Topic/Area: Science

Date released: 8 Feb - 20 June 2020

Type of Best Practices

  • PD/Training programme
  • Toolkit
  • Online Tools, Applications or Platform
  • Reports
  • Handbook/ Guidelines
  • Self-Assessment Test

Partners / network

Institute of Science Education and Communication at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, Organiser

Description of the methods/ approach

ROOTS is an after-school community program which offers a space where families, educators, visiting scientists and artists come to work together on science investigations. It offers the residents of Beijum and neighbouring districts opportunities to engage in science-related activities on Saturday mornings.

ROOTS is used to refer to the urgency of communities moving towards a more environmentally sustainable future. “Ik ben Science” is used to refer to the programme’s aspiration to increase students’ self-identification with science, or put simply, seeing themselves as science persons. The activities are not only related to science but incorporate technology, engineering, environmental sciences, the arts and mathematics. The programme aims to offer a space where families, educators, visiting scientists and artists come to work together on science investigations. We envision that a diverse group of persons will find the space welcoming and embrace the practice of science as something within their reach and abilities.


The program aims to engage young children living in underprivileged and ethnically diverse communities in science investigations rooted within problems situated in their local contexts, e.g. explorations of the environmental and social implications of earthquakes. It aims for these children to gain an interest in science and consider careers in science, while at the same time helping migrant children and their families connect with their local communities.

Evaluation (results) of its effectiveness (if applicable)

The program is still ongoing, so no evaluation yet. However, the Open Day on Feb. 8 th was the first of the 20-week programme that is open to 8-13 year olds.
On the first day, we had about 50 people packed into the Grand Theatre room of the Trefpunt centre, engaging with attractions such as the blender bikes where you ride the bicycles to make your own smoothie and kitchen science with slime. The feedback has been wonderful with the kids inviting their friends to join them in following sessions.

Overview of the lessons learned which are relevant to the project

Professional development of the trainers is important in order to support them in developing a shared understanding of STEAM as a set of integrated activities across the different disciplines instead of compartmentalized activities situated in distinct activities.

The arts and especially the role of creativity across the STEM fields needs to be addressed explicitly. While ARTS is easy to incorporate in lessons its relevance and value is not directly recognized by the participants.

References/online sources

  • 6 shorts videos demonstrating experiments
  • 12 Videos and more than 300 images of parents and children engaging in investigations
  • Student work (photovoice, drawings etc.)
inner inner-partners