mascil (mathmatics and science for life!) is aimed at promoting a widespread use of inquiry-based science teaching (IBST) in primary and secondary schools. In addition, we will connect mathematics and science education to the world of work: Both inquiry-based science teaching and the connection to the world of work will make mathematics and science more meaningful to students. When doing inquiry-based tasks, students work like scientists and by doing so, they acquire competencies they need for their future professional and personal lives as active citizens.

In a classroom where inquiry-based learning occurs, students take an active role. They pose questions, explore situations, solve problems, find their path to solutions and communicate their reflection. Inquiry-based learning (IBL) can have many faces, dependent on context, target group and learning aims. However, IBL learning approaches all have the shared characteristics of aiming to promote students' curiosity, engagement and learning in-depth.

In order to implement inquiry-based teaching and to connect mathematics and science education to the world of work, mascil follows a holistic approach by carrying out a variety of activities, including the development of materials and running professional development courses. Our professional development courses for pre- and in-service teachers start in 2014 and will be supported by teachers from vocational education and representatives from industry. Teachers taking part in our training courses will experience inquiry-based teaching methods and be able to integrate these into their school practice through interative cycles of implementation followed by reflection.

The participants will also develop tasks in vocational contexts, leading to a European repository of inquiry-based tasks, which can be found here: classroom material. Our platform for teachers makes it possible for teachers to profit from the international perspective of mascil.

To ensure a widespread participation, we will start out either with a small number of teachers who in turn become multipliers of mascil and offer courses to further teachers, or we will - depending on the national context - use e-learning. To promote mascil and make the project known on a wide-spread basis, we will also involve parents, students, school authorities and policy makers with the help of conferences, workshops, publications and round tables. National and European advisory panels are to bring together stakeholders to advise partners throughout the project, whilst policy makers will be reached by workshops and policy papers. Read more about our activities.

To ensure the effectiveness of our work, we will start with a detailed analysis of the different educational systems of the thirteen countries represented by the partner universities and institutes of mascil:

University of Education Freiburg, Germany

Utrecht University, Netherlands

University of Jaén, Spain

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway

Hacettepe University, Turkey

Babes-Bolyai University, Romania

University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Divulgación Dinámica S.L. (Dynamic Disclosure S.L.), Spain

University of Vienna, Austria

Vilnius University, Lithuania

The University of Nottingham, Great Britain

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece

University of Münster, Germany

EDEX-Educational Excellence Corporation Limited, Cyprus

Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Bulgarian Academy of Science, Bulgaria

University of Kiel, Germany

The project mascil has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement n° 320693. It runs four years and brings together 18 partners from 13 countries. These partners include experts in science and mathematics education, general education as well as e-learning.