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Innovate in education with Philae

“Equipping young people with the skills to achieve their full potential, participate in an increasingly interconnected global economy, and ultimately convert better jobs into better lives is a central preoccupation of policy makers around the world.” This sentence by the OECD Secretary General introduces the PISA 2012 Report. Policy makers may certainly understand it; citizens won’t.

“Equipping young people with skills” sounds just like “car makers equipping their cars with the new technology“. But education is not about policymakers “converting better jobs into better lives” just like Nicholas Flamel converting lead into gold.

Education makes dream come true: a few days ago, scientists from the European Space Agency landed their Philae probe on Comet 67P after a 10 year flight through the galaxy!. The ESA Director General said: “this type of success is not coming from the sky, it comes from hard work and expertise.”

Just have a look at the picture below to see how rewarding hard work and expertise can be. Can you think of a better communication campaign for science education and scientific careers? We don’t need policy maker to explain why STEM education is useful for “better jobs and growth”.

We need scientists to work in teams, celebrate just as if they had won the World Cup and make us believe that we can all be “specialists” of something.

The education equation is simple:

Hard work + expertise = joy + future

In Spain, the city hall of Viladecans, a mid-size city in the Barcelona metropolitan area, plagued by youth unemployment, has just released a new education program – “son especialistas” – designed by two artists that say in a very simple way: “Young people have special talents that make then unique”.

Education is about acknowledging and strengthening the talents of these “specialists” just like the ones who led Philae to the comet.