Published: July 03, 2017
Published: July 03, 2017

Supporting The Sciences in The Netherlands!

The NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam is dedicated to developing and sharing expertise in inspiring science learning.

The museum offers educational knowledge to relevant intermediates in the working field of science and technology, and works together with universities and the international network of science centres to develop this knowledge. A large number of NEMO's activities also concern the development of primary and secondary school teachers.

We are proud to share news of our ongoing sponsoring of the learning facility through our community engagement grant, a relationship which started in 2014.

In collaboration with 10 primary schools, universities and other European science centers, NEMO has developed a European engineering curriculum, ‘Maakkunde’ (Dutch for ‘Engineer’).

The curriculum is based on scientific research and has been successfully tested. With the help of Maakkunde, children will discover the full spectrum of their talent in the field of engineering developing 21st-century skills, such as creativity, problem solving, collaboration and communication.

They will receive inspirational engineering education that leads to a positive experience at a young age. This positive experience will increase the chance that these children, later in life, will pursue engineering related studies.

A place for science and technology in primary education

In primary education, there is a need for a theoretical and practical understanding of design and discovery learning. NEMO presents Maakkunde as a practical and accessible way of giving design and discovery learning a place in the primary education curriculum. The method, which is based on scientific research, was developed in conjunction with professional educators and has been extensively tested in the classroom.

Maakkunde is consistent with primary education’s core objectives in science and technology, and with the Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development’s science and technology curriculum framework. NEMO’s approach is to train every single individual in a school teaching team. They learn how to use the design and discovery learning methodology by trying it out for themselves.

Design and discovery learning

People generally acquire skills by trying things for themselves. This approach, which is used by NEMO itself, is the subject of a great deal of research in the science museum. It is also used in the development of teaching materials, and in refresher courses for teachers.

At school children can be challenged to discover things for themselves. Unfortunately, in the area of science and technology, too few school courses give priority to both design learning and discovery learning. In the upcoming years, we want to train as many primary school teachers as possible to use our practical teaching method with complete confidence. They will soon be challenging their pupils to design their own solutions to problems that are reflected in the world as they see it, and to implement these solutions themselves.

Marjolein van Breemen, Head of Learning & Research, NEMO Science Museum