Twist - Towards Women In Science & Technology

  • Experimentarium, Denmark
  • Science Center NEMO, Netherlands
  • Fondazione IDIS-Città della Scienza, Italy
  • Teknikens Hus, Sweden
  • House of Experiments, Slovenia
  • Bloomfield Science Museum, Israel
  • King's College London, United Kingdom
  • Trinity College, Ireland
  • ASDO, Italy
  • Ecsite, Belgium
  • E-tica, Italy

Women hold only 12% of top science positions in Europe. At the same time we know that gender diversity is essential for creativity and innovation. TWIST is raising awareness about the role and representation of women in science through ambitious programmes and activities in science centres and museums.

The project targets young people, their teachers and parents as well as the general public. Throughout Europe there is a fear that interest in science and technology is declining, at the same time as demands for science and technology graduates grows.

TWIST targets young people and their teachers and parents as well as the general public. It will focus on the outdated stereotypes and prejudices on societal roles for men and women and career paths.

Activities organized will involve the creation of an exhibition in several European science centres, ignite on-going discussions among citizens, interactive drama, teacher trainings, scientist speed-dating and much more. Notably a new national way of focusing on the gender theme in each country will be established via “Gender day”.

Experimentarium, Denmark

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Role in the TWIST project: Coordinator and lead of the Gender Day.

Experimentarium is a science communication center with the main objective to promote the interest of natural science and technology to the general public. Our trademark is to create involving experiences for people of all ages. The direct impact on senses and body is a central issue in the way we work.

Since 1986 Experimentarium has pushed the boundries of science communication. We have done this through creating entertaining and surprising experiences for more than 6.7 million visitors - and reaching an equal number throughout nationwide outreach projects.

 

Experimentarium reaches out to and works in close collaboration with schools, universities, teaching institutions, companies and the general public through exhibitions and a variety of activities, courses, conferences, science shows and demonstrations communicating and teaching science.

Experimentarium has previously participated in a number of European projects – all focusing on promoting science knowledge and interest to the public and/or educational institutions. TWIST offers Experimentarium a unique opportunity to make a difference on matters of gender and recruitment of more women in science and at the same time promoting science learning and creating a network between similar institutions on this topic.

Science Center NEMO, Netherlands

Visit the homepage of the institution Science Center NEMO, Netherlands

Role in the TWIST project: partner and leader of work package ‘teacher training’.

NEMO is the largest science center in the Netherlands; an educational attraction where visitors can discover the world of science and technology in an entertaining way. Even though the term ‘science center’ is not yet very established in the Netherlands, around 400,000 people visit the green building above the IJ Tunnel in Amsterdam every year. With five floors full of exciting things to do and discover, it is the perfect place for anyone with an inquiring mind. Everything in NEMO is connected to science and technology. Exhibitions, theatre performances, films, workshops and demonstrations. For school children, NEMO is the largest interactive non-classroom-based learning environment and an essential part of any course about science and technology.

The education department of NEMO has participated in a lot of projects on a national level and international (EU) projects, like PENCIL, Hands-on / Brains-on and GAPP (Gender Awareness Participation Process). In January 2007 we were awarded with the NOT Innovation Prize 2007 by the Minister of Education, because of the PENCIL project ‘Science Center at School’.

NEMO is also the research location of the Department of Psychology of the University of Amsterdam. They study the exploratory play and intuitive ideas on specific science subjects of 4 to 6 year old children in the science center. Also they study how these talents can be enhanced by parent/child interaction. Furthermore we host the Delta project from NASA, ESA en the Ministry of Education, and in April 2006 we opened the first ESERO office from ESA.

The Science Learning Center is a center of expertise with regard to science and technology education. The emphasis is on informal (out-of-school) learning and how this can be integrated in the formal (in-school) learning. Also expertise is being developed on how children learn. One of the spearheads of the center of expertise is knowledge development in cooperation with universities and by continually innovating ourselves. The developed knowledge is to be shared actively, internally as well as externally.

Core activities of NEMO’s Science Learning Center

The core activities of NEMO’s Science Learning Center are:

  • Development of lesson materials and educational events
  • Working on an educational trajectory that stretches from the youngest pupils from primary education to universities
  • Training teachers and teacher students (‘Train the trainer’)
  • Enhancing the quality and quantity of the educational visits to the science center (i.e. school groups that come to NEMO)
  • Knowledge development in the field of science and technology education and the way children learn (in cooperation with knowledge institutes such as universities)
  • Sharing of knowledge, internally as well as externally

See: www.e-NEMO.nl

Fondazione IDIS-Città della Scienza, Italy

Visit the homepage of the institution Fondazione IDIS-Città della Scienza, Italy

Fondazione IDIS - Città della Scienza is a non-profit organisation which has operated in Naples since 1989. The objective of the organisation is to set up initiatives of social interest in the field of the promotion of science and technological innovation as a contribution to the sustainable, environmentally compatible development of Regione Campania. This aim is now reality within “Città della Scienza”, a structure which offers a wide range of functions and services aimed at supporting the processes of economic, social and productive development in the city of Naples and southern Italy in relation to Europe and the Mediterranean basin.

Città della Scienza supports its stakeholders: a big network of schools, agencies, companies, local authorities and associations, which become its co-operating arms and contribute to create and test new cultural products and to multiply the effects with actions carried out throughout the territory. The mission is to generate a virtuous process of scientific education, a continuous training and a state of creation/stimulation of new job opportunities as well as a social and economic growth of population, both with direct action and in partnership with other actors. It supports the school system in its difficult work as spreader of scientific didactics and education, that today is more complex for the extraordinary acceleration arising from new techno sciences. It is an original cultural and touristic attractor, a "city within the city" where it is possible to breathe knowledge and to spread culture in every square meter, where everybody can learn science and deal with the great issues of our time, a place that stimulates the creativity and interest of its visitors through a playful and clever entertainment.

Teknikens Hus, Sweden

Visit the homepage of the institution Teknikens Hus, Sweden

Science and technology in real world applications is a cornerstone in the approach of Teknikens Hus. Opened in 1988 as one of the first in Sweden our science centre now has welcomed over 3 million visitors, an average of more than 100 000 every year. Teknikens Hus is a renowned regional resource for inspiring and learning in science and technology, and we have received many national and international acknowledgments for our work. Students from the whole region visit Teknikens Hus regularly and by technology teachers’ networks we support education and provide in-service training on home ground in the local communities. Located on campus and in close cooperation with the Luleå University of Technology and the regional industry, both teacher training and entrepreneurship are important ingredients in the daily work of the centre.

Already from the start 22 years ago, the gender perspective was an important part of the overall mission for Teknikens Hus. “We should especially raise girls interest in technology” are still one of the goals and that is why most of the science Educators still are female. We believe in using role models and have during the years refined and developed the way we integrate gender issues into the daily work of the centre.

House of Experiments, Slovenia

Visit the homepage of the institution House of Experiments, Slovenia

Role in the TWIST project: partners

Ustanova Hiša eksperimentov is a non-profit NGO institution, which began its work in July 1996. It has opened its present doors in May 2000, since then some 250.000 visitors have visited. It is a science centre with experiments of science, technology an ecology that can be performed by the visitors themselves. It is a pure »hand on« workplace. By researching and performing the experiment each visitor obtain first hand knowledge.

One of the goals of Ustanova Hiša eksperimentov is to help to build more a more contemporary and richer society, open to exchange ideas whether they be a scientific discoveries, innovation in industry or personal insight. Ustanova Hiša eksperimentov represents a parallel informal approach in the process of learning to the formal teaching process that runs in primary and second schools as well as in the facultative.

Mission:

  • To promote science and sustainable learning
  • To encourage a positive way of thinking
  • To link formal, nonformal and informal education
  • To offer individuals, families and other groups a quality alternative for spending their spare time.

Vision:

  • To become a key factor in the process of building the knowledge based society
  • To become a linking place of knowledge, education, economy and media
  • Always to have a vision

Hiša eksperimentov is a »hands-on« science centre. At Hiša eksperimentov, however, we are not just carrying out experiments. It is our activities that will tell you most about our work and what we do.

Learn more about us at www.h-e.si

Bloomfield Science Museum, Israel

Visit the homepage of the institution Bloomfield Science Museum, Israel

Role in TWIST project: partner

The Bernard M. Bloomfield Science Museum is an informal cultural and educational institution that presents exhibitions consisting of active exhibits on subjects in the fields of science and technology and which integrates these exhibits into a context including a wide range of educational activities.

The goals of the museum are to increase interest among members of the general public in science and technology, in the world around us, and to present science and technology as an integral part of human culture.

The museum was first opened to the public in its present location in the summer of 1992. The creation of the museum is the result of an initiative taken by Professor Peter Hillman, the institution's founding director. The establishment of the museum was made possible through close collaboration between the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Foundation and through a generous donation from the Bloomfield family in Canada.

The museum's overall plan includes several wings, the Imax Theater and a science garden.

The museum attracts over 200,000 visitors each year from all parts of Israel. A third of these visitors have been students and teachers.

The Bloomfield Science Museum is an independent organization, which operates under the joint auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Foundation. Its operation is funded through various projects of The Jerusalem Foundation and by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Science, and the Jerusalem Municipality.

King's College London, United Kingdom

Visit the homepage of the institution King's College London, United Kingdom

King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher Education 2009) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has nearly 23,000 students (of whom more than 8,600 are graduate students) from nearly 140 countries, and some 5,500 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.

King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.

King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.

Trinity College, Ireland

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Trinity College Dublin is Ireland's leading research university based in the heart of Dublin city, Ireland. Trinity College builds on its four-hundred-year-old tradition of scholarship to confirm its position as one of the great universities of the world, providing a liberal environment where independence of thought is highly valued and where staff and students are nurtured as individuals and are encouraged to achieve their full potential.

The College is committed to excellence in both research and teaching, to the enhancement of the learning experience of each of its students and to an inclusive College community with equality of access for all. The College will continue to disseminate its knowledge and expertise to the benefit of the City of Dublin, the country and the international community.

The TWIST project brings together two key agents in Trinity College's commitment to community engagement; Women in Science, Engineering and Research (WiSER) and Science Gallery.

WiSER mission is to develop sustainable practices to ensure that women's scientific expertise, knowledge and potential are recognised and harnessed to fully contribute to a diverse, innovative and productive scientific community of global consequence (www.tcd.ie/wiser/). Science Gallery is a cultural centre dedicated to the mission of igniting creativity and discovery where science and art collide.

ASDO, Italy

Visit the homepage of the institution ASDO, Italy

Role in Twist project:

  • partner in WP2 and WP3 (Leader: Fondazione Idis-Città della scienza), to provide advice on the contents of an exhibition on women and science.
  • partner in WP7 (Leader: Ecsite), to implement a survey on gender, science and society and to draft appropriate guidelines for science centres and museum.

ASDO is a non-profit research organisation specialised in the study of contemporary knowledge-based societies from a gender perspective.

Adopting gender as the lens through which to analyse the dynamics characterising economic, political and social life, as well as scientific research and technological innovation, ASDO tries to bridge a gap in our understanding of human societies and the deep changes affecting them. In the same perspective ASDO aims at strengthening the awareness of women’s potential, while identifying the obstacles to its full realisation, representing a huge waste of human resources.

Besides working on women in scientific and technological research, ASDO pursued the following research and training lines: women in political decision-making; occupational segregation and the “glass ceiling”; work-life balance measures; the impact of welfare policies on women’s lives and careers; women’s entrepreneurship; women migrants; women’s role in peace-building and conflict resolution; poverty and social exclusion measurement from a gender perspective.

ASDO implemented the project PRA.G.E.S. (EU-7FP) "PRActising Gender Equality in Science" and is currently involved in the project WHIST “Women's careers hitting the target: gender management in scientific and technological research” (EU-7FP).

ASDO is in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Ecsite, Belgium

Visit the homepage of the institution Ecsite, Belgium

Ecsite is the European network for science centres and museums, linking science communication professionals in more than 400 institutions in 50 countries.
Founded 20 years ago, Ecsite connects member institutions through projects and activities and facilitates the exchange of ideas and best practice on current issues.
Members include science centres and museums, science festivals, natural history museums, zoos, aquariums, universities, research organisations and companies communicating and engaging the public in science through accessible, interactive exhibits and programmes.

Key activities

  • The Ecsite Annual Conference is the main science communication event in Europe, welcoming 1000 professionals from Europe and the world.
  • Ecsite participates with members in collaborative projects and facilitates relations between members and EU institutions.
  • Thematic groups bring together professionals to exchange ideas and best practices on specific topics.
  • THE Group (Thematic Human interface and Explainers): explores and enhances the professional role of explainers.
  • T- Nature: The thematic group for citizens’ engagement on contemporary issues about the natural world.
  • Ecsite provides professional development and training opportunities on science communication, EU funded programmes and public engagement.
  • Ecsite represents European science centres and museums and raises awareness on relevant issues with EU institutions and international associations.
  • Extra is the European online database for scientific travelling exhibitions.

E-tica, Italy

Visit the homepage of the institution E-tica, Italy

E-tica srl is a creative company devoted to the research and development, production and distribution of products and services for interactive multimedia, events and broadcasting. It is located in Milan, Italy.

E- tica research the poetic and expressive potential the languages afforded by recent technology, which have great impact on contemporary social relations.

Through dynamic and partecipative databases, sensitive and interactive environments, theatrical performances, video and films, E-tica has worked for many important clients like publishing and broadcasting company, museums and exhibit centers, cultural and scientific institutions, fashion, arts and design companies, marketing and advertising companies.

E-tica has taken care to create communicative environments that require an active and significant participation on behalf of the spectator who is part of the narrative structure, inspired by a use of multimedial and experiential approach and a continous shift between virtual and real elements. E-tica srl is partner of Studio Azzurro, acknowledged worldwide for its major artistic interactive and artistic environment.

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The TWIST project is co-financed by the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission within Science in Society under the Gender Dimension of Research. The TWIST project number is 244584