Among the manifold activities aimed at improving STEM education, the ALLEA Working Group on Science Education is currently working on the preparation of the third AEMASE Conference, which is intended to take place in the second half of 2017.
The ALLEA Working Group on Science Education, chaired by Professor Giancarlo Vecchio, has over the last years put great effort in promoting the cooperation between academies in the AEM (African, European and Mediterranean) region.
Amongst the activities of the informal AEMASE network (African-European-Mediterranean Academies for Science Education), which aims to improve science education in schools in the AEM area, it has organized two intercontinental conferences during the past years: the AEMASE I Conference, hosted by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome in 2014, and the AEMASE II Conference, held in the premises of the Académie Nationale des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal in Dakar in 2015.
During both conferences, participants from various continents shared their experiences and best practices developed in their countries to reform science education focusing on the novel pedagogical approach IBSE (Inquiry-Based Science Education). On the occasion of the AEMASE II Conference delegates of European and African academies signed the Dakar Declaration calling for a sound cooperation among Academies, Ministries of Education, the African Union, the European Commission, UNESCO and foundations for the renewal of science education at the intercontinental African-European level.
For the AEMASE III conference, the Maltese Government has been approached with an invitation to host the event on the Mediterranean island. A preliminary response signalled a keen interest. Subsequent discussions on a final agreement and concrete arrangements for date and venue of the conference are currently underway.
The conference will again provide a unique opportunity to bring together an international audience of scientists and researchers, science education experts and teachers trainers, policy-makers and politicians, representatives of funding agencies and foundations and to provide a platform to discuss the challenges for the future of science education, to stress the importance and benefits resulting from its reform in Africa and Europe and to promote AEMASE projects in the field of teachers´ professional development.
A Scientific Committee for the conference is currently being formed, co-chaired by Odile Macchi, member of the Académie des Sciences in France, and Norbert Hounkonnou, President of the Benin National Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, and including a number of further representatives from African and European academies, renowned scientists from Malta as well as the Presidents of the academy networks ALLEA and NASAC (Network of African Science Academies).