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About the Project

PAFSE: Partnerships for science education, 2021

PAFSE will contribute to community preparedness to reduce the risk of communicable disease and epidemics. It will do so by establishing partnerships between schools, universities, non-formal education providers, enterprises and civil society organizations and engaging them in efforts to enrich Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education to include public health issues, an understanding of microbes and zoonosis, and the value of disease prevention measures in protecting communities. Novel educational provisions engage students aged 12-15 in public discourse events, and a blend of formal and informal learning activities using digital tools and online teaching-learning environments to develop their competence on project management and collection/analysis/making sense of scientific evidence and translate the information to support action.

The project is innovative in that it makes use of project-based learning and digital learning packages to engage a wide range of actors in addressing public health challenges through an open schooling framework. PAFSE will involve more than 3000 students and their families in the project activities, being the outcomes disseminated to more than 1000 schools. It will also increase the global population awareness and preparation to deal with future epidemics and indirectly to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The PAFSE model for open schooling will be applicable in addressing other public health challenges, such as child obesity, or even the involvement of schools in climate change initiatives.

Our contribution

NOVA IMS plays a crucial role in the project by taking charge of the development of the scenario titled "Preparedness to public health hazards: the role of data science, internet of things, and artificial intelligence." The institution's expertise in STEM fields, particularly in computer science, artificial intelligence, and intelligent systems, positions it as a leader in integrating cutting-edge technologies such as bots, data mining, predictive models, and machine learning. NOVA IMS is not only contributing to theoretical learning but is also actively engaged in practical aspects, creating learning objects like infographics, videos, photos, and even incorporating robots and bots in a dedicated mini-website.

Moreover, the institution is leading Work Package 6 (WP6) - Project Evaluation and Quality Assurance, ensuring the implementation of quality assurance actions in line with the plans developed in WP1. Emphasis is placed on adhering to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) principles, with a focus on data management standards, ethics, and gender balance. The objectives of WP6 include assessing the impact of the project on students' fact-checking routines, attitudes toward science, and aspirations for science-related careers. Additionally, NOVA IMS is tasked with evaluating the future of health education partnerships and networks, as well as assessing the preparedness of participating communities to handle public health threats.


Partnership: Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Coordination: NOVA Medical School and NOVA IMS), Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública; Universidade do Minho; Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa; Computer Technology Institute and Press 'Diophantus'; University of Ioannina; INESC TEC; Prevenção Rodoviária Portuguesa; University of Cyprus; Adam Mickiewicz University.

Contribution to the SDGs

  • SDG 3
  • SDG 4
  • SDG 17



Funding Programme: Horizon 2020 -
Science with and for Society (SwafS)

Funding to NOVA IMS: €46.875

Duration: 01/09/2021 - 30/08/2024