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GAPP >The GAPP Project
The GAPP Project

It is well known that in Europe young people are losing contact with science and the number of science students in universities has decreased. At the same time, in this context a gender difference does exist: girls appear less interested in science and technology than boys and a gender disparity emerges from university matriculations in “hard science” faculties, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, or technological faculties, such as information science or engineering.

Collage from a Belgian Focus Group

The GAPP project will act on both these levels by establishing an integrated process of qualitative research and by developing new practices in science communication and education. The aim is to understand the reasons for this lack of interest young people – girls in particular – show in science and technology, to subsequently implement a social dialogue among the different stakeholders. This implies: firstly, identifying young people’s issues and expectations; secondly, developing and testing a range of practical activities to overcome gender differences.

Two participants of a Polish Focus Group

These goals will be achieved through a range of research instruments and participative procedures. It will take the discussion to a deeper level and will provide the opportunity to develop creative solutions and “pilot activities” to test the proposed practical solutions. Each phase will provide results – useful per se – to be also the basis for the next step in activities. The overall process and outcomes will be assessed and published for the subsequent dissemination of findings and recommendations to take into account the gender dimension in science education and in career guidance. A final conference is scheduled in order to spread the results to policymakers and experts all over Europe .

OST in Netherlands