing and development of children and adolescents with outstanding talents in the higher schools would complement the idea of the preparation and development of gifted children and would also be of help to their parents and teachers. Hopefully the collaboration of all institutions and educators of all levels will promote the development and self assertion of the individuals gifted by nature, giving them a chance to be useful both to themselves and to society as a whole. The impending establishment of a National strategy for the Development of Children and Adolescents with Outstanding Talents within the Department of Education and Culture will be a guarantee of the successful accomplishment of this task. References
[1] Тодорина, Д. Проблемът за развитието на надарените ученици в европейското педагогическо пространство. В. сб. “Културните права в европейска перспектива”, Благоевград, 2005. [2] Тодорина, Д. Стратегия за развитие на надарените ученици. Благоевград, 2001. [3] Тодорина, Д. Улогата и квалитетите на наставниците и родителите во процесот на работа со надарените ученици. В “Педагошка практика”, година 1, бр.1.,Скопjе, 2002. [4] Тодорина, Д. Подготовка на студентите педагози за идентификация и развитие на надарените ученици в условията на новите реалности. В “Педагогическата наука и новите реалности”, Благоевград, 2002. [5] Тодорина, Д. Организация на учебната среда за деца със специални образователни потребности (със задръжки и надарени) .В Мениджмънт на класа от Д. Тодорина, София, 2004. [6] Todorina, D. Strategies for development of the “Golden children of the society” in the European Pedagogical space, In “The Educational Heritage and Dialogue in the European Pedagogical space”, Blagoevgrad, 2004. [7] Gramatikov, P., Todorina, D., Gramatikova, M. Bulgarian Education’s Reform and Strategy for Diagnostics of Gifted Children, In “Science Education: Models and Networking of Students Research Training under 21”, IOS Press-Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2007. [8] Тодорина, Д. Съвременни измерения на проблема за работа с децата и подрастващите с изявени дарби. – “Педагогика”, 2006, бр.12. [9] Тодорина, Д. Програма за тренинг на бъдещите учители за работа с надарените ученици. В “Общество на знанието и образование за всички”, София, 2003.


Developing students’ creative processes in extracurricular activities by the means of Internet
Lilyana TODOROVA, Boryana IVANOVA Southwest University “N.Rilski”, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria Introduction Better quality of education can be provided not only by school education and learning, but also by other activities involving the students, at any time of their daily life – both at school and away from it. The main emphasis of today’s school daily life falls primarily on learning, while the educative activities tend to enjoy much less attention. This tendency is often justified by the opinion that learning activities are naturally charged by an inherent educative potential. For the past decade, no major progress has been made in Bulgaria in studying issues related to extramural and extracurricular activities in the context of their potential educational effects and opportunities for development. Even less attention has been paid to the psychological aspect of children’s involvement in such activities, their effect towards facilitating development of the basic mental processes, qualities and characteristics of the personality. Furthermore, this issue has been beyond the vision of was not within the scope of administrators in the educational system. In fact, the students’ entertainment and leisure time is rationalized by the broad diversity of activities, which ensure meeting children’s needs of relaxation, of positive and memorable emotional experiences. Such activities release children’s sense of beauty towards nature and social environment, children are able to grasp the daily routine rhythm and gain insight of not only the associated duties and responsibilities, but also of the taste for relax, pleasure, pleasant excitement. The daily routine of children is infested by romance, adventures, delight, positive perspective, where this positive perspective may later on be transformed into a main goal, motivation, ideal. This gives a unique opportunity for rationalizing the students’ entertainment occupations in line with certain pedagogical objectives, filling these occupations with rich content in a direction of introducing the children to the wealth, cultural traditions and accomplishments of the nation and of the mankind. One may reasonably conclude that adequately organized extracurricular and extramural activity play an important role in the system of activities which influence the development and education of the human personality. Deliberate neglect of this activity divests and deprives the children of the entire wealth of positive emotional experiences and diverse opportunities for enriching their interests, for productive and pedagogically effective education and development during children’s free time. We must emphasize that the way children spend their free time is to great extent a determinant of both the level of their culture and their aspirations to meet their own needs. It is perfectly possible for the pedagogues to satiate their students’ free 161

time with activities which are chosen by the children on voluntarily basis and spontaneously, in line with their personal interests under the educator’s guidance. Children need to take part in various activities that are both relaxing and enthral to the children, activities that engage them in exciting experiences and develop the features of their characters. Extracurricular activity increasingly tends to gain more significance in mental development. Usually, this activity comprises a definite intellectual guidance which is close to the children’s interest and is charged with positive emotions, at that requiring the strength of will. It is preferred by those students who are gladly taking part in various study circles, courses, studios, competitions, olympiads, tournaments, etc. The share of computer and electronic games tends to grow among the occupations in which the students are involved nowadays, along with their learning activities. Games contribute to the development of children’s mental qualities, provoke their alertness, dexterity and resourcefulness, their strive for victory, but also stimulate the sharpness of their minds, concentration of attention. The games enable children to build skills which are often required in numerous life situations other than school learning and playing games. Our survey was committed to identify, within the enormous gaming diversity available on the Internet, games which on one hand are in line with the need for interesting experiences and at the same time contribute to development of the cognitive processes. Also, the study was aimed at surveying students’ own opinion about their gaming activities. We have interviewed a total of 114 students within the age group limits between grade V to grade IX from the towns of Sofia and Blagoevgrad. Almost all respondents (97.5%) claim that they have unrestricted access to computer games and that they play such games primarily at home (51.33%) or in computer clubs (62.83%). Nearly half of the respondents (40.71%) emphasize that they can play whenever they wish, no matter the time, on a daily basis. The most preferable electronic games are mainly action games (69.03%) and adventure games (38.94%). Respectively, these kinds of games comprise the major part of available choices – both on the market and in the computer clubs. Only 8.85% of the respondents have stated that they play also educational games. Significant portion of the boys (54.87%) prefers to play sports games. The main sources of information on how to get and exchange new games appear to be the classmates and friends. Respondents rank parents and teachers at the bottom of the list of methods/persons quoted as information sources. One fifth of the respondents state that they find the desired Internet games themselves on the web. This comes as a proof to both a higher level of information culture, when browsing through the global net and also to the students’ grown self-esteem in terms of ability to handle the information flows. In responding to the question “How do your parents see your preoccupation with computer games?” 40.71% of the interviewees claim that their parents approve (mainly the female respondents from the lower school grades). 34.51% of the respondents state that their families worry “because this may disturb the quality of my preparation for school”. The attitude of some parents is also well grounded, where 16.81% of them state that they “have no interest or knowledge of the kind of games played by their children in their free time”. Particularly worrying is the finding that the teachers – no matter whether class teachers or subject teachers, do not play any role in students’ activities of the kind. The question: “Are there any teachers who advise you on which games it is preferable to 162

play” is negatively answered by 87.61% of the students. Just 12.39% of the interviewees have stated that they are supported and advised by some of their teachers. Even the most generalized overview of the collected data confirms our thesis that, regardless of the indisputable educative and creative nature of young people’s extracurricular activities, they remain beyond the pedagogues’ attention. In answering the question “What to do” we would like to propose to the school authorities to work towards establishing and operating a Computer club. Such a Club can be set up either on school premises, at the Centre for work with children, or in any other educative establishment of similar nature. The Club is a modern form of extracurricular activity with considerable educative potential. Broader use and further strengthening of this extracurricular form, however, depends to a great extent on the pedagogues and adults assisting the children in their choice of preferred free-time occupations. The proposed Computer Club may turn into a focal point of satisfying young people’s needs of amusements, attractive activities and up-to-date computer applications as means of communication. The Club form, as a variation of leisure time activity, has certain specific features – regularity of visits, relatively permanent membership of individuals with common interests, topic related initiatives, participation into entertaining, competitive and educative events. In addition to that, all clubbing activities are voluntary choice of the participants and are coordinated among them on the basis of mutual understanding. Clubbing could be implemented on a temporary basis, either during the school year or on permanent basis, with greater intensity during the school holidays. These conditions for clubbing are a good prerequisite for developing a number of personal qualities and gaining valuable practice-related skills. In the spontaneous playing environment, children improve their concentration, develop the performance of memory, thinking processes and imagination, they show creativity. It is advisable, both from pedagogical and psychological perspective, to take advantage of children’s inherent interest and zeal in such computer games with the aim of developing mental and moral qualities of the child’s personality, strengthening the mental processes and features of the individual. In our opining, there are two possible ways – either to develop projects (scenarios) for new games design adapted to specific educative and psychological requirements, or to try and identify, among the existing games, the ones that correspond to our educative objectives and make sure the children increasingly play those games. In this particular study we chose the second option. Internet resources are extensive in terms of gaming varieties among which there are games with specific educational focuses. However, it is important to make careful selection of the plots and provide appropriate advice and guidelines to the gamers’ choice while making the selection and finding their way through this enormous diversity. We have selected a set of gaming activities that meet the requirements mentioned above. The compact disk with such game selection is available to the audience as an attachment hereto. So far a lot of teachers, headmasters and even parents have already shown interest and have made their own copies of the CD. Yet, this is far behind the idea of exhausting the wealth of the Internet-based resources but in any case, it could be used as a starting point for the school staff and public authorities for possible follow-up actions. Of major importance in securing effectiveness of the Computer Club activities is the role of the pedagogue-organizer at the Club. If this person has to fulfil effectively his/her educative functions as children’s partner in their gaming 163

occupations, at the same time being their advisor and assistant, this individual has to be equipped with appropriate attitude and suitable professional competence. Therefore, the most important aspects of this role shall be to make sure that: • thematically, the clubbing activities are adequate to the new realities in education and to the potential of the modern educational and information-based environment, where the main aim is to improve the skills of the pedagoguesorganizers to the further development of children’s talents, gifts, interests, inquisitiveness and expansion of their creative abilities; • the choice of gaming entertainments is made with the children’s active involvement, whereas the pedagogue-organizer’s role will be to proficiently advise them on the forms and initiatives that develop their mental processes, individual abilities and are in line with the basic educational objectives; • the pedagogue should never try to press directly his/her views. This person should take into account the conditions predetermining the participants’ activities in their free time, make sure that these activities are implemented in an atmosphere in emotionally positive environment, and strive to nurture the students’ need of exciting and intense experiences. • enrich and expand students’ intense interests in games by telling them interesting stories related to the game’s plot, achievements of game’s designers; encourage the club members to develop their own game scenarios, improve their abilities associated with computer skills, guide them towards the wealth of information resources available on the Internet, facilitate their abilities to surf and find their own way within the information they need for entertainment purposes, but also strengthen their personal qualities; help children in getting the right vocational guidance in a particular area according to the child’s individual talents and skills already demonstrated or to be developed in the future. In order for our children to be able to learn and develop while playing, it is necessary that the school finds forms to attract their parents as well in attaining this goal. One of the possible means is to publish Reference books or Guide Books for children or parents in the area of electronics and computer games; to issue, either at school or at the respective extracurricular educative establishment/centre, bulletin boards or other suitable dissemination media with recent news from the IT world, make presentations of appropriate games, inform about future competitions and other initiatives at different levels: district, regional, national, international. Considering the vast Internet potential, it is advisable to establish a Discussion forum or any other clubbing form of entertainment, where students, teachers and other interested parties can exchange information through the global network with representatives of other countries, take advantage of best practices and achievements of training and educational establishments located in different parts of the world. This could become a wonderful opportunity for our students to get involved in international competitions on the World wide web, virtual travel adventures, project design or studies on specific topics, participate in global initiatives for environment conservation, struggle against violence and cruelty, integration of cultures and people with problems, etc. Implementing various initiatives within the virtual Internet environment, getting familiar with new kinds of games and other entertainment forms applied by the students in their free time, using multimedia means provided by the sophisticated modern IT services, have proved to be unique tools with large potential applications in the process of student’s learning and self-preparation. Another benefit is that they tend 164

to be a prerequisite for improving the effectiveness of training and education as an ongoing and continuously refreshing process. References
[1] Тодорова, Л. Теория и методика на извънкласната и извънучилищна възпитателна работа. Бл-град, 1993 [2] Тодорова, Л. и кол. Накъде след уроците. Технология и методически решения за осъществяване на извънкласната извънучилищната дейност с учениците. Пловдив, 1995 [3] Тодорова, Л. Педагогически ситуации, казуси, делови игри. (Групови проблемнопознавателни учебни задачи). Бл-град, 1995 [4] Тодорова, Л. Насоки за съдържанието и организацията на извънучебната дейност на учениците в съвременните условия. В: “Личностно развитие на учениците в съвременното образование и общество. Благоевград, Санкт-Петербург, Елецк, 2005 [5] Тодорова, Л. Проблеми и перспективи пред извънкласната и извънучилищната дейност на учениците. В: Современные подходы к подготовке учителя в высшей школе” Беларусь, Мозырь, 2006 [6] Добсън, Дж. Смелостта да възпитаваш. С., 1994 [7] Ганчев, И. и др. Математически фолклор. С., 1983 [8] Вертгеймер, М. Продуктивное мышление. М., 1987 [9] Zuckerman, M. Sensation Seeking: Beyond the Optimal Level of Arousal. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 1979


Author index
Michael S. ARVANITIS Sokol AXHEMI Ravinder BHATIA Csaba BÖDE Volker BRANDT Florian COLCEAG Peggy CONNOLLY Edward W. CROWE Muli DOTAN Darja DUBRAVČIĆ Doron EDELDING Josep M. FERNÁNDEZ-NOVELL Shimon GEPSTEIN Peter GILBERT Daiva GRAKAUSKAITĖ KARKOCKIENĖ Cinzia GRAZIOLI Joan J. GUINOVART Jens HEMMELSKAMP Boryana IVANOVA Revital JALLIF Rehana JAUHANGEER Ayelet KOPER Zora KRNJAIĆ Martin KUBALA 117 121 87 105 45 129 133 9 25 57 25 67 25 19 145 73 67 19 161 25 87 25 35 79 Joanna LILPOP Gaëll MAINGUY Vigor MAJIĆ Steven MANSOUR Daniel MIETCHEN Tamara MILOŠEVIĆ Eva-Maria NEHER Martina PALKOVÁ Zvi PALTIEL Dragica PAVLOVIĆ BABIĆ Paolo PLEVANI Tamás RÉVÉSZ Henry ROMAN Charlotte SCHULZE Rena F. SUBOTNIK Maria Luisa TENCHINI Dobrinka TODORINA Lilyana TODOROVA Srdjan VERBIĆ Giovanna VIALE Eva VONDRÁKOVÁ Harald WAGNER Manuela WELZEL Thomas WENDT 83 87 3 87 87 57 93 109 99 151 73 105 87 19 9 73 155 161 39 73 109 45 19 19


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