Claudia AGUIRRE RIOS, Association TRACES, France
Matteo MERZAGORA, Association TRACES, France
The H2020 SALL project (Schools As Living Labs) aims at applying the Living Lab methodology to open schooling projects related to the food system (production, consumption, waste disposal).
The Open Schooling system is about engaging students in projects that meet real needs in the community outside school and connect with local actors, their expertise and experience. “Living Lab” is a methodology used to support the collaboration among different partners who want to address a concrete issue relevant for each of them, going through a Living Lab cycle, which typically comprises:
Creating ideas together after exploring the issue
Quickly building some elements of the solution, in a cheap and fast way (often referred to as prototyping)
Testing the solution with users and getting feedback to improve it.
This cycle may be implemented several times, in an iterative way, to refine the solution at various levels.
The key principles are: Real issue - real solution, making use of the participants’ personal experience; Co-creation, involving all impacted societal actors; Quick prototyping, as ideas are immediately put in practice and tested.
As partners in the SALL project, TRACES is currently developing the “School as living labs” methodology and testing it in 40 schools in 12 countries across Europe in the first year. By september 2021 the methodology will be finalised and the evaluation of the pilot cases will be available. In the following 2 years of the project, due to end in 2023, 400 more schools will be engaged in similar projects.
The timing of Science & You is perfect to present to the science and society communities the results of the evaluation of the pilot phase and the general principles underlying the project, to collect feedback and view and complement the adaptation needed before deploying the methodology on a large scale.