Biophilia

Creativity as an educational and scientific tool.
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biophilia selection27Biophilia is from the ancient Greek and means love of life or a passion for all things living.  Such love harks back to a time when the Natural Sciences  dealt with life in its myriad of forms and variations, the ever changing relationships between humans and nature.  Sometimes those relationships are technical, at other times more spiritual. Sometimes we interpret them as music, sometimes as scientific facts.  And some are astute enough to hear the turning of the planets and the grass growing.

Biophilia Educational Project

The Biophilia Educational Project is a large-scale pilot educational project that builds on participation by academics, scientists, artists, teachers, and students at all academic levels. It is based on creativity as a teaching and research method, where the natural sciences, music and technology are linked together in an innovative way.

 

The project presents an example of innovative cooperation between different areas in society, such as the education system, cultural institutions, science and research institutes. It creates a platform for dialogue and debate which encourages both personal and social development and thereby contributes to a sustainable society.

The project was originally developed by Björk Guðmundsdóttir, the City of Reykjavík and the University of Iceland, in connection with the release of Björk’s album Biophilia in 2011.

Nordic collaboration

To commemorate its 2014 presidency in the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Icelandic government sought collaboration with the other Nordic countries to further develop the project. Each country, as well as the Åland Islands, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, has appointed a steering group and specified an area where local networks will be set up and Biophilia will be taught. The steering groups include representatives from school authorities, cultural institutions and universities or research institutes. The interdisciplinary focus of the project is thus well emphasized. The eight networks will apply the Biophilia method and enrich it with their own ideas according to each local situation.

The goals of the Nordic collaboration

The goals of the Nordic collaboration are to:

  • promote innovation in schools through the development of educational methods which combine natural sciences, creativity, and technology
  • break up traditional teaching practices through a cross-disciplinary approach, across all ages, subjects, and disciplines
  • set up a Nordic collaborative network that will share experiences, ideas and further develop the project based on common Nordic values
  • encourage young people’s interest in creativity, natural sciences and technology, and thus progressively increase the competitiveness of the Nordic countries

 The Knowledge Train

The purpose of the Knowledge Train is to travel around, loaded with science and fun, which are used to ignite the interest of young people in science, higher education, and universities.

The aim is for the Knowledge Train to “travel“ through selected regions of the Nordic countries, with knowledge and scientific workshops on board.  As it travels, it stops in nursery schools, primary schools and secondary schools where the pupils will be offered scientific workshops and lectures.

The train also brings a research and science programme for families, which introduces experiments and interactive tools from nearby knowledge centres, technical museums, innovation companies and entrepreneurs.  Thus it promotes communication, and builds collaborative fora and networks within each region.

Contact information
Arnfríður Sólrún Valdimarsdóttir and Auður Rán Þorgeirsdóttir.
Ministry of Education, Science and Culture
Tel: +354 545 9500
e-mails: arnfridur.valdimarsdottir@mrn.is and