Last week, scientists from six marine research institutions from five European countries met for a convention at the Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemuende, Germany, in order to define the content of a new eLearning concept for school students. They are being supported by computer scientists from the Universities of Rostock in Germany and Klaipeda in Lithuania, whose task it is to turn the content into an attractive visual and interactive experience.
By the end of this year, the first of five eLearning modules is planned to be completed and published on the Internet. This module will deal with the long-term history of the Baltic Sea and help students to explore the way marine geologists decipher the secrets of the past according to sediment deposits.
Sustainable exploitation of the oceans’ resources requires profound expertise among research institutions, government agencies, and engineering consultants, not only in the present, but also in the future. In parts of the South Baltic Region, however, it is expected that there will soon be a lack of highly qualified marine scientists due to several reasons as for example the demographic development. For the sake of counteracting this development six marine research institutes from the South Baltic Region are now starting to create the „South Baltic WebLab“, which is designed to generate interest in marine professions among teenagers. The project consists of four components, of which the first, the virtual laboratory, calls for the highest input. The other components include an interactive Internet platform where scientists share their every-day scientific life via blogs, a database informing about internships and job opportunities, and yearly science camps allowing young people to experience marine sciences in real life. During these marine science camps, school students from the whole South Baltic Region get the chance to work together and carry out scientific research. This year, the science camp will take place from the 11th to the 20th of September 2010 on board the sailing vessel LOVIS, which will be circum-sailing the German island of Ruegen.
The project „The South Baltic WebLab“ is part-financed for three years by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund), in specific the „South Baltic Cross-Border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013.
The Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende is responsible for the project’s coordination.
Dr. Barbara Hentzsch
Leibniz-Institus für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Tel.: +49 381 - 5197 - 102