OTTER newsletter

Dear reader,

Perhaps you're already savouring a few relaxing days in the warmth of your home, with the smell of oranges and hot cocoa in the air while overlooking snow falling in your neighbourhood... And if that's not the case, do not despair, as the winter holidays are just around the corner and we cannot wait to get our well-deserved rest after a busy-busy year. But before we leave 2023 behind, let's have a look at what the OTTERs have been working on in the past few months!

Our Learning Platform is now up and running, essentially working as an Education Outside the Classroom crash course, aiming to support educators across Europe in tailoring outside the classroom activities for their pupils and integrating environmental topics into their teaching. Then, we were tremendously happy to join the Open Schooling Network and collaborate on ways to integrate Open Schooling into the curriculum. Last but not least, we are happy to announce a joint event we are organising with the same network to explore STEAM education beyond the classroom! YAY!

So come join us on this exciting ride and let's hear it out for Education Outside the Classroom everywhere in Europe! 🥳


Beyond the classroom: rethinking STEAM education
Rethinking STEAM education

They say Rome wasn't built in one day - and if we learned something during our more than two years of work in the project, is that the only way to move forward and truly advance Education Outside the Classoom methodology is through cooperation and joining efforts with similar projects and initiatives.

This is why we are extremely excited to announce our biggest event yet - a joint conference on innovative practices and tools in STEAM education, with a focus on Open Schooling. We are looking at a highly interactive event, that aims to involve educators, researchers, and policy makers in a conversation on revolutionising education around Europe. The event will take place in Brussels on 15 February 2024 and will see the OTTERs reunite with sister projects within the Open Schooling Together network.

Further details on venue, agenda and speakers to be announced soon - in the meantime, make sure to secure your free spot here and spead the news in your network!

Explore the OTTER Learning Platform
OTTER Learning Platform

With the new year, come new opportunities - so why not learn a thing or two about the Education Outside the Classroom methodology? What makes our learning platform special is its digestible content, making it super-easy for you to grasp information! From practical tips on how to design an OTTER Lab (tailored to your students' age and needs) to how you can teach about sustainability in an engaging way, our platform has something for every teacher!

Check it out here
Help us enrich the OTTER Map with EOC practices

Perhaps you've already got hooked on Education Outside the Classroom practices and you're looking to give your students a chance to take part in such activities, but you are not aware of the existing possibilities in your country. Or perhaps you'd like to see which opportunities can be found in other countries. Either way, you don't have to worry, we've got you covered! We have put together a map with programmes, sites and places where you can make this happen and also contribute with your EOC practices!

Learn more
Policy Brief: Open Schooling as a Boost for Europe's Skills
Open Schooling

Recently, we have taken all the lessons we've learned in the project and we transformed them into recommendations for policy makers, thus joining other 11 sister projects with Open Schooling at their core! That's right, we have contributed to a joint Policy Brief that outlines the benefits of outside the classroom education and provides a roadmap for the future, acknowledging the challenges, but also the opportunities ahead. The report was compiled by Open Schooling Together, Make It Open and Scbools as Living Labs.

Read more
OTTER partner leads workshop for future teachers on EOC
NHL Stenden Hogeschool

Our dear partner, Dr. Nathália Helena Azevedo, conducted a 1-hour workshop on learning science outside the classroom for around 50 preservice elementary international teachers from NHL Stenden Hogeschool, a prestigious institution in Meppel, the Netherlands, and engaged with the students on innovating STEAM education, while presenting the outcomes of our project.

Read more
General Assembly in Tampere, Finland

The OTTERs have reunited for their second face-to-face General Assembly - this time in Tampere, Finland, thanks to our partner, Learning Scoop, who not only kindly welcomed us, but also gave us a glimpse into the Finnish educational system. We had the chance to go over our project's progress and set up the strategy for the final months. Two productive days spent in the best company!

Read more
Bridging Oceans and Hearts: Otters inspire education for nonhuman life preservation
By Nathália Helena Azevedo, University of Groningen
The OTTER perspective

Not only are they cute, but they help maintain aquatic ecosystems - our blog post delves into the role otters play in the preservation of our marine environment and how this is endangered, like many other things, by plastic pollution.

Check it out


What drives our motivation in OTTER? A big part of the "why" behind our project is the fact that we know Education Outside the Classroom highly benefits students - and we want them to have this opportunity to learn any STEAM topic in a stimulating way that ignites their curiosity. But it turns out pupils aren't the only ones who benefit from it... We conducted a short interview with one of our coordinators of the OTTER Labs to find out the insights she's gained in the process. You can check it out here or here.

Our newsletter is out

If you don't follow our sister project, Surrounded by Science, yet - what are you waiting for? This project brings together passionate science education researchers from all over Europe who are working on crafting a systematic methodology designed to unpack the deep impact of out-of-school science activities. Kudos to them! To keep in touch, we recommend you subscribe to their newsletter - the autumn edition came out not a long ago! What's inside? Well, you can discover more here.

Thank you for following our work! Let's stay in touch!
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European Commission
This project has received funding from the European Union's research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101006482.

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