Science Education: Best Practices of Research Training for Students under 21
The book is a unique survey of the best science education practices with special emphasis on scientific research training of motivated young students up to 21. Its content provides a great help to all teachers dealing with talented students and to all scientists and activists in the field of science education. A key point is the science education of high school students, who are in a very susceptible age to ask clear questions about the world around them, and to seek answers in a methodological way, as science does. This is the age of self-test, where the adolescent tries his strength and capabilities. Scientific research provides a unique and unparalleled opportunity for outstanding achievements even in this young age. The hierarchy-free atmosphere of a good scientific group gives the talented high school student a long-sought freedom and a unique opportunity to break from the original social and economical circumstances of the family. Identification and organization of these usually highly talented students shows them that they are not alone, and gives a lot of friends for these young fellows who are often considered ‘odd’ and ‘funny’ in a regular school. Moreover, research training makes the social circles surrounding these students (schoolmates, family, relatives, etc.) understand science and breaks the alienation from scientific research in a significant part of the society. The book summarizes the best contributions of a workshop helping to establish more of these research training practices world-wide. Participants of the workshop formed a Network of Youth Excellence, which can be reached at www.nyex.info. The movement received the Descartes Award of Science Communication from the European Union in 2004.