Launch event of Cinema and Science (CISCI)

 

Science and science fiction are the basis of many popular films. Rafael Reyeros from the CISCI project describes the launch of this Internet database to help teachers use film clips to illustrate, discuss and debate science in their lessons.

 

Image courtesy of CISCI

 

CISCI (Cinema and Science) is an educational project providing a new classroom resource for 10 to 18-year-old pupils.  It combines the two most popular forms of media among youngsters, namely movies and the Internet, and aims to stimulate interest in science and innovative teaching methodologies.  CISCI is setting up a free online database of video clips from documentaries and popular movies that serve to illustrate scientific and mathematical concepts.  Students and their teachers will be able to analyse the scientific content of these clips, both by using films that accurately portray aspects of science and by engaging in discussion and debate over pseudo-scientific films.  Each entry in the database provides teachers with all the information required for a classroom discussion of the scientific concepts.  Depending on the copyright situation, entries include either the video clip itself or the relevant links to purchase the film.

 

The project was launched on 15 November 2006 at the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy, in the presence of Stephen Parker from the European Commission, the rector and vice-rector of the Università degli Studi di Milano, members of the CISCI consortium, interested teachers and educational experts from Italy and all over Europe.  The event consisted of an institutional welcome followed by presentations from educational experts.  Heinz Oberhummer from the Vienna University of Technology and co-ordinator of CISCI then gave his presentation on the structure of the project, its objectives and examples of how to use the resource in classrooms.  The excitement and interest after the presentations were reflected in a vivid and lengthy discussion, and many positive comments were received from attending teachers.  After the presentations, attendees were offered the chance to test the CISCI websitew1, as well as engage in some more discussions over a light buffet meal.  CISCI is part of the NUCLEUS clusterw2, funded under the European Commission’s Sixth Framework Programme in ‘Science and Society’.  CISCI was online in seven European languages (English, German, Italian, Czech, Slovenian, Estonian and Latvian) with more than 130 content units in each language by the end of 2006.  The number of content units in CISCI is expected to grow on a weekly basis.  If you are interested in contributing content units to CISCI, please contact the co-ordinator of the CISCI project, Heinz Oberhummer (heinz@oberhummer.at).  For further details and to view content, please visit the CISCI websitew1.

 

Web references

w1 - CISCI website: www.cisci.net A sample content unit from CISCI is available in this issue of Science in School: see Erin Brockovich http://www.scienceinschool.org/2007/issue4/erinbrockovich.

w2 - The NUCLEUS cluster of projects includes not only CISCI, Science in School and Science on Stage, but also the PENCIL project (see Explor@mobile: using new technologies to teach science to teenagers http://www.scienceinschool.org/2007/issue4/pencil), the Volvox network for bioscience education, and Scienceduc, a project to improve primary-school science teaching.  For further information, see:

Science on Stage website: www.scienceonstage.net

PENCIL website: www.xplora.org/ww/en/pub/xplora/nucleus_home/pencil.htm

Volvox website: www.eurovolvox.org

Scienceduc website: http://scienceduc.cienciaviva.pt

 

Resources

The launch event can be viewed online here: www.brera.unimi.it/eng/iniziative/cisci/Workshop06.html

 

 

 

This article was first published in 'Science in School', a European journal to promote inspiring science teaching. Reyeros, R. Science in School, 2007, 4, 9-10.  (http://www.scienceinschool.org/2007/issue4/ciscilaunch)