14 SES 07 A, Communities Participation
Given the reported state of cognitive and affective disengagement with STEM (science) learning in youth [1, 2] due, in part, to a disconnection between school learning activities and young people lived experience together with the increasing demand for science related professionals in Europe , it is fundamental to find innovative ways to re-engage students in science learning by incorporating scientific practices and ways of thinking as part of a life-long learning strategy to create responsible citizens.
To tackle the abovementioned issue, starting in 2020, a consortium of educators, researchers, and students, as part of a European endeavour, have deployed an Open Science Schooling (OSS) project in Greece, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania, in which students are active agents at the heart of inquiry-oriented science learning. In the OSS project, students identify and frame the research problems that they are intrigued and interested in tackling, and they lead the discovery of solutions and innovations, helping situate science in every-day life. We believe that such a framework of science education for responsible citizenship, which contributes to solving social problems in the learners' own context, can work as an educational setting that re-engages students with science by incorporating scientific practices and ways of thinking, i.e., developing a science identity .
Research has suggested that science identity goes beyond a student willing to become 'a scientist', to also involving students understanding of what scientific practices, discourses and norms are from their own social experiences in school, family and friendship circles  . In addition, being recognized as a person who applies scientific practices, discourses and norms is also considered to be part of one’s science identity. Therefore, students must feel themselves to be a scientist and feel recognized by significant others as a scientist . Vincent-Ruz and Schunn (2018)  pointed out the role of science identity in driving students’ choice to pursue science experiences in- and out-of-school, and ultimately a professional science career .
Following the Open Science Schooling methodology , the student participants in the ongoing project have received guidance on developing science missions throughout the year 2020. They have engaged in the first long period of designing, developing, and implementing their science missions towards contextual solutions to local problems. At the same time, the students are creating valuable learning experiences and reflecting on their processes using storytelling and narratives from these science missions. Students from the four participant countries have developed their science missions and investigations related to local societal issues of their interest in collaboration with their teachers (cross-subject topics) and community experts (e.g., local enterprises, universities, research centres) with frequent hands-on investigations outside their classrooms or laboratories (often carried out using online platforms for virtual communications). This study reports specifically on the science missions of the Romanian students from the project. The student team identified community problems related to the high levels of pollution in their home city (Craiova). From March to December 2020, they identified the major sources of pollution in the city, made experiments, elaborated written materials, and produced informative videos. They also engaged with their municipality (major’s office) to express their concerns and report the results of their pollution level testing in different areas of their city. The practical application of an open science schooling didactical approach shows promising results towards fostering a strong science identity among the students who have developed the science mission.
This study adopted a pre- and post-intervention research design  in which data was collected from the students in March 2020 (pre-test) and December 2020 (post-test), comprising the first round of implementation of the science mission. The purpose was to identify if and to what extend the OSS methodology impacted the students' self-image as a scientist, how they perceived their teachers’ recognition of them as a scientist, and how these factors relate to each other over time. In this report, we present data from the Romanian students (n=8, 15-17 years old, 2 boys) who participated in the design, development, and implementation of their science missions through open science schooling. The instrument used was the STEM Professional Identity Overlap measure , adapted for the purpose of this study. The instrument is composed of a set of circle pairs with seven varying levels of overlap (from 1, a pair with no overlapping circles to 7, a pair with circles almost completely overlapping on each other). The participants were asked to identify the overlapping circle pairs that best represents the degree to which they perceive the image they have of themselves compared to that of a scientist in relation to: 1) what a scientist is, 2) what scientist's competences are, and 3) the extent to which they think their teachers see their identity as overlapping with that of a scientist. Repeated measures t-tests were conducted on the item average scores in order to assess if there was an increase in the scores after completing their science mission, within the OSS methodology. Additionally, paired correlations between each of the items at both times (pre-test: March 2020 and post-test: December 2020) were applied in order to determine how they relate to each other over time.
The descriptive statistics featured students’ ratings of their self-image as a scientist (Pre: M=4.50, SD=1.07; Post: M=5.13, SD=1.24; t(7)= -1.93, p=.09, d= .68); their competence as a scientist (Pre: M=3.75, SD=1.28; Post: M=5.38, SD=1.06; t(7)= -3.87, p=.00, d= 1.36); and their perception of teachers’ recognition of them as a scientist (Pre: M=4.25, SD=1.28; Post: M=4.88, SD=.99; t(7)= -2.37, p=.05, d= .84). Additionally, t-tests results showed a statistically significant increase in scores from pre- to post-test for all items except self-image as a scientist. Furthermore, the factors significantly relate to each other over time. Students’ self perceived science competence in March positively correlated with students’ self-image as a scientist by December (r=.91, p=.001), and students’ self-image as a scientist in March also influenced students’ self-perceived science competence in December (r=.94, p=.00). This result implies that engaging students in practical science learning experiences through OSS missions can enhance students’ perception of their science learning and ability and their science identity. To support these perceptions, the OSS methodology engages students in carefully documenting and reflecting on the progress of their missions (e.g., through learning diaries, blogs, portfolios and videos of activities). Finally, students who perceived that their teachers see them as a scientist in March had stronger self-image as a scientist in December (r=.78, p=.02). Therefore, everyday practices that reinforce students' perception of their teachers' confidence in their science learning and ability (e.g. praising efforts and opening science-related discussions), develop scientific (e.g. critical thinking) and science-related (e.g. ethical questioning) ways of thinking), and reinforce their potential to pursue a science profession (e.g. presenting students with different career options) can support students in developing their image as a scientist. The outcomes of this case study support the relevance of the OSS approach for strengthening students’ science identity through learning involving the community.
 Cowie, B., Jones, A., & Otrel-Cass, K. (2011). Re-engaging students in science: Issues of assessment, funds of knowledge and sites for learning. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 9(2), 347-366.  Murray, S., Mitchell, J., Gale, T., Edwards, J., & Zyngier, D. (2004). Student disengagement from primary schooling: A review of research and practice. Retrieved 15 January 2020. Online at https://www.cassfoundation.org/2016/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/StudentDisengagement.pdf  European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. (2016). Briefing Note – Skill shortage and surplus occupations in Europe. Retrieved 15 January 2020. Online at https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/9115_en.pdf  Ryan, C. (2015) Science Education for Responsible Citizenship. Report to the European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/research/swafs/pdf/pub_science_education/KI-NA-26-893-EN-N.pdf  Brown, B. A. (2004). Discursive identity: assimilation into the culture of science and its implications for minority students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(8), 810–834. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.20228.  Kim, A. Y., Sinatra, G. M., and Seyranian, V. (2018). Developing a STEM identity among young women: a social identity perspective. Rev. Educ. Res. 88, 589–625. doi: 10.3102/0034654318779957  Vincent-Ruz, P., & Schunn, C. D. (2018). The nature of science identity and its role as the driver of student choices. International journal of STEM education, 5(1), 1-12.  McDonald, M. M., Zeigler-Hill, V., Vrabel, J. K., & Escobar, M. (2019, July). A single-item measure for assessing STEM identity. In Frontiers in Education (Vol. 4, p. 78). Frontiers.  Calkin Suero Montero, Artur Baranowski and Jan Gejel. (2019) Open Science Schooling – Rethinking Science Learning. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, Palma, Spain. 1-3 July 2019. ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4 / ISSN: 2340-1117  Abbott, M. L. (2016). Using statistics in the social and health sciences with SPSS and excel. John Wiley & Sons.
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