“Exploring science together as part of a global classroom, it’s a great idea. Congratulations, everybody!”
– Andre Kuipers, Astronaut, European Space Agency (ESA)
The GSO is a legacy of the United Nations-sanctioned International Year of Light 2015. GSO began as a collaboration between several international projects, institutions and volunteer networks: The European Commission’s CREAT-IT project, Global Hands on Universe (GHOU), the Galileo Teacher Training Programme (GTTP), and the European Economic Area’s Write a Science Opera (WASO) project.
The GSO concept was developed during its first production, “SkyLight” by bringing together ideas from three initiatives:
- Write a Science Opera (WASO): A creative approach to science and art inquiry in schools, developed at Stord/Haugesund University College, Norway
- Global networks of science teachers: The Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP) and Global Hands on Universe (GHOU)
- Distance Learning: ICT-based connections amongst rural schools, led by Professor Petros Stergiopoulos at Ellinogermaniki Agogi in Athens, Greece
The idea came about in May, 2014, when representatives of those initiatives, and the CREAT-IT project, attended the First International Conference on “New Developments in Science and Technology Education” on Corfu island, Greece.
The first step towards realizing this vision was to apply to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), and to propose “SkyLight” as an official initiative of the International Year of Light 2015. The GSO journey truly began when this request was approved in the summer of 2014.
During the period July, 2014 until October, 2015, a network of institutions in 38 countries was invited to take part in the first GSO, “SkyLight”. These were schools, universities, operas, and science and art institutions. We engaged in a democratic and creative global effort which exhibited a flat hierarchy in which pupils could interact with professors, composers could interact with physicists, science teachers could interact with opera educators, and all participants could freely learn from, and explore, together with all others: Democracy, respect and friendship was, and will be, the heart of this community.
GSO was the flagship initiative of the European Commission’s project, “Developing an Engaging Science Classroom (CREATIONS)”, and a research focus in the Norwegian Research Council’s project “Integrating Science of Oceans, Physics and Education (iSCOPE)”.
2019 saw the start of the Erasmus+ GSO4SCHOOL project which is directly connected to training teachers within the GSO methodology.
The Global Science Opera (GSO) is inspired by the work of Professor Anna Craft (1961-2014), and especially to her contributions to the field of creativity in education.