The UniSchooLabS project has ended - a huge thank you to all those who participated The UniSchooLabS project has ended - a huge thank you to all those who participated

The UniSchooLabS project is now closed. The project coordinators would like to thank all those who contributed in making this an amazing, stimulating experience for all involved.

UniSchooLabS logo"During the past 2 years I had the pleasure of working with engaged science teachers who used remote laboratories and virtual simulations with their students for the first time. They created nice inquiry-based online lesson activities for others to adapt and pick-up!" says UniSchooLabS Project Manager Anne-Christin Tannhäuser from Scienter. "Our project team got in touch with researchers at universities and science centers offering those great resources, all of them being happy to get feedback from and provide support to schools."

Dynamic workshops were held all over Europe (Athens, Prague, Crete, Brussels and Bologna) and participants helped fuel a lively and thought provoking online community. Opinions and ideas were exchanged to help build a vision towards university-school collaboration which will help improve science education across Europe. Anne-Christin adds "Through continuing efforts by our project partnership, I very much hope that more even more teachers in Europe will start taken advantage of the UniSchooLabS online toolkit and bring some new tools into their science classrooms."

Your participation will help to improve science education for thousands of European students in the future, congratulations!

The UniSchooLabS Toolkit and Teachers community will still be available and all project outcomes and interesting documents can be accessed through the Library.


UniSchooLabS workshop in Brussels 14-16 September UniSchooLabS workshop in Brussels 14-16 September

Science teachers from all over Europe attended a recent UniSchooLabS workshop during a series of Scientix workshops in mid September 2012 at European Schoolnet in Brussels.

The workshop brought together science teachers to discuss and experiment on making STEM teaching more motivating and engaging in the classroom of the future. It was ran by Augusto Chioccariello, ITD-CNR, UniSchooLabS Toolkit development. "I spent a sunny week-end in Brussels inside European Schoolnet's Future Classroom Lab working with a great group of teachers I met there for the Scientix workshop. We worked hard with remote, virtual and real labs trying to assess how they can be used and improve science education. However, we also had good fun and could put the sunny day to good use while using a solar cell to power-up a motor during the UniSchooLabS workshop." reflects Augusto. 

The training used the content and best practices of different EC projects, which can be accessed through the Scientix portal and the setting and facilities of European Schoolnet’s Future Classroom Lab (FCL).

During the workshop, participants came together to network and share experiences. The teachers had a chance to take part in hands-on training sessions within the Future Classroom Lab. "The Future Classroom Lab was an ideal location with plenty of technology, great equipment and provided us with plenty of ideas on how to put our Labs in good use." says Augusto. All participants got the opportunity to learn about different science projects like Xplore Health, Global Excursion, Pathway, inGenious and UniSchooLabs in the framework of Scientix and the Future Classroom Lab.

The UniSchooLabS workshop used 3 different areas of the FCL. 

 - the present zone for lecturing and discussion;
 - the investigate zone for hands-on activities;
 - and the exchange zone for mind-on.

The event kicked off with a demonstration of the Toolkit by showing all three types of Laboratories in the context of electrical circuits. (E.G. “Current Sensor” by Fourier education or other measurements tools from T.I. or Lego; “Circuit Construction Kit” from PheT; “VISIR” from BTH).

Participants were split into four groups and got to play the role of the students in an activity called "Is the Moon really larger…". They then had a go at creating or reusing a UniSchooLabs activity.

UniSchooLabS - Final international workshop UniSchooLabS - Final international workshop

The UniSchooLabS final Workshop was successfully carried out during the “A world of eLearning tools and inquiry resources” Summer Schools 2012 that was held in Panormos village in the island of Crete in Greece on the first week of July.

The workshop included a general presentation of the project, two hands-on sessions for teachers and one hands-on activity for students. In total, there were 42 teachers and the 43 students that where engaged in the hands-on activities. They had the opportunity to use the UniSchooLabS toolkit and work on simulating the formation of galaxies.

They used robotic telescopes from the UniSchooLabS lab catalogue in order to observe crashing galaxies and simulations that allowed them to recreate the images they received from the telescope and study the galaxies’ origin and future. All activities were very successful; the teachers and students that were engaged found our platform to be very interesting and convenient to use.

UniSchooLabS Final international workshop(s) UniSchooLabS Final international workshop(s)

discover cosmos logo

The final international UniSchooLabS workshops will take place in Crete, Greece during the first week of July.

The lucky teachers to attend them will have the opportunity to experience and put in use the final version of the Toolkit and get a hands-on experience on how they can use it in the classroom.

UniSchooLabS will be presented during the “A world of eLearning tools and inquiry resources” Summer Schools which are organized by Ellinogermaniki Agogi and the  Department of Physics, University of Crete.

The final workshop will include numerous different sessions which will be realized in different summer schools of the “A world of eLearning tools and inquiry resources”:
The first session will be part of the " Best Practices in Inquiry-Based Science Education " Summer school which focuses on the methodology and implementation of best practices in inquiry based learning. For more information, you can take a look at: .

The second session will be part of the "Discover the Cosmos: From Telescopes to Accelerators Enhancing Science Education by Exploring Science’s Past, Present, and Futures" summer school which aims to enhance science education by presenting the fabric of the cosmos as was shaped by scientific evidence and explanations through 400 years of scientific advancement. For more information about the program please take a look at:

Project presentation: The project will also be presented during a plenary session addressed to all participants of the 4 summer schools included in the “A world of eLearning tools and inquiry resources” set. The presentation will be integrated in the “Discover the COSMOS: From Telescopes to Accelerators” plenary session which aims to introduce new innovative educational tools including labs from the UniSchooLabS catalogue.

Students’ session: The UniSchooLabS team will also implement a session with high school students who will have the chance to work with the final version of the toolkit.
Stay tuned for pictures and reports from all sessions!

UniSchooLabS workshop in Bologna 30 March 2012 UniSchooLabS workshop in Bologna 30 March 2012

Teachers, university laboratory owners and policy makers discussed future collaboration for a better science education in Italy

Scienter organized a workshop to exchange opinions and build a vision towards university-school collaboration in the area remote/virtual laboratories to improve science education. Our team was backed up by Chiara Piccolo (MENON, Brussels), Augusto Chioccariello (CNR, Istituto per le Tecnologie Didattiche, Genova) and our UniSchooLabS pilot teachers Corrado Gamberonci, Ruth Löwenstein and Daniela Ambrosi who support our project by creating lesson activities for remote laboratories and test the toolkit on its usability for teachers.
25 individuals attended the workshop with the following topics on the agenda:

  • Introduction to the UniSchooLabS project and the online toolkit
  • Remote/Virtual laboratories and their potential for science teaching in Italian classrooms
  • The integration of the toolkit into classroom science education: Examples from Istituto Torno di Castano Primo and Liceo Scientifico Galileo Galilei di Perugia.
  • Building a shared vision:
    o    Which resources and excellent programmes exist in Italy on a regional and national level?
    o    Which initiatives could support the use of the UniSchooLabS Toolkit?
    o    Following the above, how do we plan future involvement? Which activities could we carry out in the future?
  • Discussion: How can we consolidate continuous collaboration between schools and universities to improve science education?

Carlo Angelo Borghi (Head of the Department for Electrical Engineering, University of Bologna) opening the workshop in the old library of the DepartmentAugusto Chiochariello (CNR-ITD) Corrado Gamberonci, Daniela Amrbosi – UniSchooLabS pilot teachersRuth Löwenstein – UniSchooLabS pilot teachers

Exploring the online toolkitSharing knowledge on existing initatives in science teaching and school-university collaboration – Group of teachersDiscussion on school-university collaboration: Maria Grazia Accorsi,
Alessandra Cenerini,
Lanfranco Masotti
Presenting results – Domenico Ponta, University of Genova and iniziato of ISILABS

Outcomes of the workshop in a nutshell

  1. The Italian Teacher Association (ADI) currently highlights the project on its website for teaching resources.
  2. Three further Italian schools will possibly work with the UniSchooLabS toolkit and remote laboratories in the future.
  3. The discussion led to the following insights from teachers, university representatives and other stakeholders (education innovators, Emilia-Romagna region, teacher associations etc.)
  • There are very many technical resources available with regards to remote and virtual laboratories, which could potentially be used by teachers.
  • Those are often located outside of Italy, many laboratories do not provide sound or engaging teaching and learning materials as those developed by the UniSchooLabS pilot teachers. Most laboratories hosted and maintained by universities are not designed to provide a larger-scale service to schools.
  • Teachers are not aware of the existence of remote/virtual laboratories and some of them have misconceptions about their potential. Teachers involved in the piloting activities were enthusiastic about the potential for experimentation in the science classroom and creative in developing lesson plans. The group felt a strong need to promote existing technical AND pedagogical material.
  • Participants expressed the lack of coordination and systemization for a wider take-up in schools. To achieve that a small group of teachers and laboratory owners might not be sufficient, but rather governmental or regional support in the educational sector is needed, since the mediation between schools and universities is a challenging field with different professional approaches.
Enter your OWN images in MicroObservatory's Global Astronomy Month contest! Enter your OWN images in MicroObservatory's Global Astronomy Month contest!

Dear MicroObservatory User,

We are excited to announce that April is Global Astronomy Month! To celebrate, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, NASA, and Astronomers Without Borders invite you to share your images in our second annual Astrophotography contest. As a MicroObservatory user, you already have all the tools to participate.

Who can participate? Anyone with an email address can use the MicroObservatory robotic telescopes to request electronic images of astronomical objects. If you are 13 or younger, you will need a parent or guardian to enter your photos for you.

What do I do? Take images using the Observing With NASA portal. Process the images with the free MicroObservatoryImage software, available on the OWN website. Only images taken with MicroObservatory and processed with MicroObservatoryImage software are eligible to win.

What are we looking for? Since you are Observing With NASA, we invite you to take images with the OWN portal, and then submit them along with a NASA image of the same celestial object. For example, if you take and process an image of the Lagoon Nebula using MicroObservatory, include an image of the Lagoon Nebula taken by a NASA telescope. Write a short comparison of the two images. It is okay if your image is very different from the NASA image! The idea is to look at the same object in two different ways, whether it be through different wavelengths of light, or through different creative lenses. We will have one winner for the best technical image, and one winner for the best astrocreative image. For examples, please see the MicroObservatory Facebook page.

   Lagoon Nebula—MicroObservatory   Lagoon Nebula—WISE Infrared

Are there resources to help me? Yes! Check out our Tools & Training webpage. There are short video tutorials that cover many topics, including how to make an Advanced RGB image! For finding NASA images, we recommend looking at the Hubble, Chandra, WISE, and Spitzer websites.

How do I share my images? Save your images as a .GIF and NASA images as a .JPG and send them as an attachment to with the subject line, Contest 2012 and either Astrocreative or Technical. Tell us anything you would like about your image and include this template in your email:
•    First Name and Last Initial:
•    Age (underline one): Under 13   13-18   18-24   25 and up
•    Title of your image:
•    Name of astronomical object:
•    How you made your image:
•    Which telescope took the NASA image:
•    Comparison of the two images (What kind of light does the NASA telescope detect? What features are different?):

•    Anything you would like us to know.

When does the contest end? Enter your images by Monday, April 30th. We will announce the winners mid-May.

What do I get if I win? The two winners will be featured on the Observing With NASA website, along with their images. In addition, the winners will receive a certificate from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and NASA along with a package of Astronomy prizes.
For more information, please visit the News & Views section of our website.
We look forward to seeing your images!

Best regards,
The MicroObservatory Team

“It’s lab time –Connecting schools to universities’ science labs” “It’s lab time –Connecting schools to universities’ science labs”

Workshop organised by SCIENTER in collaboration with the University of Bologna (Faculty of Electrical Engineering)

Bologna, 30 March 2012
11.00am - 6.00pm

Would you like to learn how to use high quality laboratory equipment in your science classroom? Attend our workshop organised in the framework of the project EU-funded project UniSchooLabS.

We are looking for 15 science teachers in astronomy, physics and chemistry

  • who are ready to integrate technology into their teaching and have a stance on ICT in the classroom
  • who would like to explore an online toolkit for schools designed to easy their access to remote and virtual laboratories provided by universities
  • who would like to build a common vision with representatives of Ufficio scolastico ER, Genitori, Fondazione , MIUR, Associazione Professionale degli Insegnanti.

Become our teacher representative to make the discussion grounded in the reality of school life.

The language of the workshop will be Italian. We are looking forward to your registration until 23 March 2012.

UniSchooLabS Training Workshop in Patra, Greece, Thursday 23rd of February 2012 UniSchooLabS Training Workshop in Patra, Greece, Thursday 23rd of February 2012

UniSchooLabS is kicking off 2012 with various events and workshops around Europe!

First stop in Greece where the Regional Directorate of Primary and Secondary Education in Western Greece in collaboration with the Research and Development Departments of Ellinogermaniki Agogi, organize training workshop on the use of educational digital libraries within the European Programme eContent + Open Science Resources on:

"Meeting educational information on the use and organization of digital educational material - The usefulness of digital libraries"

on Thursday, February 23, 2012, at 11:00-14:00, at the Pilot School, University of Patras, University Campus, University of Patras, GR 26504, which will be implemented in the form of presentations and experiential workshops.

Besides teachers, the event will be attended by several stakeholders, school directors, school counselors as well as people from the Ministry of Education. The total numbersof participants is expected to be more that 150.

For more information about the event and on how you can participate please contact: Mrs Eleftheria Tsourlidaki Email: - Tel: +30 210 81 76 790

UniSchooLabS at NetsEU 1st Annual Conference UniSchooLabS at NetsEU 1st Annual Conference

The NetsEU 1st Annual Conference aimed at networking on-going Comenius projects in the area of (non-formal) science education and plan collaborative activities. Project partners and associations from Italy and other European countries presented their activities.

UniShooLabS was invited to participate in this event by holding a poster session which was attended by approximately 20 teachers. Brochures have also been disseminated amonth the participants.

UniSchooLabS at EDEN 2011 Open Classroom Conference UniSchooLabS at EDEN 2011 Open Classroom Conference

A UniSchooLaAthens, GreecebS workshop took place during the 2011 Open Classroom Conference  which was held in Athens (Pallini), in Ellinogermaniki Agogi on 27-29 October 2011.

The workshop aimed to inspire teachers of primary and secondary education into using remote and virtual labs as means of enhancing science teaching and making it more effective and interesting for their students. Participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the UniSchooLabS toolkit which includes a catalogue of remote and virtual laboratories, numerous good practices associated with the previously mentioned laboratories and finally a tool which allows teachers to design their own activities for their classroom using remote and virtual labs. The tutors presented all labs included in the platform, outlined their purpose and demonstrated their main functionalities. They also demonstrated how these labs may be utilized to carry out activities like those included in the toolkit, using an example activity. Finally, the tool for creating new activities was presented and participants had the opportunity to use the tool themselves to create an example activity based on a set of digital materials that were provided by the organisers of the workshop.

UniSchooLabS workshop at Spice Summer Academy, 27-28 August 2011 UniSchooLabS workshop at Spice Summer Academy, 27-28 August 2011

As we have already announced sometime ago, the first UniSchooLabS workshop took place in Prague during the Spice Summer academy in the weekend of 27-28 August 2011.

UniSchooLabS workshop at Spice Summer Academy, 28-29 August 2011

On Saturday morning, Augusto Chioccariello (CNR-ITD), the UniSchooLabS partner who is working mainly on the development of the Toolkit, introduced theUniSchooLabS project to approximately 150 participants. After explaining what the project is about and its main aims he went through the challenges of enquiry-based learning and how the UniSchooLabS Toolkit will contribute to this direction.

In the afternoon of the same day the UniSchooLabS workshop with 15 Teachers from various countries took place. During the first half, teachers had the opportunity to explore the Toolkit and its, so far, content. Its functionalities and abilities were also investigated while at the end of the session, participants had the opportunity to provide Toolkit creators with feedback and pose their questions.

At the second half, Teachers had the opportunity to carry out an existing lesson plan based on the "Observing with NASA" laboratory. This laboratory provides access to various telescopes and allows users to take pictures of various planets throughout the day. The images are then sent to their email accounts and can be used for further investigation. The purpose of the specific lesson plan was to find out whether the size of the moon was the same at its rise and when it is near the horizon.

Our enthousiastic teachers took the two different images of the moon and applied all kinds of methods in an attempt to prove their point.

UniSchooLabS goes to Prague UniSchooLabS goes to Prague

UniSchooLaSpicebS will be presented at the Spice Summer School which will take place in Prague during the weekend of 27-28 August.

Around 150 teachers will have the opportunity to attend the plenary session presenting UniSchooLabS while 50 of them will be able to follow the workshop and try out for the first time the UniSchooLabS Toolkit!

For more information about the Spice Summer School program, please check here.

Pilot schools selection Pilot schools selection

UniSchooLabS partners are currently busy selecting the schools that will test, apply in their classes and evaluate the UniSchooLabs Toolkit. Schools come from a variety of countries across Europe and they will soon be asked to assist the partnership in testing the Toolkit and help it to reach its final form. The schools' distribution is the following:

  • Four (4) schools from Greece
  • Three (3) schools from Italy
  • Three (3) schools from Germany

Stay tuned as more information on the first testing event will become available!

Partners' news and events Partners' news and events

For more news from Scienter, click here.

For more news from European Schoolnet, click here.

For more news from Ellinogermaniki Agogi, click here.

For more news from ITD-CNR, click here.

For more news from Menon, click here.

UniSchooLabS is funded with support from the European Commission.
This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.