Learn and Experience Science Together Online – LESTO project is an Erasmus+ Key Action 2 School Education Cooperation Partnerships Project funded by the Erasmus+ Programme. In light of the following information, LESTO project was prepared and aims to establish a platform where Hands-on Science Education Kits, and Teacher’s Guide will be available to provide a collaborative, online science experiment platform.
Even though technology has a considerable effect on our daily lives, the use of technology in education systems is still inadequate and this need emerged dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide due to the shut down of the schools. According to World Bank “Across more than 170 countries, 1.5 billion students’ schools have closed as part of their governments’ response to COVID-19.
Now, ministries of education around the world try to ensure learning continuity for children and youth through distance learning. In most cases, efforts involve the use of various digital platforms featuring educational content and a variety of educational technology solutions to keep communication and learning spaces as open and stimulating as possible.” In line with digital learning, researches show that young people need to discover meaningful ways of discovery using technology for learning purposes and collaborative knowledge creation. Hands- on science can be defined as any instructional approach involving activity and direct experience with natural phenomena or any educational experience that actively involve students in manipulating objects to gain knowledge or understanding (Ateş and Eryılmaz, 2011).
It provides opportunities for students to acquire relevant functional knowledge and skills that are associated with scientific processes needed for advancement in science and technology. This method is the most effective method to achieve today’s science teaching outputs. The effectiveness of this technique increases, even more, when it is integrated with digital tools.
Considering all these issues related to distance education and hands-on science teaching, the main objective of this action shaped as establishing a “Hands-on Science Education Platform” to engage with practical and digital education to increase science literacy. To support this main aim, hands-on science education kits and the teacher’s guide will be prepared as other objectives within this project. Project partners are selected from Turkey (Özyeğin Uni, Eğlenceli Bilim, EFTA, SU/Öğretmen Ağı and İstanbul İl MEM), Belgium (EDI), Portugal (EDUGEP), and Serbia (CPN) according to their valuable experience in hands-on science education, distance learning, equity in learning including disadvantaged students and girls, networking in the field of education.