IDIBELL’s STARS GAME kicks off, an innovative and inquiry-based initiative to transfer scientific research

  • IDIBELL is one of the four European research centers that participate in the Erasmus+ project STARS GAME, together with AIRC (Italy), EDA6 (Slovenia) and HMGU (Germany).
  • During the project, a digital escape room will be co-created in coordination with teachers, students, researchers, and science communicators.
  • The initiative aims to raise awareness about different scientific aspects in today’s society and stimulate interest in biomedical research.

Four international institutions, Fondazione AIRC from Italy, who leads the project, Poslovno Svetovanje from Slovenia, HMGU from Germany, and IDIBELL from Spain, have been awarded a 2020 Erasmus+ grant by the European Commission. A total budget of more than 400.000 euros will ensure the creation of a strategic partnership to support innovation in science education across countries.

The selected initiative, named STARS GAME (InveSTigating As Researchers at School is a GAME), is a 3-year project aimed at developing innovative game-based and inquiry-based practices to implement a digital escape room. Activities involve workshops with 10-13 years old students and their teachers in 4 countries.

This week, scientific communicators from IDIBELL conducted the first workshops with four different schools from L’Hospitalet del Llobregat. Including 20-30 attendees per workshop, around 150 students in total were coordinated. The escape room will be designed according to the information extracted from these workshops.

The development of this escape room pretends to stimulate the interest in biomedical research by active involvement and gamification of educational activities. Once the escape room is designed, the students play at being scientists from different fields, that need to compare their work to develop a treatment against an unknown disease. The final aim is to improve students’ evidence-based reasoning, problem-solving capacities, and critical thinking.

In parallel, workshops organized by scientific communicators will introduce the Design Thinking principles in the creation of science communication activities to researchers. The main objective of these workshops is to showcase the value of creativity in science and help scientists to become more comfortable in a free-form thinking, exploring space, so they can ultimately be more proud and confident about their creative skills.

The inputs received during the workshops will be collected in two guidelines. Teacher guidelines, developed to teaching science with an inquiry-based and game-based approach, and researcher guidelines, to increase the capacity to communicate science.

In order to share the results of the project with a large audience, each partner will organize a multiplier event. During these events, the intellectual outputs obtained in the workshops will be shared with other teachers, researchers, and scientific communicators initially not involved in the project.

Erasmus+ is the EU’s program to support education, training, youth, and sport in Europe. With an overall budget of 14,7 billion, it contributes to the Europe 2020 strategy for growth.

With the support of:


The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).

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