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Partners

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) - Partner 1

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) was founded in 1968. It is one of the more prestigious universities in Spain, ranking among the top 5 Spanish universities in different official and media rankings. The UAB has more than 53,000 students, more than 3,500 teaching and research staff and 2,400 administration and services staff.

UAB has experience in coordinating successfully international projects, and has participated as a partner in Comenius actions in the last years ( CROSSNET, GYMMS)

The Department of Didactics of Mathematics and Sciences belongs to the Faculty of “Sciences of Education” of the UAB. 45 teachers, 18 research assistants and 2 administrative staff belong to the Department. The fields of teaching and research of the Faculty are mainly devoted to initial teacher training of primary and secondary school teachers. Secondary school students come to the Faculty to participate at the REVIR workshops (http://crecim.uab.cat/revir/ ) where students work using ICT tools for Science, in inquiry guided sessions.

People at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in the project

Dr Montserrat Tortosa Moreno - Main Coordinator of the Project

Dr Montserrat Tortosa has a degree in Chemistry (1982, UAB), in Biology (1988, UAB), and a PhD in Chemistry (2001, UPC). She obtained a grant from the Catalan Department of Education (2004-2005) to prepare curricular research based materials, using sensors and dataloggers, for students and teachers to be used in science classes. Researcher on Science Education at the CRECIM-UAB (Research Center for the Scientific and Mathematical Education) during 2005-2009, author and teacher of  the Chemistry REVIR workshops (2006-2009), (http://crecim.uab.cat/Revir/  )  She is associate editor of the Magazine EduQ edited by the “Societat Catalana de Química”.

Since 1984 to now, Montserrat has taught several subjects in the “Physics and Chemistry” and in "Experimental Sciences" Departments of sevelar secondary  and high schools  in Catalonia. In INS Ferran Casablancas (1985-2013), she coordinated several EU and local innovation projects. She has been associated lecturer of Chemistry at the Politechnical University of Catalonia  (1990-2005). Teacher trainer at the pre-service courses (CAP) at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) in 2006-2008. Lecturer of Master of Teacher training for secondary school (Specialty Physics and Chemistry) at the UAB (2008-2011). Associate teacher at UABarcelona (2008-2014).  Co-editor of the magazine "Ciències" for teachers (2006-2010). She is occasionally teacher trainer at the Department of Education of Catalonia. Since 2013 Montserrat is a teacher (ages 12-18)  at  Institut Sabadell (Sabadell, Catalonia).

Esther Rasal

Esther has a degree in Chemistry (UAB) and a Master in Education.Her main roles in Comblab have been to test project experiments in the laboratory to create teacher's guides, and the translation of students' activities and teachers guides from English into Catalan

Charles University in Prague (CU) - Partner 2

Charles University in Prague (CU) with its long tradition starting in 1348 is the most prestigious university in Czech Republic. There are more than 7000 University employees, 4000 of them are academic and research workers at 17 faculties, 3 collegiate institutes, 6 additional establishments for educational, scientific research, developmental activities and other creative activities. The Faculty of Science was established in 1920 as the fifth faculty of Charles University. Currently it has 29 departments and several specialists teaching and research centres, including interdisciplinary institutions. All parts of the faculty are active in both teaching and research. Among departments there is Department of Chemical education and Department of biology education that provide the education of future teachers. Department of chemical education exists since 1988 and workgroups focus on employment of ICT in chemistry lessons, experiments supported by computers, activating teaching methods, new trends in chemical curriculum, chemistry experiments in distance education. Department of biology education works on subjects’ evaluation of learning materials, excursions in education, ecology education, new trends in biological curriculum.

Charles University is an accredited public university, and so an autonomous scientific and educational establishment. Charles University (CU) accentuates research on national as well as international level; the university is dedicated to international co-operation with prestigious educational and research institutions. CU has signed a total of 450 bilateral agreements and 190 international partnership agreements with foreign universities. Concerning lifelong learning programme Socrates/Comenius, for example Pedagogical faculty coordinated in years 2003 -2006 project IIATM (Implementation of Innovative Approaches to the Teaching of Mathematics), in years 2000-2003 was Pedagogical faculty partner of project ECE (Education for Citizenship in Europe), between years 2004-2007 was Faculty of Physical Education and Sport one of the partners in project The Development of Intercultural Competence through Sports in an Expanding European Union and during 2006-2009 Faculty of Science (Department of Chemical education) took part in CITIES (Chemistry and Industry for Teachers in European Schools).

People at Charles University in Prague (Univerzita Karlova v Praze) in the project

Petr Šmejkal

RNDr. Petr Šmejkal, Ph.D. gained his master degree in 1997 at Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science in Inorganic Chemistry. In 2004, he gained Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry at the same faculty, under supervision of Prof. Blanka Vlckova, his research was focused on Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy of biologically interesting molecules and preparation of silver nanoparticles. In 2002, he has accepted a faculty position at the Department of Chemical Education at Faculty of Science of Charles University in Prague, where he is employed as assistant professor up to the present. As a part of his position, he is involved as lecturer in lectures and seminars held by the faculty and his department, especially in general chemistry, MBLs and computer assisted experiments, laboratory courses on inorganic chemistry and employment of ICT in chemistry education. The research interests of Petr Šmejkal are focused especially on MBLs and computer assisted experiments, employment of ICT in chemistry education and distribution of digital educational materials (webpage www.studiumchemie.cz). Since 2005, when he started his research on MBLs and computer assisted experiments, he and his co-workers published more than 10 papers treating experiments supported by computers, recently for example Employment of suitable devices and preparation of educational materials for physical chemistry education at high schools (Problems of Education in the 21th Century, 2007), A comprehensive approach to experiments using the multifunctional data logger (Proceedings of the 2nd European Variety in Chemistry Education, 2007), Analysis of Pupils‘ Questions during the Labs Using data loggers (Proceedings of International Conference Current Trends in Chemical Curricula, 2008), School experiments in chemistry using the measuring devices and computer (Proceedings of  conference Alternative educational methods 2009). Šmejkal’s team also prepared and evaluated variety of educational materials in the mentioned field. He also participates on organization of successful laboratory courses for primary and secondary school students and teachers from various parts of the Czech Republic and Slovakia (more than 50 courses and 1000 students).

Eva Stratilová Urválková

Eva Stratilová Urválková finished master degree in 2006 at Charles university, Faculty of science. Her diploma thesis focused on data logger Infraline Graphic and experiments for secondary school chemistry laboratory experiments using this equipment. Eva Stratilová Urválková continues under supervision of Petr Šmejkal on this subject also in her doctoral study, where she focuses on the key roles that students accept during microcomputer based laboratories and on competencies that students develop while performing experiments. She defended the PhD thesis in october  2013. Since 2005, together with Petr Šmejkal she has published more than 10 papers treating experiments supported by computers as mentioned at Petr Šmejkal’s CV, in addition What are the Students‘ Attitudes to Using Measuring Device in Chemistry Lessons? (conference Research, theory and praxis in chemical education, 2009). Together with Petr Šmejkal she organizes and lectures laboratory courses for primary and secondary school students and teachers. Eva Stratilová Urválková is a part time member of Department of chemical education at Faculty of Science and a teacher of chemistry at Masaryk secondary school of chemistry.

The University of Vienna (UW) - Partner 3

The University of Vienna (UW), which was founded in 1365, is an internationally orientated university with long term experiences in research and education. Currently, about 85,000 students are enrolled at the University, in more than 130 courses, of which 52 are Bachelor Programmes, 108 Master Programmes, 7 Diploma Programmes and 10 PhD Programmes. With staff of close to 8.300 employees, 6.200 of which are academic, the University of Vienna is the largest education and research institution in Austria. The main task and goal of this University are creating and sustaining top-quality research and teaching. Research and education are regarded as one inseparable entity. A strong focus on research, combining fundamental with application-oriented research, makes this University highly attractive for the sharpest minds. The University of Vienna has been taking part in the SOKRATES/Erasmus programmes since 1992. Since then it has been taking an active role in different actions and programmes such as the Lifelong Learning Programme, Erasmus Mundus, EU-China Higher Education Cooperation Programme, Alßan, ALFA and Tempus. As a coordinator and partner of numerous European projects within diverse programmes the University has gained substantial experiences in the management of international research projects and co-operations.

The AECCP (Austrian Educational Competence Centre Physics) belongs to the University of Vienna. The focus of research programs conducted at the AECCP is on different aspects of learning and teaching physics. Particularly, the AECCP is engaged in developing suitable instructional approaches for learning and teaching physics topics (i.e., concepts of electricity, optics or mechanics) as well as to provide appropriate measures to learn more about student conceptions and learning difficulties. Assuming that student conceptions highly influence learning processes, the research activities concentrate on exploring the previous knowledge of students and, consequently, on designing convenient techniques to achieve conceptual change. Additionally, the development of PCK (Pedagogical Content Knowledge) of students and teachers, along with consideration of the “Nature of Science” amend further core activities of the AECCP. Beyond that, an additional focal point is related to research on the integration of new media and new technologies into physics teaching and learning, as well as consequentially, on the development of teachers’ TPACK ( Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge). Finally, the AECCP meaningfully contributes to the preparation of national educational standards for the physics classroom.

People at The University of Vienna in the project

Dr. Hildegard Urban-Woldron

Dr. Hildegard Urban-Woldron has taught Physics and Mathematics for 30+ years in secondary education and in the last 17 years also in university courses for students wanting to become Physics teachers and in continuing education courses for Physics teachers. She has researched extensively on didactic issues in Physics education, especially on the use of digital media. Besides being familiar with all the conceptual difficulties students often have in understanding Physics, she is an expert on the strengths and weaknesses of digital media and the critical points which can make these media a success of failure in the classroom.

University of Barcelona (UB) - Partner 4

The University of Barcelona (UB), whose history is closely to the city of Barcelona and Catalonia, was founded in 1450. It ss structured in 5 campuses with 20 faculties and university schools, and has 106 departments teaching a complete range of courses including 69 undergraduate degrees, 67 Ph.D programs and 130 Bologna masters, as well as its own specially tailored postgraduate courses. It is one of the Spanish universities with the largest number of students (92.644 in 2008-09). Our campuses also host a large representation of students from around the world who wish to undertake part of their degree studies in Barcelona. The UB also is the leading centre for university research in Spain (with more than 5,000 full-time researchers, technicians and research assistants) and one of the most active in Europe, both in terms of the number of research programs that it runs and the excellence of its results. It is the only Spanish university to appear on the list of the world´s 200 best universities.

The Faculty of Teacher Training (Facultat de Formació del Professorat) has a long experience in Teacher training courses both for in service and pre-service teachers, and in research in Science Education.

People at University of Barcelona in the project

Dr. Josefa Guitart Mas

Dr. Josefa Guitart is lecturer of Master of Teacher training for secondary school (Specialty Physics and Chemistry) at the Faculty of Teacher training of the UB. Professor of Physics and Chemistry of secondary education. She has worked in the field of teacher training and the dissemination of MBL activities and resources, especially from 2004-2005, where he developed the project "The effective use of ICT in teaching and learning of science" during a study leave from the Department of Education. Later, she was the local coordinator in the European Comenius 2.1 project "Effective use of ICT in science education", from 2005 to 2008, with the specific contribution of the development and testing of a pilot course for the use of sensors (MBL) among secondary school physics and chemistry teachers.

The University of Helsinky (UH) - Partner 5

The University of Helsinki is one of the best multidisciplinary research universities in the world. The high-quality research carried out by the university creates new knowledge for educating diverse specialists in various fields, and for utilisation in social decision-making and the business sector.

The University of Helsinki is an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members. It operates on four campuses in Helsinki and at 17 other locations.

Founded in 1640, the University of Helsinki wants to strengthen its position among the world´s leading multidisciplinary research universities and to actively promote the well-being of humanity and a fair society.

People at University of Helsinky in the project

Dr. Maija Katariina Aksela

1.1 CURRENT POSITIONS

  • Director of the LUMA Centre (Science Education Centre) Finland, Jan 2014- 
  • Director of the LUMA Centre (Science Education Centre)of University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Jan 2010- 
  • Professor, Research Director, Chemistry Teacher Education Unit, University of Helsinki, Department of Chemistry, Dec 2008- 
  • Director of the National Chemistry Education Centre, Kemma, University of Helsinki, Department of Chemistry 
  • Director of ChemistryLab Gadolin, University of Helsinki, Deparment of Chemistry 

1.2 EDUCATION AND DEGREES

  • Nov 2005. Ph.D., Chemistry: Chemistry Education*, University of Helsinki, Department of Chemistry, Finland 
  • Jan 1990. Phil. Lic, Organic Chemistry**, University of Oulu, Department of Chemistry, Finland 
  • Oct 1986. M.Sc., Chemistry: Chemistry Teacher Education Program*, University of Oulu, Department of Chemistry, Finland (*competence to teach chemistry in high school and in adult education) 
  • 1995-1999. Education studies, University of Helsinki, Department of Applied Sciences of Education (59 credit units, ov, sivulaudatur in Finnish) 

1.3 PREVIOUS PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS

  • Jan 2014-Dec 2009. Coordinator, LUMA Centre, University of Helsinki 
  • Aug 2001-Nov 2008. Senior Lecturer, Chemistry Teacher Education Unit, University of Helsinki, Department of Chemistry 
  • Aug 1999-Jul 2001. Research Fellow, Centre for Research and Development in Pedagogy of Mathematical Sciences, Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, Finland (Research grant from Neste Oy Foundation) 
  • Aug 1997-Jul 1999. Lecturer in Chemistry and Physics Didactics, Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, Finland 
  • Aug 1988-Jul 1991. Visiting Research Fellow, Simon Fraser University, Dept. of Chemistry, B.C., Canada (Grants from Finnish Culture Foundation, Neste Oy Foundation, and Kemira Oy Foundation) 
  • Since 1997. In-Service Trainer for Chemistry Teachers and Elementary Teachers, University of Helsinki, Finland 

1.4 SOME CONFIDENTIAL POSTS 

  • Finland’s representative of Thematic working group on math, science and technology, European Commission, 2010-2013 
  • Finland’s representative of the ALLEA (ALL European Academies) working group on Science Education, 2010- 
  • The Chair of National LUMA Advisory board (Kansallinen LUMA-neuvottelukunta), 2010-2013 
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Research Foundation of the University of Helsinki (Helsingin yliopiston Tiedesäätiön hallitus), 2009- 
  • Member of the Studia Generalia Advisory Board (Studia Generalia –toiminnan tieteellinen ohjausryhmä), 2010- 
  • Editor-in-chief LUMAT- LUMAT: Research and Practice in Math, Science and Technology Education, 2013- (see: http://www.luma.fi/lumat-en/) 
  • Chair of the scientific steering group LUMAT, 2013- 
  • Chair of the Steering Group of the Millennium Youth Camp (MY Camp) and the leader of the Camp, 2010- (http://www.helsinki.fi/luma/english/millennium-youth-camp ) 

1.5 SOME HONOURS AND AWARDS 

Altogether 14 honours and awards, for example: 

  • 2013. Founding member of Teachers’ Academy, University of Helsinki (see: http://www.helsinki.fi/opettajienakatemia/eng/academy_members.html) 
  • 2012. 1st University in Society Award for Finland’s Science Education Centre, LUMA (the head of the Centre; see: http://www.helsinki.fi/luma/english/award-impact ) 
  • 2011. A member of Finnish Academy of Technology (TTA) 
  • 2010. J. V. Snellman Prize, University of Helsinki (LUMA Centre) 
  • 2009. The State Award for Public Information 
  • 2005. 1st Scientist of Year. The Finnish Union of Experts in Science. 
  • 1995. Teacher of Year in Mathematics and Science. The Finnish Association of Teachers of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and ICT (First time award was given to a chemistry teacher at senior high school in Finland)

Some grants and projects:

  • ActSHEN Action for Sustainability in Higher Education in the Nordic region, Vesterinen, V. & Aksela, M. K., 01.09.14 → 01.09.17
  • Externally administered project, LUMA News, Aksela, M. K. & Pollari, M., 01.01.13 → …
  • European Journal for Young Scientists and Engineers, Aksela, M. K. & Vesterinen, V., 20.11.12 → …
  • Molekyyligastronomia LUMA-opetuksessa -täydennyskoulutus, Tuomisto, M., Aksela, M. K. & Hopia, A., 26.10.12 → …
  • Gifted Science Students - Sharing and Ethics, Tirri, K., Aksela, M. K., Kuusisto, E. & Tolppanen, S. P., 27.04.12 → …
  • ARCturus - Astronomy Resource Center, Aksela, M. K., 01.01.12 → …
  • Research Community for Mathematics and Science Education Research (RCMSER), Lavonen, J. M. J., Hannula, M. S., Pehkonen, E., Juuti, K., Krzywacki, H., Laine, A., Lampiselkä, J. J., Uitto, A., Loukomies, A., Sothayapetch, P., Korhonen, T., Tuohilampi, L., Saarikko, H., Koponen, I., Tala, S., Nousiainen, M., Laherto, A., Mäntylä, T., Majidi, S., Aksela, M. K., Tikkanen, G. M., Vesterinen, V., Pernaa, J., Oikkonen, J., Koskenoja, M., Koriseva, E., Heinilä, L., Hytönen, M. & Näveri, L. M., 28.02.11 → …

Dr. Simo Tolvanen

Education and degrees awarded

  • Master of Science, University of Helsinki, chemistry teacher education, 16.12.2011.

Current education

  • Doctoral studies in chemistry teacher education at the University of Helsinki. Studies were started 21.5.2012. Estimated time of completion of licentiate’s degree is May 2014.

The licentiate’s degree studies will include advanced studies in education (centering on subject didactics).

  • Linguistic skills
  • Excellent skills in reading and very good writing skills in English. Good ability to understand spoken language and speak in English.
  • Good reading skills in Swedish. Good ability to understand spoken language and adequate ability to speak and write in Swedish.

Current position

  • Doctoral student in the Unit of Chemistry Teacher Education, Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki. Period of employment 21.5.2012-31.7.2014. Besides doctoral studies, the work consists of in-service and pre-service teacher training and acting as Finnish coordinator in an EU-funded research project COMBLAB on inquiry-based science education.

Previous work experience

  • Project researcher in the Unit of Chemistry Teacher Education, Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki. Period of employment 1.1.2012-20.5.2012. The work consisted of in-service and pre-service teacher training and research work.
  • Research assistant in the Unit of Chemistry Teacher Education, Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki. Period of employment 1.8.2011-31.12.2012. The work consisted of in-service and pre-service teacher training and research work.

Merits in teaching and pedagogical competence

  • Main teachers on master’s degree stage chemistry teacher training course Central Areas of Chemistry Education II (4 ECTS) in 2012 and 2013. Central role in planning, implementing and evaluating the course as part of the doctoral studies.
  • Main teacher on bachelor’s degree stage chemistry teacher training course Inquiry-based Chemistry Teaching I (5 ECTS) in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Central role in planning, implementing and evaluating the course.
  • One of the teachers on master’s degree stage chemistry teacher training course Inquiry-based Chemistry Teaching II (5 ECTS) in 2012 and 2013. Central role in planning, implementing and evaluating the course.
  • In 2012 and 2013 development of new inquiry-based chemistry activities as part of the COMBLAB project.

Other academic merits

  • Referee for scientific journal Science & Education

Univerzita Mateja Bela (UMB), Banská Bystrica, Slovakia - Partner 6

Matej Bel University (UMB) was established on 1 July 1992 after the integration of the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Economics. Banská Bystrica has a long tradition in schooling and culture. In the 13th century there had already existed a parish school, later a town school. In the 17th century a Jesuit as well as Evangelical grammar schools were founded. Matej Bel, after whom the University is named, studied and later worked as a rector at this school. At the present Matej Bel University is making important contributions in the European area of education and research (for which it is a part of), providing both high-quality university education as well as a wide spectrum of further education adequate to the needs of practical life. The University is developing new knowledge through productive scientific and artistic research in order to form intelligent, moral, authentic, well rounded individuals and in this way creating a society of learning. The vision of the future Matej Bel University, which has proved to be a leader in the sphere of education in Central Slovak region, will be perceived as a strong national university of international importance in the year of 2013 due to its high quality of education, successful implementation of its graduates on labour market, excellent international co-operation in particular areas of research and co-operation with practices, and specialized, sports, artistic presentations to the public. The Department of Chemistry includes 14 permanent faculty members. The department provides Bc and MSc study programmes in Chemical education as well as in Environmental chemistry. Research activities of the department can be divided into four areas: environmental chemistry, theretical/computational chemistry, organic synthesis and chemical education. The research areas in chemical education range from preparation and analysis of textbooks, through the chemistry of everyday life, to chemical experiments (including computer supported experiments) in chemical education.

People at Univerzita Mateja Bela in the project

Dr. Marek Skoršepa

Marek Skoršepa is an Assistant professor in Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Matej Bel University (Banská Bystrica, Slovak Republic).

The topic of his research in the area of education is an implementation of ICT into the educational process of chemistry in primary and secondary schools. Particularly he is focused on computer supported experiments in chemistry education. He has over 10-year-long experience with school computer measuring systems: 1. SM SYSTEM (Philip Harris, Great Britain), 2. ISES (Czech Republic), 3. VERNIER is planed this year.

Moreover his research activities are also pointed at the extra-educational areas, especially at the computational biochemistry. In this field he is a member of the group inspecting the protein-ligand interactions, e.g. VEGFR2 receptor and its possible inhibitors, as one of the ways in cancer disease treatment. His national and international publication activities correspond with the two topics of his research mentioned above.

In relation to COMBLAB he created a web site where students and teachers can find the procedures to perform chemical experiments with two computer experimental systems. About 100 experiments are available in it. http://www.fpv.umb.sk/kat/kch/virtlab/index.html.

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