Results 2021 PSP-Flagship Call

The FNR is pleased to communicate that 4 of 5 eligible projects submitted to the  2021 PSP Flagship Call have been selected for funding, an FNR commitment of 1.67 MEUR.

As with PSP-Classic, the objective of the PSP-Flagship programme is to strengthen the exchange between science and society. Specifically, the PSP-Flagship programme aims to set up long-term science outreach activities with a sustainable and lasting impact on the promotion of science to the public in Luxembourg.

Go to PSP Flagship programme page

Funded projects

Project title

Minett Nature And Environment Learning Laboratory (MiNELL)

Applicant

Gaelle Tavernier

Coordinating institution

PROSUD

FNR commitment

385,000 EUR

Description

MiNELL is a knowledge sharing and learning network, with the aim to address the challenges of empowering environmental education in formal and informal contexts. The main objective is to strengthen the formal and informal education system to create an educational landscape to deploy multidisciplinary curricula activities and outdoor events to equip citizens with the tools to improve nature conservation and heritage protection. The programme proposed will be feasible, replicable and innovative. It will support the transmission of natural science to the public. The project involves the creation of a Naturlab, through which we will address local environmental issues and strengthen urban-rural linkages in line with national environmental priorities and the government’s education policy.

The NaturLab will involve several stakeholders representing the actors in the field of sustainable education in Luxembourg: public authorities, NGOs, research centres, local schools and other diverse expertise, particularly natural science experts. The headquarters of the project will be located at the “Ellergronn” nature park centre, at the heart of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere. The project will cover the 11 municipalities of southern Luxembourg, who together were officially designated the status of ‘UNESCO Biosphere Reserve’ and thus joined the international ‘Man and Biosphere’ programme in October 2020. MiNELL priorities are:

To network actors in the region involved in the promotion of environmental education (unite);

To promote environmental education among educators and the public, and to offer them the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to protect and improve the environment (train);

To encourage citizens, through a series of activities, to build new relationships and behaviours with regard to the natural heritage of the biosphere reserve (infuse).

MiNELL will develop a digital activity passport to collect users feedback on their learning experiences and to evaluate the influence of the programmes on the target audience.

Project title

The Gg Is On The Road Again! De Gg Ass Erëm Ënnerwee!

Applicant

Carole Blond-Hanten

Coordinating institution

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)

FNR commitment

399,000 EUR

Description

Originally, the Gender Game project was created on the occasion of days dedicated to the promotion of science to a large audience organized by the National Research Fund (FNR). The current physical GG version is a giant board game (3X3m) and works in the Q&A mode and is played by four teams of 2 to 5 players each. The players roll the dice, move their figure on one of the four areas where gender stereotypes persist -knowledge, work, power and society- and draw a question card in relation to this area. The GG is more specifically aimed at children and young people, as well as to a more limited extend to adults; specific questions are dedicated to each of these three age groups and to each of the four identified areas of gender stereotypes. The GG can also be played in intergenerational games.

The objective of the Gender Game Flagship project is to deconstruct gender stereotypes by highlighting a scientific approach. The project is rooted in the social sciences and aims to outreach the public about the specific issue of gender equality by presenting scientific results mainly from research projects developed at LISER. The GG Flagship shall develop into a mixed physical and digital gamified device, elaborated as an extension and development of the physical GG version existing since 2016.

This project proposal is based on the experiences gained with the GG in the past and on evaluations or feedback received by those who participated. It aims to develop the GG into a scientifically validated and accessible “physical-digital” tool. The core of the GG remains the physical play, but digital elements shall be developed based on a systematic review of the game elements. The GG will thus be entirely revamped including new updated questions, a co-creation between researchers, the game developers and the play animators, the group of animators being extended beyond LISER’s team by involving teachers and young people as volunteers.

The GG will target a national audience first, but the future development at the end of the present flagship shall be international, targeting the Greater Region for the physical-digital GG, and possibly in a later stage, with support by the EU, an international digital game development may be envisaged. Some exploratory elements of such a digital game will be discussed at the end of the current GG Flagship, but the focus of the Flagship project will remain the physical game with digital components.

Project title

Become A Computer Scientist (BeCos)

Applicant

Elisabeth John

Coordinating institution

University of Luxembourg

FNR commitment

397,000 EUR

Description

Society is undergoing a rapid digital transformation. Smart technologies have become more and more interwoven with daily life. It is thus crucial to have a certain level of understanding of how to use the technology confidently, safely, and securely. However, a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the devices is also needed to discover the potential and possible challenges of these new technologies and to meet different opportunities in the job market. Although the employment rate in the digital sector is rising, there is still a huge lack of specialists and a strong gender imbalance. Consequently, it is important to prepare the public and, in particular, teenagers by teaching them the necessary skills.

The above-mentioned digital transformation is grounded in the thriving research area of computer science. The University of Luxembourg (UL) has recognized the importance of the discipline by making it one of its focus areas.

In recent years, new study programmes have been developed and research on these topics has been intensified. However, computer science is not yet part of the general high-school curriculum and the number of specialised teachers is still relatively low.

The Ministry of Education, Children, and Youth of Luxembourg (MEN) and the UL have recently started initiatives to address this deficit: a pilot project to introduce “Digital Sciences” in the schools’ curriculum and a MSc in Secondary Education in Computer Science have been created. To add to and complement these initiatives, the Scienteens Lab (the research lab for teenagers at the UL) and the Department of Computer Science (DCS) of the Faculty of Science, Technology, and Medicine seek support to launch a comprehensive outreach programme in computer science: Become a Computer Scientist – BeCoS.

BeCoS aims to (1) communicate and discuss computer science topics with teenagers and their families, while showcasing the latest research done in Luxembourg; (2) to develop computer science skills in the target groups, with a special focus on girls and young women, and inspire teenagers to learn and explore this discipline; and (3) to promote career options in computer science. To achieve these objectives, an extensive programme will be developed, comprising of six initiatives, all linked to the research at the UL. Hands-on workshops for high-school classes exploring different aspects of computer science will be created.

Teacher trainings targeting all teachers, including non-computer science teachers, will be held to encourage the implementation of computer science in a classroom setting. A platform directed at girls and young women will be established to provide them a dedicated space to explore computer science and to create a sense of community. Teenagers will also get the possibility to ask researchers questions related to computer science, encouraging the dialogue between these two groups. A further initiative is aimed at parents to promote the dialogue between parents and researchers, fostering a discussion on ICT-related parenting issues. Finally, an exhibition space will be created, where the public can discover and interact with various applications of artificial intelligence.

The Scienteens Lab has a proven track record in promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to high-school students, by bridging the gap between high schools and the university. It has successfully created interactive workshops in mathematics, physics, and biology, and has established effective collaborations with the MEN. Through BeCoS, it will expand its area of action by partnering with the researchers of the DCS, specifically the AI Robolab and the Interdisciplinary Lab for Intelligent and Adaptive Systems, to create an innovative programme to introduce computer science into the Scienteens Lab’s catalogue. Finally, the project enables to expand the target group of the Scienteens Lab to younger high-school students and parents.

Project title

RePublic Research Goes Public

Applicant

Nicolas Didier

Coordinating institution

Luxembourg Science Center

FNR commitment

490,000 EUR

Description

Approximately 70% of the country’s citizens wish to be better informed about science and research in Luxembourg. This is in line with visitors’ opinion at Luxembourg Science Center (LSC) who would like to discover more about these subjects too, in particular through activities they also enjoy during their visits: hands-on exhibits and experiments.

Jointly with several research institutions and researchers from Luxembourg, we wish to initiate the RePublic: a hub where research(ers) meet the public. By means of this grant application, we seek to co-finance a creative, ambitious, and much needed initiative that will enable us to conceive and deliver research-related outreach activities in collaboration with scientists to a broad lay audience. To foster this mutually beneficial exchange and increase the general public’s literacy about national research, we have conceived a catalogue of activities.

Including, among others: Research Exhibits permanently showcased at LSC’s interactive exhibition such as for example:

(1) the Space Crew: a hands-on exhibit developed with researchers from the Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology and the University of Luxembourg, used to study collaborative behaviours, or (2) the SkillCourt: a game-based approach for accessing a variety of perceptual, cognitive, and motor abilities developed with scientists from the Luxembourg Health & Sport Science Research Institute, or yet (3) the Tube : an interactive exhibit developed with the world’s largest producer of carbon nanotubes OCSiAl, demonstrating the properties of graphene nanotubes.

In addition to a total of six research exhibits, we have conceived other innovative activities that provide researchers the opportunity to inform lay audiences about their work in a playful and interactive manner. To address different research topics, various science communication methods and approaches are most certainly required. Further, one rather than another activity might fit better the involved researcher or the participant. In the spirit that various science communication strategies are required to bring research to the public, we have conceived: (1) The Lab: a virtual and interactive visit of national research labs and a meet & greet with the researcher(s); (2) The Naked Researcher: an exhibit dedicated to de-stereotype scientists; (3) The ResearchAlert: a series of quick and dirty interactive demonstrations related to national research alongside with videos highlighting involved research(ers) and educational resources for teachers; (4) The Living Lab: a space for citizens to jointly work with scientists on ongoing research projects; (5) In the skin of a researcher: workshops where participants become researchers
themselves; (6) A Pub quiz series offering a game-based introduction into national research in a relaxed atmosphere and (7) Research on a Dish: a menu dedicated to national research projects stimulating discussion and exchange.

Researchers from the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, the Luxembourg Health & Sport Science Research Institute, the University of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Institute of Health, OCSiAl, ispace, Peinture Robin and the Luxembourg Institute for Socio-Economic Research were highly motivated contributing to the RePublic. The result? A catalogue of activities for lay audiences to become informed about and engage in topics related to national research: from discovering the lab where a moon rover is getting ready to be send up to space, to solving impossible puzzles, to testing alternative foods, to learning more about renewable energies, to reveal gender stereotypes, and, and, and … the number of ideas from the research community was sheer endless. Over a 3-year period, the RePublic project – a collaboration between the research community and LSC – would put these ideas into practice: conceptualizing, developing, adapting and delivering these activities to lay audiences – Research goes Public!

Related

PSP-Flagship: Scienteens lab – a hands-on lab for high school pupils

PSP-Flagship: BEE CREATIVE

PSP-Flagship: SciTeach Resource Center

A microcontroller to teach programming to school children

Results 2020-2 PSP-Classic Call

Results 2020-1 PSP-Classic Call

Results 2019-2 PSP-Classic Call

Results PSP-Classic Call 2019-1

Results PSP-Classic Call 2018-2

Results 2018 PSP Flagship Call

Results PSP-Classic Call 2018-1

Results PSP-Classic Call 2017-2

Results PSP-Classic 2017-1 Call

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