Results 2022-1 PSP-Classic Call

The FNR is pleased to communicate that 9 projects have been retained for funding in the 2022-1 PSP-Classic Call, representing an FNR Commitment of 203,802 EUR.

The aim of the funding programme “Promoting Science to the Public” is to bring science closer to society, in particular Luxembourg’s society. The scheme funds projects that allow the target audience to come into contact with science and research interactively.

Go to PSP-Classic programme page

Funded projects

Applicant

Marc Olinger

Project title

Ökologische Exkursion Nach Borkum

Institution

Atert Lycée Redange

FNR Committed

€5,200

Summary

This project is a research trip to the island of Borkum (Germany) with students from classes 3GPS and 2CC of the Atert Lycée Redange. The North Sea island of Borkum is a special ecosystem that hosts several different habitats and therefore offers the opportunity to illustrate the importance of biodiversity and nature conservation with concrete examples. For this purpose, the pupils should be introduced to the different steps of the scientific approach (observing, describing, hypothesising, collecting and evaluating results, drawing conclusions) and practised on concrete examples. The pupils will be introduced to these habitats by scientific staff of the Nature Park Ship Borkum. The students will spend several hours in each habitat (mudflats, sandy beach, dunes, salt marshes) on the island, collect samples and note down observations. The results obtained and observations will be compared with the hypotheses made beforehand and summarised in a report.

Applicant

Gérard Wagener

Project title

Lge-csi: Esch, Cool Science Investigations – 5th Edition

Institution

Lycée de garçons d’Esch

FNR Committed

€15,630

Summary

The LGE Esch/Alzette has set itself the goal of continuing to give science a special role in the school year 2022/2023 with the project LGE-CSI: Esch, Cool Science Investigations – 5th Edition. As the name suggests, the project “CSI-Esch, Cool Science Investigations”, which has already been running with great success for four school years, is to be continued (the projects running in the upper school in the current school year are proving to be very popular in the most diverse sections: Section B & C & E & G & F) The project comprises two sub-projects:

Organic Lab: Experimental Organic Chemistry

Throughout the school year 2022/2023, as in previous years, everything will revolve around the topic of “Experimental Organic Chemistry”. The primary students of the Chemistry Option of the LGE Esch/Alzette will get an insight into the fascinating world of organic experiments and learn about basic preparative methods. Furthermore, the students will have the opportunity to experimentally discover topics of particular interest to them (e.g. production of dyes and their use in dyeing textiles, production of polymers and their possible classification as biological plastics …), i.e. the course will be individually oriented towards the students’ interests. After this practical course they will have basic preparative knowledge like:

  • What exactly does a distillation apparatus look like?
  • How do I carry out a synthesis in organic chemistry?
  • How do I analyse my products?
  • How do I purify my products?

… and are thus also able to work on small research assignments independently.

Inorganic Lab: Experiments from the world of inorganic chemistry

In contrast to the course for the Primans, this course focuses on inorganic chemistry. They will first receive an introduction to general laboratory practice and will then also be given the opportunity to help determine the further course of the course by choosing from various topics such as soil and water analysis, the world of soaps and detergents, show experiments, molecular cuisine, colours etc. etc. The students will also be encouraged to take part in experiments from the world of inorganic chemistry. Of course, the students are also encouraged to bring in their own topics. In contrast to “normal” school lessons, this option is not intended to focus on the curriculum, but on the interests of the pupils.

Applicant

Bob Heymans

Project title

Robotique En Classe De 5g Scientifique À L’aide De Lego Education Spike Prime

Institution

Lycée Josy Barthel Mamer

FNR Committed

€7,000

Summary

The idea of the project is to get pupils in the 5G class (5th grade of general secondary education) to apply concepts seen in mathematics classes and to discover robotics and programming through a search for solutions to given problems.

In our high school, it has been noted in recent years that it is increasingly difficult to motivate students for science. This problem is especially noticeable in the lower grades. This is all the more serious as it leads to an ever smaller number of students in the science sections of the higher ESG (e.g. in the engineering section or in the computer science section). In order to try to remedy the situation, a 6th science class and a 5th science class have been launched at the LJBM. The idea being to introduce students to science and in particular to scientific research, different “options” have been put in place to allow students to touch science themselves, to make hypotheses and to verify or refute them. An overall objective is to get pupils to question more and discover different fields of science while building scientific skills.

In the 6th grade science class, one of the options was for the students to discover robotics and mechanics through the MBots of Makeblock. This course allowed pupils to build initial skills in robotics and computer science, for example by discovering the Scratch language in a much more applied and playful setting than had been the case in primary school (some pupils had already encountered it in primary school, others discovered it in 6e). Even though some initial research has already been done by our pupils in the field of robotics, the MBot system is quite restrictive and it was obviously necessary to spend some time introducing the pupils to the new concepts.

The project presented in this application is in line with the project set up in 6th grade: now that the students have discovered the basics of robotics and the Scratch software, the idea is to get them to conduct their own research around the problems posed in 5th grade. As a tool, the Lego system, Education Spike Prime, was chosen. This is the successor to “Lego Mindstorms”. This system allows a much higher degree of flexibility by also integrating the construction element of the robot in question. Thus, when faced with a given problem, the students not only have to search for a computer solution, but they also have to design and implement a robot that can cope with the problem at hand.

For the research challenges/problems posed to the students, we will be inspired for example by the challenges posed during the “First Lego League”. For example, the pupils could be asked to build a robot which, in a given path, fetches an object from place A and then deposits it at place B and returns to its initial position. Such problems can be found, for example, in space research, where a robot deposited on a certain celestial body must be able to carry out its missions without direct communication with the possible base. The different problems finally chosen will be set up according to the level of the students. The idea being to motivate them to research, it will obviously be important to always choose problems that are tangible and understandable for the pupils, while motivating them, without going overboard.

Applicant

Albert Sveen

Project title

F1 In Schools Exhibition

Institution

International School of Luxembourg

FNR Committed

€20,000

Summary

The aim of the project is to introduce younger students to the world of design and engineering through an interactive day where they can explore and design their own miniature F1 car. In total, this will be a 5-day exhibition open to Luxembourgish schools and students aged 8-14. Other information such as the history of the sport and some of the drawbacks that F1 faces will be shared and discussed throughout the day. This is all with the goal of promoting the participation in the international F1 in Schools competition within Luxembourg and more broadly inspire an interest in STEAM subjects in younger students. We are some of the first students who have participated in this competition and seeing more interest and teams in Luxembourg is something that we believe we can have an impact on before the end of our time at school.

The second part of the project entails a global competition / exhibition hosted in Silverstone which gives visibility to our message and portrays Luxembourg as a vanguard for the promotion of STEAM in youth. Furthermore, participation in this competition will paint Luxembourg as a hub for science and innovation, which will hopefully encourage other Luxembourgish students and schools to participate in F1 in schools, or any related STEAM clubs and initiatives. In fact, this is something that we ourselves would be interested in organising in the future, and hope that our exhibition both in Luxembourg and Silverstone will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Applicant

Serge Haan

Project title

LUX:plorations Vol. 3

Institution

University of Luxembourg

FNR Committed

€46,512

Summary

Following the successful first two editions of the science comic “LUX:plorations – A Universe of Research”, the University of Luxembourg would like to share more stories about science and research by producing Volume 3 of the science comic series and exhibiting it in various locations in Luxembourg. The goal of those comics is to increase the public’s awareness of and interest in research done in Luxembourg by making entertaining and understandable science comics available for free and in five different languages (English, French, German, Luxembourgish and Portuguese). The comics will be printed but also uploaded on the dedicated website sciencecomics.uni.lu. On the latter, readers will also find additional content in order to get to know more about the people behind the comic but also the research done in Luxembourg as well as opportunities for readers to further interact with the single stories content (e.g. via quizzes, DIY experiments or challenges). Once released, the science comics will be visible in several locations in a running exhibition. LUX:plorations strives to reach a nonscientific audience from Luxembourg and the Greater Region of the age of more than 12 years. The single comic stories are produced in collaboration between doctoral researchers and Luxembourgish comic artists, which are mentored by a dedicated team of science communicators, scientists and a visual storyteller. After learning the basics in a two-month long science comic workshop, the doctoral candidates pair up in groups and produce their own comic stories. LUX:plorations is organized via the DESCOM (Doctoral Education in Science Communication) project, a science communication training initiative of the University of Luxembourg that was initially supported by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) via PSP-Flagship funding.

Applicant

Mike Moro

Project title

Stage Écologique À Texel (Projet Interdisciplinaire)

Institution

Lycée Grevenmacher

FNR Committed

€6,300

Summary

This is an in-depth study of several marine and coastal ecosystems on the island of Texel. The students will work on different themes such as: the specific fauna and flora of this environment, biotope surveys, chemical analysis of the water, tidal phenomena, the nature reserve, pollution, the effects of climate change on fishing and the economy.

The aim of the course is not only to promote educational science, but also to integrate digital tools in their study. Indeed, these are “iPad” classes participating in the Ministry of Education’s “one2one” project. This will allow the students to carry out their studies and analyses using a digital approach, which will give them new skills for their future in an increasingly technological world.

This year we will involve the GSN and BCD classes. The BCD classes, being part of a pilot project at the MLG, will participate in the course by integrating their speciality in ecosystem analysis. This will allow for mathematical (tidal calculations, CO2 footprint) and economic (financial impact of pollution/overfishing) topics to be addressed, with the aim of intensifying the interdisciplinarity of an ecological course.

This internship will therefore be an opportunity for the students to deepen their skills in the field of science, but also to make a transition from consumer to producer and to use their iPad, on the one hand, as a measuring tool, and on the other hand, to produce a digital file (animations, drawings, videos, …), in order to share their analyses and results with the school community.

Applicant

Eric Krier

Project title

Self Esteam Challenge ’23

Institution

Makeit asbl

FNR Committed

€48,429

Summary

Make it asbl is organising a scientific challenge for kids and youth aged 6 to 24 years. The core objective of the present project proposal is to generate a positive experience of scientific thinking that will leave a long-lasting interest in science to all participating kids, their peers and the surrounding carers. As a side effect, the challenge is offering these kids a “time-out” of the still ongoing Covid19 pandemic. The participants to the challenge will get a kit containing a number of electrical and mechanical components. Their mission will be to create a working robot or machine that will perform a task set by the challenge and after that pimp it according to the goals they can set themselves. With their final product they can participate in a competition with various categories starting from trophies for creative ideas up to technically sophisticated versions. The FNR-cofunded MakerBuzz (initial funding 2019-2020) serves as a practical tool to support the promotion and the distribution of the kits and the associated workshops.

For a call for projects from the “Oeuvre Nationale de Secours” (oeuvre.lu), make it asbl submitted a project called “Self eSTEAM”, consisting of a scientific challenge for kids and youth. The project spans over 24 months. The first challenge runs from mid 2021 till mid 2022. Till now already more than 900 scientific kits have been ordered. This surpasses the initially planned quantities. The first challenge will end in June 2022. The co-funding by the Oeuvre is also covering a second challenge, which then goes from mid-2022 to mid-2023. Due to the immense success of the first (ongoing) edition, make it wants to anticipate the funding of the second scientific challenge. The funding through the PSP-Classic programme will allow the financing of more kits than for the first edition. A total of 2000 kits are estimated necessary and realistic. Furthermore the co-funding by the FNR will cover additional costs that allow the preparation of a tutorial that focuses on the scientific process that the young participants will go through. Finally, some cost will cover free workshops during which also groups with scientific-minded, but less scientific-experienced teachers and educators can book. The main target group of the challenge are children. The first edition shows that in average 2 children are working per kit. As a side effect, the challenge generates a sort of relief to carers (parents, educators, teachers), but it also shows parents the importance of scientific thinking for future generations, and that their own kids are already developing their interest in science at an early age!

Applicant

Ronen Even Tzur

Project title

Digital Life Skills, Coding And Logical Thinking Workshops For Kids Ages 4-6 Ages 7-10 And Ages 10-13

Institution

Kids Life Skills asbl

FNR Committed

€50,000

Summary

Kids Life Skills is a Luxembourg based non-profit organization that aims to teach young kids coding, logical thinking along with other essential digital life skills to help prepare them for a technology heavy future. We engage with children through hands-on and interactive activities to make the learning process fun and interesting for them. We are in an increasingly digital world. Life skills for the new era are being redefined for adults and kids alike and digital skills are now at the core of these redefined, new age life skills. As our founder Ronen Even Tzur says, “It is crucial for young children to understand and use technology in a more conscious way.” So, we believe the onus is on us to guide kids to be future ready. We believe that we need to focus on teaching the kids what to do with this information and how to use it responsibly.

Applicant

Miriam Rebecca Fougeras

Project title

Science Slam 2022

Institution

LuxDoc asbl

FNR Committed

€4,731

Summary

Science Slams are a well-established and effective format to communicate science to lay audiences. Such events create awareness for science and encourage people to perceive science as something directly connected with them as well as something they want to get involved with. Outreach activities like Science Slams also help in trustbuilding between the general public, researchers and scientific institutions.

Following previous successful editions of Science Slams in Luxembourg, LuxDoc asbl., an organization of young researchers, and DESCOM, a training project in science communication at the University of Luxembourg, aim to continue this tradition. By organizing the 2022 edition of Luxembourg’s Science Slam, the organizational team is offering young scientists from all research disciplines in Luxembourg the opportunity to present their research to a general audience of at least 100 expected(?) visitors. In entertaining and encouraging presentations of 10 minutes, six slammers will captivate the attention of the audience. But only one slammer can win the trophy which the audience will decide. After the official program, the audience has the chance to chat with the slammers and get to know them in an informal social event held at the event venue. This is providing an opportunity for everyone to connect to scientists and researchers in Luxembourg.

Before the event, the slammers will receive a general training and individual coaching session to strengthen their science communication skills and prepare them for the big evening. This activity thus strengthens the link between science and the general public in two ways: By providing an opportunity for the non-scientific community to connect to scientists and getting-to-know about their research as well as by offering scientists a hands-on training in science communication to learn communication skills for the Slam and beyond.

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