Ellinogermaniki Agogi, Research and Development Department , Greece (EA)
Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) is an educational organization of private law, officially recognized by the state. Established in 1995, the Research and Development Department of EA provides the test bed for research applications for the design, development and implementation of the research activities in education. The R&D Department acts therefore as an interface between the pedagogical research, the technological innovation and the school community. It focuses on the design, implementation and support of pedagogical and technological innovation in educational practice, both through internal research as well as through collaborations with numerous educational, research and commercial institutions in Europe and the world. EA is an institutional member of EDEN (European Distance Education Network), of STEDE (Science Teacher Education Development in Europe), of ECSITE (European Network of Science Centres and Museums) network and a partner school of the German Excellence Network of STEM Schools “MINT-EC” (https://www.mint-ec.de/).
The work of the R&D Department which currently employs 15 full time researchers (7 PhD level, 8 MSc) focuses also on the following areas:
Development of methodologies and empirical research to investigate processes of learning and knowledge acquisition in various subject matter areas (physics, mathematics, biology, history, etc.);
Design and development of educational learning scenarios based on the concept of storytelling, which has been developed and tested in various EU projects and applied within European educational communities;
Cooperation and collaboration with Universities, research centers, museums and private companies for the development and testing of educational material and software, using virtual and augmented reality;
Collaboration with computer science departments and artificial intelligence labs for the development of computational models and AI learning systems;
Design of technology-supported learning environments.
EA has a very strong vision-generated interest and rich research and development activity in the fields of Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE), Project Based Learning (PBL), and STEM education in combination with digital, online based learning environments and tools that use virtual reality, augmented reality and story-based education. EA is continuously modernizing STEM education by promoting and creating user-driven learning environments for students and offering numerous opportunities for teachers’ professional development to be prepared and thrive in the landscape of unprecedented challenges and opportunities in the 21st century. Under this approach, EA has taken up the challenge to embed innovative pedagogical practice that effectively uses a range of ICTs in STEM classrooms, as well as driving up student academic outcomes across the school. Moreover, a large range of previous projects were focused on developing and implementing technological tools which leverage both digital science repositories and IBSE/PBL learning. As part of this, EA has developed numerous scenarios for STEM education in which participators live their learning experience in every place.
Its work in EU projects over the last 15 years has established EA as a leading pioneer in innovative approaches to science education. Since its establishment, the R&D Department has coordinated and supported the participation of EA, either as coordinator or as partner, in more than 100 national and international collaborative research projects and networks (H2020, eContentPlus, ICT-PSP, SiS in FP7 and FP6, IST in FP5 and ICT in FP6, LLP-ICT, Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus+), the majority of which have been concerned with the fields of science and new technologies in education. EA team has implemented numerous projects and initiatives that combine ICT and STEM education that include the development of innovative tools and approaches and development of contextual based storylines. Moreover, some of these projects have already combined STEM with Arts in a creative way to support students’ deeper learning, e.g. by developing and performing a global science opera that included the collaboration of students, scientists, artists, and educators form 35 countries.
The EA team has a systematic and exhaustive knowledge of the science curriculum in the Greek primary education, as it has been assigned to create the science text books for the last two grades of primary schools in Greece. The books of the series “Primary Science: Researching and Discovering” which introduced the inquiry based science education model for the first time in Greece are now being used in the 5th and 6th grade in all schools across the country. In addition, EA is a founding member of the European Science Education Academy (ESEA – http://esea.ea.gr/), which is promoting a European standard-based IBSE competence framework that will facilitate the professional development of teachers in applying and implementing IBSE, as well as supporting the creation of a European community of practice among science teachers to modernize science education.
Overall, EA has a very strong and proven experience in actively extending the dialogue between scientific and the educational community, enforcing the collaboration between schools and research organizations, centers and museums, and helping young people to acquire better understanding of the role of science in the society.
In the context and in relation to the proposed project are highlighted the following activities that EA’s students and teachers in collaboration with R&D’s staff do as part of curriculum and extra-curriculum STEM projects.
– have fully adopted and applied educational robotics for primary and secondary school students and integrated it in the offered science and technology curriculum and extra-curriculum projects and workshops. In the past years and due to its leading position in the field EA has organized and hosted the Greek national finals of educational robotics as part of the World Robot Olympiad.
– have also organized and hosted the science and technology contest “F1 at schools” where many student teams from EA participate every year.
– have developed world-leading educational activities with 3D-printing for high school students (aged 15-18 years) (i.e. where students study, design in CAD, 3dprint and build operational models of a renown ancient analogue computer the so-called Antikythera Mechanism).
– have developed and implemented at local and national level a series of educational activities, entitled “Little crafts – Great challenges”, for lower high school students (aged 12-15 years) that comprise inquiry-based learning on science and technology subjects, and designing and making.
– furthermore, the staff members of R&D have developed series of innovative educational materials, best-practices and resources, and organized and conducted at national and international level training workshops and professional development programmes for STEM teachers.