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Porto Planetarium – Ciência Viva Center: From a Dissemination Program to an Educational Program

I. A. Costa, M. J. P. F. G. Monteiro, D. F. M. Folha, F. A. L. Pires, E. M. P. S. Moreira, R. S. S. C. Reis

The Porto Planetarium - Ciência Viva Center (PP-CCV) is owned by the University of Porto, but is under the scientific and operational management of the Center for Astronomy / Astrophysics Research of the University of Porto (CIAAUP), which fosters the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA), the largest astronomy research unit in Portugal. Given the mission enshrined in its bylaws CIAAUP, and therefore PP-CCV, promotes science dissemination, science communication and astronomy teaching. As such, since its creation the PP-CCV has promoted astronomy and science outreach, through a diverse program that has evolved significantly over the years. Dissemination has been a common practice in the form of specific activities for children in school ages, and with distinct activities for non-specialized public. However, in 2016, an analysis revealed that, even though the science dissemination component was well developed, the educational one, even from a non-formal point of view, was lacking. The main goal of this contribution is to present the undergoing research which conceived, developed, implemented and evaluated an educational program for the PP-CCV between 2016 and 2018, and continues as an educational program, available in the current school year. The educational program was conceived based on problem solving through interdisciplinarity, involving the curriculum from Earth and Life Sciences, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. It was created to fit the essential learnings, goals / programmatic / curricular guidelines of the subjects in the Portuguese mandatory schooling. At the same time, a new process of direct and continuous interaction with the visitors was added, since the moment they choose a didactic sequence, until it is implemented in their formal education contexts. From start to finish, the whole process is subject of evaluation by the teacher(s) which accompany the school group. Preliminary research data shows that this strategy, of creating and implementing a dedicated educational program, has prompted the PP-CCV as a mean of formal education. The first year of implementation of this new educational strategy saw an increase of over 3000 visitors from the previous year. After the evaluation of the visit, the results show that 98.57% consider that it was useful for their students and 98.59% that it was pedagogically relevant. This first data analysis already seems to indicate that non-formal interdisciplinary learning strategies are not only feasible, but also facilitate the processes of formal education in "real schools" with "real actors".

ISBN: 978-989-54312-6-7

Education and New Developments 2019 – Volume II; World Institute for Advanced Research and Science

InScience Press
Volume II
2019 June

Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia