Innovation and creative thinking are needed especially in the present age - "business as usual" has led us to the brink. The ISCOPE project aimed to integrate the emotional involvement of art with the curiosity of science to obtain a verifiable package of methods to stimulate engagement in science at all educational levels. Innovative ways of teaching biology at the university and reaching secondary schools worldwide gave us 5 global science operas live online (Skylight, Ghost Particles, Moon Village, One Ocean and Gravity) as well as a new rock opera "Fish to Mars" now in its fourth iteration and based on real science. The participants and the audience have numbered in the thousands. Accompanying websites contain more information and ideas for the curious (Globalscienceopera.com; https://fish2mars.w.uib.no/;handsonuniverse.org). This effort has been critically evaluated by learning and performance experts, pointing to the importance of feedback mechanisms between students, teachers, assistants and especially administrators to create a real-world exploration environment with real-world implications.
The ISCOPE project's original goals were to integrate and evaluate innovative arts and sciences practices to improve science communication on the oceans where UiBergen excels (ISCOPE = integrating sciences of oceans, physics and education).
The most valuable aspects of the university course were the Ethical Role Play (about global salmon farming); the critical reading of scientific publications using the validated "Bullshit detector"; and the field work regarding water quality for drinking and bathing in the local municipality. It was also stated that "The findings point clearly to the fact that the majority of students do not receive sufficient training in communication and presentation skills prior to this course."
Six original science operas were evaluated: Fish to Mars, Skylight, Moon Village, Ghost Particle, One Ocean, Gravity. Our audiences have totaled in the thousands. Stories have featured on BBC news, social media, local and international media and institutional programs.
i-SCOPE will provide a solid foundation to build a sustainable Norwegian world-class excellence in approaches to global ocean research needs. This proposal brings together world-class expertise in science and education (UCalifornia Berkeley UCB, and Concordia Univ Conc) with innovative educational milieu in Norway (UiB marine sciences at BIO, bioCEED Center of Excellence and Univ College of Stord and Haugesund HSH). The work in iSCOPE will focus exchanges and research around two innovative activities in science and communication: the Skylight global Project with the Global Hands On Universe(HSH, UCB) and the large BIO300 course with the Center of Excellence BioCEED (BIO, HSH, Conc). Both focal points are active, funded and in constant development using innovative methodologies (digital and analogue, pedagogic and scientific). The SkyLight Work Package (HSH, UCB) will realize the participation of USA and Canadian Masters and PhD students as the central body dedicated to linking research and education in this science communication event which is coordinated in Norway. Successful strategies identified in Skylight and the Global Hands On Universe Project (UCB)will be applied and evaluated in the BIO300 Work Package (UiB), a constantly-evolving, national prize-winning, flagship course of UiB with clear social impact. In the final year, these identified excellent strategies will be implemented in other grad courses, evaluated using quantitative methods established at UConc (Canada) and selected for further diversification in graduate courses of aquatic biology. The iSCOPE Project will also hold annual seminars, workshops, joint supervision of students and PhDs, and further strengthen their ongoing partnerships. iSCOPE will identify bottlenecks to the creation and Application of a suite of verifiably effective, innovative science pedagogies to stimulate world-class intellectual inquiry and identify bottlenecks for Norway to become a leader in the impact that marine biological research offers the global community.
INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research