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The Native Schools programme arrives to Portugal

Materials science, interculturality, luminescence and importance of water were the topics of the first Polish Native Schools workshop at the Saturday Polish school in Lisbon, run by Associação Sócio Cultural "Polónia".

Eleven Polish-speaking children aged between 5 and 10 years old joined the workshop on the 11th of May and were fascinated with everything they learned and experienced!

The initiative was led by Dr Olga Kaczerewska from CICECO – Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, Portugal, who is also a Native Scientist Coordinator for Polish in Portugal.

A group of four researchers from Poland, working in Portugal, met in Lisbon to share with the children what is to be a scientist and to celebrate their bilingualism. Pupils explored different topics. The scientists introduced them to interculturality and its importance among children; helped them to understand the complex phenomena of luminescence, using objects from everyday life; taught them about different materials and their applications; and explained how fish survive during winter and how pollution impacts life in the oceans.

Olga, the coordinator, said: “The workshop exceeded my expectation. It was the first Native Schools workshop in Portugal and also my debut as a coordinator. Smiles on pupils’ faces, willingness to take part in each activity and pride when receiving certificates were the best proof of the huge success of the workshop. Parents were equally happy and already asked for a second one to be organized.”

Matilde Gonçalves, assistant professor and linguistics researcher at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, coordinator of the scientific literacy programme, was also present at the workshop and commented: “I had the privilege to attend the workshop organised by Native Scientist, in which I could observe the impact of the project. In their workshops, science gains weight with the explanations and demonstrations from the scientists, and with the pupils who meet real-world scientists and learn how they can understand and follow their steps. All in all, the project is fantastic not only for its scientific component but also (and foremost) for its human component.”

All pupils enjoyed the meeting with the researchers and two of them already want to be scientists in the future. To see the photos of this workshop, please follow this link.

Native Scientist is an award-winning European-wide non-profit organisation that promotes cultural diversity in science, education and society. Native Scientist provides science and language workshops, science communication training, and bespoke projects for various institutions, including schools, universities and embassies. The work developed connects pupils with scientists to foster science and language literacy through role modelling and science and language integrated learning. Founded in 2013, their work reaches over 1,200 pupils a year and they count with a network of over 1,000 international scientists.


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