Resumo da minha intervenção amanhã no Congresso Internacional sobre Hands on Science na Universidade de Aveiro:
It is now widely accepted that a complete citizenship requires basic scientific literacy. In spite of some good projects and practices, there is still a lack of science education activities in kindergarten and in the early years of primary school. This fact may be the reason for difficulties and aversion to science in later years. To overcome this problem it seems necessary to promote better science training of educators and teachers. An increase of familiarity with science will enable teachers to offer their students a variety of hands-on simple and affordable materials, as it was shown by the Portuguese "Ciência Viva" project documented in the book series "Playing Science" (published by Bizâncio). In this project all sections start with a question, whose answer is achieved by doing an experiment. Parents may also contribute to develop the engagement of their children, since all these activities are feasible at home. Children are certainly not the problem: they are very curious and get easily involved whenever they are asked to perform science activities with objects they can touch and play with. Science education may and should, therefore, start in a ludic way. Even in later years, an excitement element in science learning may be provided by scientific toys.