Launch of new science website for children

A new website aiming to answer children’s curious questions about science was launched at the recent ‘European Researchers’ Night 2007′ event.

The website, developed by the EU-funded project European Children’s Future University Network (ECFUN), aims to answer children’s questions with science facts, whilst hoping to encourage them to
take up science subjects at school, and hopefully later as a career. It also aims to remove common misconceptions about science and scientists, including gender-based stereotyped assumptions.

The main message of the website is that learning about science and scientific careers is fun. It achieves this goal by providing a virtual lecture hall with a number of lectures written by
scientists answering some of the questions that children often ask. These include how the human body works and why the sky is dark at night.

Although many other science websites aimed at children already exist, this one is different in that the scientists have provided information about themselves in a brief biography. Through this
short CV with personal photos the children can discover something about the writer’s background.

Another interesting element of the website is the meeting room or forum where children have the opportunity to get in contact with scientists, as well as other children with similar interests
all around Europe.

Finally, all information is provided in six different European languages: English, German, Maltese, Polish, Slovak and Swedish. This offers teachers the possibility to use the materials for
bilingual and multilingual lessons, and to teach language through the medium of science.

The ECFUN project is a Specific Support Action funded by the European Commission under the Science and Society theme of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

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