The 2nd Transnational Project Meeting of Virtual Pathways was held from 24 to 26 November 2021 at the National History Museum of Crete in Heraklion, Greece. The meeting was a hybrid event, with some participants being physically present and some joining by conference call.
The meeting started with a warm welcome by the project coordinator, Prof. Hannu Salmi (University of Helsinki), setting the stage for 3 days of productive collaborative work. On the 1st day, the partners reviewed the progress made since June 2021 and discussed the steps needed to move forward. This included the successful completion of the Virtual Pathways Methodology, now available at the project’s website, the further development and elaboration of the Virtual Pathways Activities and Resources, and the preparatory work for the design and delivery of the project’s training programmes and materials for teachers, including the Virtual Pathways Summer School, which will take place from 3 to 8 July 2022 in Greece.
The 2nd day started with an inspiring presentation by Ari Laakso (Arktikum Science Centre) about the rich opportunities offered by the utilization of virtual exhibition platforms for overcoming time, space and financial barriers faced by both schools and informal science education providers during and post pandemic times. The baton was then passed to Angelos Alexopoulos (Ellinogermaniki Agogi), who presented the project’s dissemination strategy and tools to communicate Virtual Pathways to teacher communities in Finland, Greece, Italy and Sweden but also to promote the project’s outcomes to EU online platforms for school education, such as the School Education Gateway and eTwinning.
Prof. Salmi then took the floor to speak about the Virtual Pathways Evaluation Methodology, followed by the Roadmap, the final project outcome aimed at demonstrating how the worlds of educational and technological research and development, school communities, and formal and informal education stakeholders can be brought together, mobilized and facilitated to interact and collaborate towards generating meaningful and sustainable educational innovation.
The afternoon session started with a live connection to Stockholm with Annika Hedås-Falk (Nobel Prize Museum), who updated the consortium on the status of their activities and discussed ways in which synergies can be strengthened. As a perfect end to the 2nd day, the partners physically present at NHMC went outdoors for a special mission to Mars by using the Virtual Solar System app, one of the flagship activities of Virtual Pathways.
On the 3rd and final day, Prof. Salmi offered a wrap-up of the sessions, giving the directions for upcoming deliverables and activities. The was followed by an open discussion where participants reaffirmed their commitment to meeting the project’s targets. It was finally decided that the next transnational project meeting will take place at the Museo Galileo in Florence from 8 to 10 February 2022.