Introduction to GIFT
The EGU Committee on Education has organised Geosciences Information for Teachers (GIFT) workshops since 2003. These are normally two-and-a-half-day teacher enhancement workshops held in conjunction with EGU's annual General Assembly. There, selected top-level scientists working in the Earth sciences offer the invited teachers talks centred on a different theme every year. Teachers are also provided with teaching strategies and activities related to the theme. For the past few years, the EGU has also organised GIFT workshops at different locations worldwide.
The main objective of the GIFT workshops is to spread first-hand scientific information to science teachers of primary and secondary schools, significantly shortening the time between discovery and textbook, and to provide the teachers with material that can be directly transported to the classroom. In addition, the full immersion of science teachers in a truly scientific context and the direct contact with world leading geoscientists are expected to stimulate curiosity towards scientific research that the teachers then transmit to their pupils.
The annual evaluation data and feedback from the teachers involved indicate the great success of this strategy for the teachers, their colleagues and their pupils.
Aims & scope
The EGU Geosciences Information for Teachers (GIFT) programme offers teachers of primary school to high school the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge in geoscience themes and to shorten the time between new discoveries and textbook information.
The programme includes three different activities:
Organised at each EGU General Assembly, this symposium combines presentations on current research by leading scientists with hands-on activities presented by science educators for around 80 teachers who have applied and been accepted.
The EGU sponsors and organises GIFT workshops at international conferences, such as at Alexander von Humboldt conferences and International Geological Congresses.
The EGU is planning to sponsor GIFT series around the world, each series receiving reduced funding over time, following a “capacity building” scheme. The first workshop series will be the Pan-American GIFT at Merida open to teachers in Central America and held at the new Parque Cientifico y Tecnologico de Yucatan (2020–2023). The second series is planned for the University of Cape Town and Iziko Museums of South Africa (2021–2024).