Energy Schools are the meeting point between Norwegian businesses working with Energy and youth. Partnerships are designed to positively influence and hopefully recruit students studying STEM subjects in the upper secondary school.
Quote from student:
«After participating in Energy Schools, I have seen 'the light' and discovered what direction I would like to take.»
«It gave me motivation to complete upper secondary school.»
Energy Schools is a skill development project initiated and run by the Norwegian Centre for Science Education, and is funded by the Oil and Energy department, OED. It is a cooperation between energy businesses and upper secondary schools, with the aim to develop education about energy. Together, teachers and employees from energy businesses plan teaching sequences that will cover the desired objectives within STEM subjects.
The education model Many experiences in many rooms (Mange erfaringer i mange rom, Froyland, 2010), is the educational framework the teachers and business employees use as a guide for planning and teaching.
The principles of the model are:
- Teachers and business/industry employees plan the teaching program together, with each partners bringing their unique expertise into the teaching situation.
- Themes selected are rich with several teaching approaches so that students can achieve an understanding of the subject.
- Activities are varied and explorative.
- Relevance for what students are able to contribute to businesses is made possible.
The forms of teaching decided upon by the partners provides students with unique and authentic (as well as realistic) experiences that schools would not be able to provide alone. The industries contribute to the Inquiry Based Learning Model (IBL) by giving the students an opportunity to work with explorative activities, or projects within the business/industry.
Through Energy Schools, we have experienced that the educational model leads to the shared ownership of teaching between teachers and employees from business/industry. Visits to the businesses become an essential part of the education, helping the students stay motivated throughout school by increasing their interest in learning while also heightening their understanding of science topics.
We are now at a stage where experiences from completed educational projects following these principles will be evaluated through video tapes of the teaching, questionnaires amongst the students and interviews with teachers and business employees.
The Norwegian project Energy Schools, has a similar structure to ASISTM (Tytler, R; Symington, D; Smith, C; Rodrigues, S. 2008) and MaScil (https://mascil-project.ph-freiburg.de/). We would be grateful for information on other similar studies.
Frøyland, M. (2010). Mange erfaringer i mange rom. Variert undervisning i klasserom, museum og naturen. (Many experiences in many rooms. Varied teaching in the classroom, museum and nature) Oslo: Abstrakt forlag.
Tytler, R., Symington, D., Smith, C., Rodrigues, S. (2008). An Innovation Framework based on best practice exemplars from the Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) Project.