On December 13th, the kick-off meeting of the higher education Erasmus + Project PERSIST_EU (Knowledge, beliefs, Perceptions about Science of European Students) was held at the House of the Science of Valencia. The main objective of this project is to quantify and measure the value of training and education in university students when making personal decisions related to science, technology, health and environment. Members from the seven institutions participating in PERSIST_EU gathered together last month to discuss about the main points to progress in unison for the correct development of the project.
PERSIST_EU partners will develop an ICT tool to evaluate how the opinions of university students about vaccines, complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), climate change and genetically-modified organisms (transgenics) could be modified after participating in training sessions about the scientific method and the use of epidemiologic data. To do so, 100 university students will be selected in each of the five participant countries (Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Italy and Germany), according to the characteristics of the student community in their region. The volunteer students will answer a questionnaire in the TIC tool before and after the training sessions. The developed TIC tool will provide the required information for the researchers to be able to analyse the changes generated in the opinion of the university students with respect to the scientific topics aforementioned.
Moreover, the project also seeks to analyse the regional, gender and cultural differences of the student body with respect to these subjects. Both the ITC tool and a digital book containing the methodology, analysis, results and discussion of the project will be freely available online and could be used to reproduce the experiment in other scientific subjects and with students from different educational levels. The tool will be available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish and Slovak.
The ScienceFlows researchers Carolina Moreno, Isabel Mendoza and Empar Vengut-Climent lead this project with a budget of 236.255 euros. The institutions involved in PERSIST_EU are Universitat de València, University of Trnava (Slovakia), Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), Observa Science in Society (Italia), and the PYMEs FyG Consultores (Spain) and Danmar Computers (Poland).