Learning Science Through Work Experience: Ciencia Viva Science Internships Program for Senior Secondary School Students

By Carlos Catalão Alves.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This enquiry examines a Science Internships Program (SIP) for high school students (K-10 to K-12) in Portugal. A survey of 4,207 apprentices was both quantitatively and qualitatively analysed to identify key underpinning themes expressed in students’ descriptions of their experience as science learners working alongside scientists in the workplace. The study ran throughout an eight-year nationwide science program, using a mixed-methodology approach combining qualitative and quantitative analysis of students’ experiences based on their own accounts and subjective ratings. It showed that this input from the scientific community provides opportunities for youngsters to understand the nature of scientific challenges, their application to real-world problems and ultimately, their societal implications, through first hand contact with the processes of science and the cultural environment in which they take place.

Keywords: Enrichment Program, Science Internships, Summer Science, Scientific Culture, Science Communication and Education, Ciencia Viva

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.13-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 838.405KB).

Dr. Carlos Catalão Alves

Director, Ciencia Viva-National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, Lisbon, Portugal

Carlos Catalao Alves, PhD Education, University of Cambridge, UK; Secondary school teacher until 1990, when he became head of the Multimedia Unit in the National Centre for Training of Trainers, where he got involved in a number of European projects in the area of the training of trainers. He was latter invited as multimedia developer for education and teacher training in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Back in Portugal, he was responsible for the unit of New Technologies for Education, at the Institute for Educational Innovation, Ministry of Education. Latter, in 1996, he joined the founding team of Ciencia Viva as project director. In 2002, he returned to Cambridge for a PhD in science education and communication. Back in Lisbon, in 2005, he became the deputy councillor for Education and Culture in Lisbon. He is now a member of the board of directors of Ciencia Viva.