Vol 3 No 2 Suppl. 6 (2019)
Special Issue Article

Chemistry Beyond the Book: Open Learning and Activities in Non-Formal Environments to Inspire Passion and Curiosity

Sara Tortorella
Molecular Horizon srl, Via Montelino 30, 06126 Bettona (PG), Italy & Gruppo Interdivisionale “Diffusione della Cultura Chimica”, Società Chimica Italiana, VialeLiegi 48c, 00198 Roma, Italy
Bio
Alberto Zanelli
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la Fotoreattività, via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy & Gruppo Interdivisionale “Diffusione della Cultura Chimica”, Società Chimica Italiana, Viale Liegi 48c, 00198 Roma, Italy
Valentina Domenici
Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Università di Pisa, via Moruzzi 13, 56124 Pisa, Italy & Gruppo Interdivisionale “Diffusione della Cultura Chimica”, Società Chimica Italiana, Viale Liegi 48c, 00198 Roma, Italy

Published 2019-12-16

Keywords

  • Open Learning,
  • Chemistry,
  • Society,
  • Gamification,
  • Science Festival,
  • Didactics,
  • Interacting Teaching Approaches
  • ...More
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How to Cite

Tortorella, S., Zanelli, A. ., & Domenici, V. (2019). Chemistry Beyond the Book: Open Learning and Activities in Non-Formal Environments to Inspire Passion and Curiosity. Substantia, 3(2), 39 - 47. https://doi.org/10.13128/Substantia-587

Abstract

Several scientific channels on TV, crowded scientific fairs, and many serious scientific board games on the market demonstrate that people is curious about science. However, when asked about the perception of scientific subjects, chemistry in the first place, general public still shows rejection toward “too complicated”, “abstract”, and “far from everyday life” topics. Unarguably, every chemist would not recognize chemistry as neither “abstract” nor “far from everyday life”: actually chemistry, the so-called central science, is all around us. Where is the gap to fill, then? Why are not we able to convert that innate curiosity, which makes people stepping out from their houses to join public engagement activities, into genuine, time-persistent, passion about chemistry? Such questions will be addressed herein, giving practical examples of possible approaches to address the problem. Special emphasis will be given to new learning means, generically referred as “Open Learning” ones, and interactive teaching approaches typical of non-formal environments, such as Science Festivals. Real examples of activities beyond the formal curricula of chemical study, some carried out by us in the framework of the “Diffusione della Cultura Chimica –
Società Chimica Italiana ” mission and vision, will be discussed underlining their role in enhancing learning and inspiring confidence and passion toward chemistry.