Ark of Inquiry is a research and development project funded by the European Commission. 13 project partners from 12 countries design an entire system to disseminate various inquiry-based activities that have proven successful across Europe to spark an interest in inquiry learning in young people.
Project started in March 2014.
Project budget is nearly 2.8 million euros, principal funding (nearly 2.5 million euros) from the European Commission.
Project duration is 4 years (2014-2018).
Teachers, pupils, scientists, university students and science centres will be taking part in the project. Teachers play a crucial part, guiding pupils in their inquiry-based activities. Teachers are the main stakeholders of the project. They will receive specific face-to-face training for initiating inquiry-based activities and ensuring their successful continuity for years to come. Scientists, university students and science centres carry the important role of providing a support network to the teachers and pupils.
At least 23 000 pupils and 1 100 teachers will participate in the project.
Inquiry-based learning is a method which enables to pick up different kinds of subject matter knowledge through inquiry experience. In the course of inquiry-based learning, scientific problem-solving is taught through various activities: reading scientific publications; formulating problems, inquiry questions or hypotheses; planning and conducting observations or experiments; analysing collected data, and making conclusions or generalisations.
There are 13 project partners from 12 countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey.
Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is an approach to research and innovation which helps societal actors and innovators to work together during the research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of European society. In practise, this approach involves: a) ensuring gender equality, b) taking the ethical implications of research into account, c) promoting science education, d) engaging society more broadly in the research process and e) increasing access to scientific results. (Science with and for Society, 2014)
An Inquiry Passport is a document that describes pupils´ inquiry experiences and skills in designing science for and with the society. When the young researchers have completed a particular set of inquiry-based activities, they can apply for an Inquiry Award: an inquiry star, diploma, bronze medal, silver medal, and gold medal. The awards will be given in several categories, depending on the age of the learners.