President ECOSF visits TuWaS!- German Brand of IBSE Supported by the Industry

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While in Bonn- Germany during the 5th Plenary Session of IPBES, President ECOSF Dr. Manzoor Soomro took the opportunity to visit to the German design of Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) programme called TuWaS! (Technik und Naturwissenschaften an Schulen, Technology and Science in Schools) in Cologne on March 8, 2017.  It's led by Professor Petra Skiebe Corrette of Freie University Berlin and fully funded by the Industry in Bonn-Koln. The major contributor are CCI Koln and the industries particularly the chemical industry giant INEOS that support the TuWaS!. TuWaS! is a program to promote inquiry-based science education (IBSE) in primary schools in Germany. It was founded in 2007 as a cooperation between the Freie University Berlin and the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities as a result of the success of the Pollen project. Pollen was a European research and development project supported by the European Commission (6th Framework Program), aiming to stimulate and support science teaching and learning in primary schools in 12 European “Seed cities”. TuWaS! is based on five pillars: (1) professional development of teachers, (2) providing teaching material, which is (3) curriculum based, (4) the involvement of the community and (5) assessment. In the five years up to 2012, TuWaS! has trained over 1000 teachers and serves over 170 primary schools in four different German states. TuWaS! follows the model and material developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Washington D.C.USA. The teachers are pre trained by Master Trainers at the CCI. The CCI pays for coordinator, material, transportation, teachers’ trainings and training place. The teachers and trainers do it voluntarily; however, the schools allow their time to spend in trainings.

Director of Science Education program of CCI Cologne Mr. Cristopher Meir welcomed Prof. Soomro and presented the detailed design of the IBSE programme in Germany. Coordinator of program in the region Sylvia Hüls took Prof. Soomro in an on-going session of teachers training, wherein the electric circuit was being discussed. Afterwards he was shown around the INEOS facility, the models and training materials. Prof. Soomro also had a meeting with Communications Manager of INEOS Dr. Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua responsible for school support under TuWaS!

President ECOSF proposed the collaboration between ECO-CCI and National Chambers of Pakistan, Iran and other ECO countries with a focus on inquiry based science education sponsored and funded by the private sector. Prof. Petra, Mr. Meir and Dr. Abarzua assured Prof. Soomro of their cooperation in this regard and assured to discuss with the relevant personnel in CCI-Cologne how the cooperation can be made possible in education sector with the involvement of industry and CCIs.

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