Several initiatives promoted by the European Commission have tried to make science education more attractive to girls, and to encourage them to a life in science. However, science education and science jobs are still not attractive to most girls in the EU. Some Erasmus+ have addressed this challenge, but we believe many remain in what we can call “modernisation” of traditional science learning, including forms of “girlification” that mostly do not fundamentally change female students’ images of science.
We have a historic opportunity to go much deeper, to take the girls’ values seriously, and by doing so foster motivation towards science and its transformational societal change, and start developing more fundamental changes in science learning.
This opportunity has two factors:
1. The EU Commissions’ promotion of open science schooling (OSS) as the most powerful innovation of science learning, including applying a responsible science approach.
2. The urgency for all youth to address climate change at all educational levels.
Climate change education is now included as priority in the Erasmus+ programme. The combination of including female values and concerns, OSS, and climate change engagement is the most powerful combination to make science and a life in science attractive to girls. More specifically:
- OSS offers to work critically with science, to address important science challenges, and to engage in collaboration with community players.
- Learning science through climate change prevention offers opportunities to create images of science presenting them as extremely useful to society and to protect new generations from imminent disasters.