• The Inclusive Science Project aims to increase inclusivity in science education activities and has developed materials and tools that are now available to the scientific and educational community.
• The BIST centre IBEC is part of the project, collaborating with various diversity and inclusion professionals to design multiple ways of accessing information, including visual, written, and sensory.
For more than ten years, IBEC has been developing a scientific education and outreach programme in which more than 10,000 students have participated. Throughout these years, the need to adapt the contents and messages to cater to diverse classrooms has been identified. Furthermore, the LOMLOE law, which governs the Spanish education system, grants a 10-year period for ordinary schools to acquire the necessary resources for implementing standardised inclusive education.
IBEC, a BIST community research centre, has decided to contribute to this challenge by developing the “Inclusive Science: Addressing Diversity in Science Education Projects” initiative. This project aims to transform educational activities to make them more inclusive. The project is founded on a strong belief in the importance of creating scientific education practises in which all students feel included and have access to a variety of materials tailored to their needs, thus ensuring their access to science and technology.
The project has been developed over the past year, thanks to funding from the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT). Now, in order to contribute to the democratisation of scientific knowledge, the tools, materials, and examples that have been developed are being made available to the scientific and educational community. For this initiative, ways to approach scientific knowledge from different angles have been sought out, designing multiple ways of accessing information (visual, written, sensory, etc.), to provide spaces for reflection and ensuring learning for diverse groups of students.
During the project development stages, pilot tests were conducted, and collaborations took place with professionals from OBBIA, a consultancy specialising in diversity and inclusion, and ONCE, an organisation that provides services to individuals with disabilities. Specifically, ONCE organised a workshop and a guided tour of the IBEC facilities for children with visual disabilities. Additionally, a course was designed for science education professionals to adapt STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) educational activities for students with visual disabilities.
On June 28th, the project results were presented at the ESCOLAB conference on inclusion in educational activities in research centres. It was an opportunity to exchange perspectives and learn from various professionals.