The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

The European Science Slam Education Framework

Friedemann Call, German Aerospace Centre (DLR) (Germany)

Jan Felinks, German Aerospace Centre (DLR) (Germany)

Matthias Lange, German Aerospace Centre (DLR) (Germany)

Abstract

The global transition to a sustainable energy supply based on renewable energies is one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Besides economic barriers, the lack of technical and scientific knowledge slows down this necessary development. Acceleration of this transition, however, requires the intellectual capacity not only of our generation but also of upcoming generations. In this regard, nowadays, the major challenges concern the attraction of university students’ attention to renewable energy technologies and the stimulation of secondary-school students’ interest in technical and scientific fields. To tackle these challenges, the presented work introduces a novel concept based on a modern form of a scientific presentation referred to as ‘science slam’. In a science slam event, university students either as individuals or as teams compete by presenting a scientific topic in a given time frame of usually ten minutes in front of a non-expert audience. The focus hereby lies on teaching current science in a catchy and entertaining way.

Our vision is to establish a European Science Slam Education Framework (ESSEF) consisting of science slam events taking place in several universities all over Europe. In the first phase, at least six slams will be performed in every event covering the fundamentals of the six major renewable energy technologies: biomass, geothermal, hydropower, photovoltaics, solarthermal and wind. Students from all fields are asked to participate, which will increase the awareness and knowledge of renewable energies within the entire university. The events are held in the national language and also filmed. In the second phase, these films will be used in secondary schools all over each country introducing renewable energy technologies to secondary-school students in less than two hours and in a very entertaining and contemporary way. We believe that the concept of science slams is a very elegant and promising way to teach secondary-school students the basics of renewable energy technologies and at the same time stimulating their interest in technics and nature science. Moreover, the participation of university students will not only increase their awareness of renewable energies but also provides a very unique and interesting approach to connect university and secondary-school education.

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