Lead Academy : Academia nacional de Ciencias exactas, fisicas y naturales (Argentina)
Chair (2012-2014): Prof. Norma Nudelman (Argentina)
The Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS) is a network of 19 American Academies of Science (from Canada to Argentine) created in 2004 to strengthen the capacity and promoting the role of academies of sciences as instruments for advancing knowledge creation, prosperity and equity in the Americas. IANAS comprises five programs, among them the IANAS Science Education Program (IANAS SEP) constitutes the main and more developed program of science education in the Hemisphere. The goal of IANAS SEP is to improve science education in the Americas through the active participation of Science Academies, by engaging in working together with teachers, educational authorities, decision-makers, industrial leaders, etc.
The IANAS SEP focuses on improving science education in schools, as science education in the school is the primary route for children to learn about science, its values, concepts and objectives. The school is also where young people begin to understand the importance of scientific exploration for their cultural and skills development and for their socioeconomic promotion. The initial focus of the IANAS SEP program was on implementing the Inquired Based Science Education (IBSE) methodology in elementary level science education. Additionally, important programs on secondary and tertiary science education have recently been developed by some Academies at national level, and the first Latin American Workshop on IBSE in secondary education was held in 2009.
The IANAS SEP Council is constituted by all Focal Points, and one of the main strengths of the Program is the annual Focal Point’s meetings, where the members have opportunities of sharing materials and experiences, generate common methods, etc. Meetings have been held since 2004. With high respect for the local cultures, circumstances, and priorities, different approaches have been applied: Academies have either focused on working directly with students in schools, or they have worked to train primary, mid and high school teachers. An Inter-American Strategic Planning Workshop held in Argentina in November 2011 established the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats of IANAS SEP defined the 5 Top Areas to work in for the next 5 years and constituted 5 Committees to carried out the different activities.
Some activities sponsored by IANAS SEP in 2012 include: