The European Researchers’ Night and Researchers at Schools: researchers meeting children and showing the wonders of science

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today the European Researchers’ Night, Europe’s largest science communication and promotion event, will take place in 26 countries to showcase the diversity of European research and innovation and their impact on citizens’ daily lives. It will take place in several EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon Europe.

The event, which gathers over one million visitors every year in Europe and beyond, brings scientists closer to the general public and stimulates interest in research careers, especially amongst young people. Children, youngsters and families will have the chance to get to know researchers’ work through entertaining and educational activities such as science shows, games, quizzes, competitions, exhibitions, and digital activities.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “Every year the European Researchers’ Night unveils the wonders of science to children, teachers, parents and European citizens in fun, entertaining ways, and allow them to discover how our researchers improve our daily lives. And I am particularly delighted to announce that researchers and children will now be able to interact throughout the year thanks to “Researchers at Schools”, an initiative which will enhance the connection between research and education further by bringing research into schools.”

In the context of the European Year of Youth, the Commission has launched the new “Researchers at Schools” initiative, which will foster direct interaction between researchers, primary and secondary education teachers and pupils throughout the next two years. These exchanges will allow them to better grasp the challenges faced by our societies and broaden the access to science, technology, arts and mathematics (STEAM) and research activities. Activities under the “Researchers at Schools” initiative will be implemented by European Researchers’ Night projects and will include presentations at schools, hands-on experiments, visits to labs, games, discussions and role-playing. In the next two years, the initiative will reach out to more than 2400 schools and involve more than 224 000 pupils.   

These two flagship initiatives, funded under the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) create unique occasions to show in concrete ways how European research is vital for our future and welfare and its role notably in combating climate change, achieving the sustainable development goals and promoting healthier environment and lifestyles for European citizens.

Background

The European Researchers’ Night and Researchers at Schools are initiatives funded by the Commission’s MSCA and Citizens action. Their main goal is to bring research and researchers closer to the public at large, with a particular focus on families, pupils and students.

The European Researchers’ Night takes place every year on the last Friday of September. As of the 2022 edition, European Researchers’ Night projects also organise “Researchers at Schools” activities throughout the year, which will bring researchers to schools in order to interact with pupils at all levels of primary and secondary education.

In 2022, the European Researchers’ Night and Researchers at Schools activities will take place in 26 countries across EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon Europe: Iceland, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey.

Visitors, researchers, teachers are invited to consult the organisers’ websites for more information on the activities taking place in their country and on how to participate.

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