University of Porto

The University of Porto, nowadays with its 14 Faculties, was only created in 1911, and then with just two faculties: Science and Medicine. In the case of the Faculty of Sciences is possible to follow a path along 250 years, starting with Aula Náutica (1762), Aula de Debuxo e Desenho (1779), Academia Real de Marinha e Comércio (1803) and, before the establishment of University of Porto, the Academia Politécnica (1837). This whole sequence happened at the local where is now the Central Building of the University of Porto. The gradual shift of the Faculty of Sciences for Polo 3 of the University (Campo Alegre) occurred in the period 1996-2009. In the building, now occupied by the Rectory and Central Services, only remained the Fundo Antigo (Old Heritage), the Museu de História Natural (Natural History Museum ) and the Museu de Ciência(Science Museum). The U.PORTO is one of the largest higher education and research institutions in Portugal with around 31,700 students, 2,500 academics and researchers and 1,700 administrative staff. It has 14 Faculties, 1 Business School and 60 Research Units located in 3 campuses within Porto. U.PORTO is the 1st choice of around 24% of the PT applicants to the public Higher Education System and is also the leading producer of science in Portugal, responsible for 23% of the scientific articles produced in the country (annual growth rate of 14% since 2006). Its research labs’ contribution is crucial for the results of the scientific production, namely in the fields of health and life sciences; engineering/technology; natural sciences; agricultural and veterinarian sciences and education. U.PORTO provides a vast academic offer in all fields of study with more than 600 degrees at undergraduate, master and doctoral levels as well as professional training programmes. Among several courses, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto it integrates the Teaching Masters of Biology and Geology, Physic and Chemistry and Mathematics, all directed to teachers professional development in middle and secondary schools. It also contemplates a PhD programme for Teaching and Dissemination of Sciences. All the mention courses intend to develop knowledge and competencies both scientific and pedagogical necessary to excellence in teaching and in the understanding and awareness of science. They also aspire to promote a training organized in both general and specific nature focus in the development and consolidation of competencies inherent of the professional development and able to answer to the new challenges in education.

Persons Involved:

Clara Vasconcelos is a Science Educator and holds a PhD in Education. Currently she develops curricula and educational resources for middle and secondary schools and for higher education. She has an active role in communication and science outreach in society, being focused in the thematics of geoethics and teachers training.

Cristina S. C. Calheiros is an Environmental Engineer and holds a PhD in Biotechnology. Currently she is a researcher at CIIMAR (Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research) of University of Porto. She is involved in projects related to: water management, bioremediation (floating and constructed wetlands), green roofs in urban areas, sustainable tourism and rural development, upgrading wastes from food production.

Joana Faria is a Science Teacher with a Master degree on Biology and Geology teaching. Currently, she has a research grant at Faculty of Sciences of University of Porto. She has some publications in the field of Science Education, Education for Sustainable Development and has also developed educational resources regarding Geology teaching.

Luis Calafate  is  Science Educator and holds a PhD in Biology. Currently he develops curricula and educational resources for middle and secondary schools and for higher education. He has an active role in communication and science outreach in society being focused in teachers training.

 

Isilda Rodrigues is a Science Educator and holds a PhD in Education. Currently she develops curricula and educational resources for middle and secondary schools and for higher education. She has an active role in communication and science outreach in society, being focused in history of science.