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The Discovery Space (DSpace) project contributes to the access to and sharing of advanced tools, services and learning resource not only among schools but also among science parks and research centres. The project aims at the deployment of a virtual science thematic park that will connect schools, universities, science museums and parks with a network of robotic telescopes around the world. The project is building on this aim as it brings to students, teachers, researchers and individuals (amateur astronomers, visitors of science parks) all around the world the opportunity to use remotely controlled robotic telescopes in real time giving accessibility to unique resources as the sky is a vast and unique laboratory of science, always in operation, accessible at all times to everybody from everywhere, where all sorts of interesting physical phenomena take place most of which is impossible to reproduce in any scientific laboratory. Finally it supports the provision of key skills to the future citizens and scientists (collaborative work, creativity, adaptability).
DSpace service demonstrates an innovative approach that crosscuts the boundaries between schools, research centres and science thematic parks and the wider public and involves users in extended episodes of playful learning. The DSpace service looks upon informal education as an opportunity to transcend from traditional classroom based teaching, to a “feel and interact” user experience, allowing for learning “anytime, anywhere”, open to societal changes and at the same time feeling culturally conscious. These pedagogical concepts and learning practices would address implementing a set of demonstrators (scenarios for both formal and informal learning settings), employing advanced and highly interactive visualization technologies and also personalised ubiquitous learning paradigms in order to enhance the effectiveness and quality of the teaching and learning process.