On 4-6 May, the 3rd edition of the Scientix Conference took place in Brussels, Belgium. This three day event focussed on teachers and educators from Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines, and was aimed at working together to improve STEM activities and informal science education. The Astronomy & Society Group of Leiden University exhibited projects as Universe in a Classroom.
More than 350 teachers, policymakers, researchers and project managers participated in the conference. During the three days, UNAWE was presented at a booth with other projects organised by the Astronomy & Society Group, such as Space Awareness and IAU astroEDU.Visitors could take a closer look at the Universe in a Box educational kit or learn more about the various teaching resources available on the website. Also, everyone could participate in a contest to win a UNAWE Earth Ball, an inflatable version of our planet that can be used in the classroom using the Earth Ball activity book.
In the plenary session, Mahbobah Ahmadi promoted Universe in the Classroom and the other projects to the audience. "You don't need a telescope to explore the Universe and inspire children with science." She explained how astronomy is a very useful tool to teach children that we all share the same planet within the universe which gives them an idea of global citizenship.
Mahbobah Ahmadi gives a presentation about the projects of the Astronomy & Society Group of Leiden University during the plenary session.
On the second day, Open Science Hub organised the workshop "STEM in the classroom: How DIY water quality sensors bring science to our students". Over 40 participants created sensors with which students can measure the quality of water and soil around the school.
The closing ceremony started with the UNAWE Earth Ball awards: 5 lucky participants won a UNAWE Earth Ball to use in their educational activities. The conference was closed with an award ceremony for the creators of the best poster and the participant that posted the best tweets about Scientix.