What is CITIES?
Why should we, scientists, chemists, indulge in the general complaints about lack of interest of young people for our science? We would lose time which we better invest in making them interested in chemistry. “Chemistry, the Central Science” – the claim of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London: is true. We are surrounded by molecules, we consist of molecules – and we cannot see them with our eyes. Chemists, however, have developed models which help them to “see” with their imagination. They are no better than any other person, but different: When they close their eyes, they can see molecules dance.
The approach of CITIES is to bring this message to secondary schools, where our future university students and graduates learn (or do not learn) to develop a basic idea of what chemistry is and what chemists do. They often meet with non-chemists as chemistry teachers, with “paper/blackboard chemistry” and with curricula full of theoretical items. To make them interested in chemistry, however, they need the taste of everyday experience, of usefulness and relevance for our lives, and the excitement caused by new discoveries.
This is why CITIES will contribute to the following aims:
- Giving teachers the tools to tell pupils why & how chemistry is indispensible in a modern society
- Inspiring them to tell others how chemistry makes a difference to their lives
- Helping teachers to make the chemistry they are required to teach more exciting, vibrant and relevant to its real life context
- Interesting teachers and pupils alike in the European context in which all this happens
CITIES is currently developing and testing four modules for teachers in Europe in English which cover the following topics:
- General Basic Information on EU policies, with special reference to the context of chemistry and the chemical industry.
- International educational programs, sources of funding etc.
- Different approaches to vocational and tertiary chemical education in Europe (also secondary – EURYDICE), with a sub-section on student work experience and student mobility.
- Employability of the graduates in a global economy
Scope and impact of the European Chemical Industry, its workers and employees and of chemistry based products on the European economy, on citizens’ everyday life, on the environment and on the labour market
Current and future development trends in the field of commercial application of chemical innovation, with particular regard to the European area (covering fields such as nano-technology, bio-technology, bio-analysis, sustainability of material and energy use, Green Chemistry, chemical engineering design etc.)
Modern, practically oriented, appealing methodologies of teaching chemistry to a broad spectrum of pupils with different abilities and interests, including those who are heading for a career in chemistry and those who will just be “users” of the applications of chemistry and voters in elections (societal aspects)
– Forensic chemistry brought alive
– Chemistry of a tin of Ravioli
– Everyday chemistry experiments
These modules are designed to be used in teacher training and/or continuing education of teachers.
Some of the material will be published at the present homepage.