Article consolidates partnership between PUCRS, Newcastle University and University of Oxford
Since late 2015, the Science and Technology Museum (MCT) has been setting up partnerships with UK institutions in the areas of education and sciences. The partnership with Newcastle University‘s Great North Museum: Hancock, and with the University of Oxford‘s Museum of Natural History, gave birth to the international conference Connecting Museums, which is intended to discuss education, leadership and innovation in science museums located in universities. The successful initiative was published in the #1 edition of the journal Educação, as the network’s first publication.
The professor of the Graduate Program in Education and of the Graduate Program in Education in Sciences and Mathematics, Dr José Luis Ferraro, claims that Connecting Museums is intended to increase the number of joint activities involving the parties. Ferraro, who coordinates the project, claims that it also seeks to consolidate the role of MCT at the Science University Museums Group (SUMs Group) – a group which PUCRS is member of, along with British museums, Harvard University and the Universidade do Porto.
“We believe that the exchange of experiences and good practices in education in sciences can bring about a number of benefits not only to the academic community that studies the museum, but also to our visitors – mostly schools – once new educational approaches resulting from the exchange of our experiences in different museum contexts take effect”, Ferraro says.
In 2018, Caroline Mcdonald and Christian Woolford, from the Great North Museum of Newcastle University, and Professor Paul Smith, from University of Oxford, came to PUCRS for the 2nd edition of Connecting Museums. The next edition is set to take place in the second semester of 2019, at PUCRS, in mid-October.
Internationalization of museums
PUCRS has been partners with British museums since it was awarded with the Institutional Skills grant, organized by the British Council with support by Newton Fund, one of the most important UK funding agencies. The funds raised for the project developed and coordinated by Ferraro originated the exhibit Traits of Evolution. Since it was launched, in Mar 2017, the exhibit has opened its doors to as many as 500,000 visitors. It has been used for teacher training purposes for the primary and secondary levels.
“I do believe in the potential of our Museum in the development of international projects that strengthen our current partnerships or that may get us to partner with other institutions in the area of Education. In my understanding, museums have great potential to become hubs for projects associated with the internationalization of higher education”, he says.