“Lay of the Land” Conference

PHERECLOS project closing conference & 2022 eucu.net conference

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it,—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”

(Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., 1850)


The “Lay of the Land” conference provides a forum to explore, discuss and share the concept of Open Schooling. Open Schooling is a way of operating a school reflecting on external ideas, topics and challenges and incorporating them in their teaching approaches and everyday school life. In return, the creativity and potential of pupils and teachers are identified and they will become available to the community around them.

The free conference opens the discourse about “Why Open Schooling”, the relationship between the concepts of Science Capital and Open Schooling and the experience from theory and practice from the pilot programs and case studies within the PHERECLOS project.

The “Lay of the Land” conference will give you inspiring speakers, tools and hands-on workshops, thematic discussions and networking. The program aims to allow the participants to rethink their educational approaches, whether coming from the formal (e.g. teachers) or non-formal (e.g. Children’s Universities organizers). You are invited to share your own ideas and to explore new input for your future Open Schooling educational pathway.

This is the final conference of the PHERECLOS project. PHERECLOS is an EU-funded project that creates new partnerships for pathways to higher education and science engagement in regional clusters of Open Schooling. This involves stakeholders such as universities, governmental and non-governmental organizations, companies and/or other knowledge providers. This process has been continuously informed by findings from academic implementation research. The project started in October 2019 and will end after the conference in September 2022. (www.phereclos.eu)

Who should attend? The conference is addressing teachers and school heads, researchers with an interest in science engagement, organizers of non-formal education programs as Children’s Universities, and generally people who would like to contribute to an Open Schooling culture.

The Lay of the Land Conference is funded by the EU-Commission and free of admission. Registration is limited to 250 participants on a first come first serve basis.

Call for Workshops

Workshop proposal deadline: 1st July 

We invite you to submit a proposal for a workshop at the “Lay of the Land” Open Schooling conference in Bucharest.  The workshop may address different aspects of Open Schooling, but shall always be activity based and as collaborative as possible.  Workshops can also be used to present projects or ongoing programs as long as it is an interactive and not presentation only format.

The structure of workshops is not fixed, and proposers may design it as they think best.  There are various options for interactive formats – a good resource for inspiration is available from the EU-SISCODE project. They have to fit into one, two or three workshop time slots (each 1,5 hours long). Proposers are responsible for defining the full contents of the workshop, namely the authors and presenters.

Workshop proposals can be submitted via an online form until 1st July2022. Selection will be done by the conference organizing committee according to relevance to the Open Schooling topic, level of interaction of the format and overall recommendation.

If needed, workshop organizers are eligible for a refund of their travel and accommodation costs from the PHERECLOS project. Please indicate this also in the online form.

Wednesday, 7th September 2022 – USAMV-Campus, Bulevardul Mărăști 59


PHERECLOS Consortium Meeting (project consortium members only)


Welcome Reception & Registration

Thursday, 8th September 2022 – USAMV-Campus, Bulevardul Mărăști 59

08:30 – 9:30

Conference Registration

09:30 – 10:15

Conference Opening

10:15 – 11:00

Plenary Presentation:

PHERECLOS – Travel Log (PHERECLOS project results & animation movie)

11:00 – 11:30

Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:30

Key Note 1

12:30 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:30

Workshops, World Cafe & Exhibition:

Mini Poster Presentations; Case Studies and OS Together Project Fair: e.g.
“Empowering scientists and scholars for OS. Sharing practices, discussing problems” (Paola Rodari, Sissa Medialab, Trieste Italy)
“The City is Asking Children” (Erdoğan Kahyaoğlu, Informal Education-cocukistanbul, Istanbul, Turkey)
“Title to be confirmed” (Christina Dahl Madsen, VIA University College, Aarhus, Denmark)
“First Generation Project – Ready for university!” (Thomas Troy & Eva Resch, Vienna University Children’s Office, Vienna, Austria)
“Dive into open schooling through maker education” (Alexandru Toma Pătrașcu, ASUR)

15:30 – 16:00

Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:30

Working Groups/Workshops:

Workshops: e.g.
“Parental Engagement through STEAM” (Judit Horgas, Liget Műhely Alapítvány, Hungary)
“Is open schooling suitable for everyone?” (Maja, Karolina, Katarzyna, David and Cosmin, Lodz & Bucharest, Romania)
“Over knowledge and into practice – assessment for skills.” (Anna Przybyło, Kraków, Poland)
“Open school and PBL – Great play and deep seriousness” (Søren Peter Andersen, Denmark)
“Code! .. Draw! .. Stitch! /  Coded Embroidery” Title tbc. (Andrea Mayr-Stalder, Turtle Stitch)


Conference Dinner

Friday, 9th September 2022 – USAMV-Campus, Bulevardul Mărăști 59

08:30 – 9:30

Conference Registration

09:00 – 12:00

Open Space:

Moderated Open Space on Open Schooling;
Facilitation by Linda Elias

12:00 – 13:30


13:30 – 15:00

Round Tables & Plenary Lectures:

e.g. Lobbying for Int. Children’s Universities Day

15:00 – 15:30

Coffee Break

15:30 – 16:30

Synoptic Talk and Plenary Discussion:

Peter Gray: “Precise but vague: the European Commission and its educational interventions, 2007-2022”

This presentation will examine the evolution of EC programmes as they address the science/society interface with a mixture of idealism and bureaucracy. I will focus on Open Schooling as the latest in a series of movements attempting to influence education without interfering with national policies. My purpose is to assess how the current ecosystem around Open Schooling might be able to achieve lasting impact and a greater sense of continuity in project development.

16:30 – 17:30

Conference Wrap-Up


Fairwell Party

Saturday, 10th September 2022 – Tours & Study Visits

10:00 – 21:00

Excursions and City Tours

The Conference will be hosted at the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest, situated in the north part of the town, 8 km north-west of Bucharest city center and 15 km from Bucharest International Airport.


University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest

59 Mărăşti Boulevard, District 1

Bucharest, 011464



Hotel Recommendations

We are currently negotiating special rates for the conference participants. More information about this is coming soon.

  • USAMV București Campus

    • The USAMV CAMPUS guest house also offers 30 double rooms directly at the A10 STUDENT CAMPUS, which will be reserved for the period 6 to 11 September 2022. The building is in a very close walking distance to the conference venue.There is no breakfast included in the price but breakfast is available in the restaurant next to the Campus.Please use this booking form for reservations until the 17th of August.
  • Pullman Hotel

    • The distance from Hotel Pullman to the Conference Venue is under 1 kilometer (about 5 minutes of walking).
    • https://all.accor.com/hotel/1714/index.de.shtml
    • Bookings have to be done not later than 1st August 2022 (Individual Booking Form can be downloaded here.)
    • Preferential rates: 85 Euro / single room/ night, 100 Euro / double room/night
    • The rates include VAT 5%, but not include 0,5 % city tax.
    • The rates include also:
      • Breakfast buffet in Paris Bucarest Brasserie;
      • Free wireless Internet access in all guest rooms and public areas;
      • Free access to the Fitness Centre located at the first floor of the hotel (sauna);
      • Tea and coffee making facilities in the room;
      • A bottle of mineral water (0,33l) in the room/pax/day;
      • Bathrobe, slippers and C.O. Bigelow amenities;
      • Connectivity Lounge (Multimedia facilities – computer, scanner, fax, high speed internet access)
      • Free parking (according availability)
  • Ramada Parc Hotel

    • Str. Poligrafiei nr. 3-5, Sectorul 1, Bucharest, Romania 013704
    • Approx. 20 minutes of walk to the conference venue.
    • (No special rates for the conference)
    • https://ramadabucharestparc.ro
  • Ramada Plaza Hotel

    • Str. Poligrafiei nr. 3-5, Sectorul 1, Bucharest, Romania 013704
    • Approx. 20 minutes of walk to the conference venue.
    • (No special rates for the conference)
    • https://ramadaplazabucharest.ro

By airplane

București Henri Coandă – Otopeni International Airport (OTP) is the closest airport.

There are direct charter and scheduled flights connecting București with many cities carried out by many flight companies. Please contact your travel agent for details about the flight schedules.

By car

Nădlac 2 border cross is the main entry point to Romania when travelling by car from the West of the country.

By train

Travelling to București by train can be an option. When travelling by train from the West, the main border cross is near the town of Curtici. The main railway station of București is called ,,The Northern Railway Station”.

General Information for Transport in Bucharest:

By public transport:
From Otopeni (Henri Coandă) airport: 783 or 780 express line to Free Press Square (Piata Presei Libere) + 41 tramway line (one stop – Agronomic Institute/Institutul Agronomic);
From North Station: 105, 205 or 282
105 towards Free Press Square / Piata Presei Libere (final stop, Free Press Square stop / Piata Presei Libere);
205 towards Free Press Square / Piata Presei Libere (Village Museum stop/Muzeul Satului);
282 towards Triumph Arch / Arcul de Triumf (Casin Monastery stop/Manastirea Casin);

By taxi:
From Otopeni Airport: 15-20 minutes at noon and night, 30-40 minutes during rush hours (8:00-10:00 AM, 5:00-7:00 PM);
From North Railway Station: 10-15 minutes at noon and night, 20-30 minutes during rush hours (8:00-10:00 AM, 5:00-7:00 PM);

NOTE: The taxi fare in București is between 1.69-1.99 RON/km (30-35 cents/km). Taxis can be found in front of the airport exit. Be sure to check the fare on the taxi door before getting on. The average distance from Otopeni Airport to the city center is 18 km (36 RON ~ 8 EUR), and the distance from North Railway Station to the city center is 4.5 km (9 RON ~ 2 EUR).

You can also use taxi and ride sharing applications in București. You must install the specific application on your mobile phones.

Language: The official language of the conference is English & the official language of the country is Romanian.

Currency: The official currency of the country is RON (Romanian Lei): 1 RON = 0.21 EUR (approx) = 0.25 USD (approx)

Time zone: GMT +2

Romanian visa: More information about the Romanian visa are available here.

About București

The city is rapidly gaining attention as a competitive city break that blends the wonders of modern Europe with the far flung exotism of the East. For some of us, București is just the city where you can see Ceaușescu’s Palace (People”s Palace or Palace of Parliament), for others it will always remain “The Little Paris” of the East. In fact, Little Paris is considered to be also an era in the history of București and traces of them can still be admired today in the architecture of palaces, public buildings and hotels.

“Empowering scientists and scholars for OS. Sharing practices, discussing problems”

(Paola Rodari, Sissa Medialab, Trieste Italy)

Workshop Description

All STEM OS projects include the participation of researchers who meet and work with teachers and pupils and other actors of the networks. But also not-STEM projects may include the participation of scholars: historians, sociologists, economists, etc. All these experts need to be motivated in participating and giving their time to these activities. It is also very important that they have an open attitude and are able to understand others’ needs and to communicate their knowledge in a relevant and interesting way. That implies engagement, competences and training. This workshop aims at facilitating the sharing of good practices in the training in research communication of scientists and scholars between children unis’ organisers and other people working in the informal learning. It will tackle themes such as: barriers to the involvement of academics and ways to promote the engagement; training topics, methods and schemes; experiences in the facilitation of the dialogue between experts and not experts; etc. SISSA Medialab facilitators will organize and lead group work in different steps to come out, at the end of the workshop, with shared dos and don’ts and recommendations. Some of the ideas will be taken by the Phereclos project results.

“The City is Asking Children”

(Sibel Cetingöz & Erdoğan Kahyaoğlu, Informal Education-cocukistanbul, Istanbul, Turkey)

Workshop Description

The aim of the workshop is to reflect the purpose, guiding ideas, structure, implication philosophy and metodology and outputs of a project that successfully reached around 7 thousand children in İstanbul through a chain of more than 50 stake holders including local administration bodies, schools, museums, NGO’s, teachers and educators within the informal education area. The project was finalized on May the 2022 and realised by Informal Education-cocukistanbul in partnership with the City Council of İstanbul.
The project aims in general to understand how the children perceive the city they live in, while they voice out what they like and dislike, what they want and wish to their benefit and to the benefit of all the people and natural inhabitants living in and around the city where they also develop their own ideas and solution proposals. The project is basically a “democratic partipitation” project where the main actors are the children as “citizens”. The stake holders are there to guide and create oportunities to them to equally and activelly participate. The project furthermore aims to create a sustainable and structured link between the children and especially the local municipal authorities to evaluate the children’s ideas together, to develop a strategy for a better city and to take concrete steps to realise the childrens needs and wishes together with the children.

The workshop will be highly interactive not only with rich visuals but also with materials for the participants to actively practice. Everyone will glance at their own city through the eyes of children. Even at Bucharest…

“First Generation Project – Ready for university!”

(Thomas Troy & Eva Resch, Vienna University Children’s Office, Vienna, Austria)

Workshop Description

According to research, the educational qualifications of children in Austria are still to a significant extend determined by the educational level of their parents. Whereas 67% of school students whose parents earned a degree at a university enrol at a university, only 22% of school students, whose parents do not have a university degree enrol at a university. In cooperation with the University of Vienna, the LEC Vienna developed within the framework of the EU project PHERECLOS the First Generation Project. The Project addresses anyone who is the first in his or her family planning to study at an (Austrian) university. The objective is to promote their involvement in the university education process, fostering equal opportunities, removing barriers and to gain first experiences in the academic environment.
In this interactive session, we take a closer look at the First Generation Project and its design as well as the impact on First Generation school students and universities. Additionally we align all participant’s experiences to gain a broader perspective and discuss various opportunities to foster inclusion in context of universities and enable participation regardless of the educational level of parents.

“Dive into open schooling through maker education”

(Alexandru Toma Pătrașcu, ASUR)

Workshop Description

Make it Open is an open schooling project that proposes to bring into the classroom the philosophy of the maker movement to develop a transformational approach to STEAM teaching and learning. Make it Open adopts the concept of Open Schooling where schools are transformed from traditional educational institutions into community partnerships and become agents of community well-being.
This workshop is an opportunity for all educators to gain inspiration and reflect together with other institutions that have been experimenting with new methodologies of learning. During the workshop we will present the overall project concept and run some hands-on sessions introducing the Make it Open innovative pedagogical tools – Learning Scenarios. They can be accessed through the project’s Open Schooling Navigator and their aim is to provide a supportive framework for teachers to try out an open learning approach.

“Parental Engagement through STEAM”

(Judit Horgas, Liget Műhely Alapítvány, Hungary)

Workshop Description

Builiding on ourcomes of the EU-funded Open School Doors, Parents Engage and ParENTrepreneurs projects, this workshop will explore in an interactive format the various ways parents can and should be engaged in open schooling programmes.

“Is open schooling suitable for everyone?”

(Maja, Karolina, Katarzyna, David and Cosmin, Lodz & Bucharest, Romania)

Workshop Description

As a group of volunteers from the Children’s University of Lodz, we have had a chance to gain a broad experience with open schooling in recent years. Starting from a group of children who had no idea what open schooling is, we have come to the point where we can call ourselves experts in this field. Therefore, we would like to share our experience and knowledge on this subject with you.

During this workshop, with our friends from Romania, we will introduce the concept of open schooling from our perspective. We will also discuss and bring to life the practical application of these methods with the participants of the workshop.

We will try our best to create some space for a debate about open schooling from a wider perspective.

“Over knowledge and into practice – assessment for skills.”

(Anna Przybyło, Kraków, Poland)

Workshop Description

According to Solo taxonomy (after Biggs and Collis 1982) there are a few stages of learning: Prestructural, Unistructural, Multistructural, Relational and Extended abstract. At school, we usually get only to Relational way of getting knowledge. This means that we teach kids how to compare, contrast, classify and relate. Students can think creatively and create only if they are let to do so. How can we change written tests into practical knowledge, and how to learn from mistakes? I invite you to my presentation.

“Open school and PBL – Great play and deep seriousness”

(Søren Peter Andersen, Denmark)

Workshop Description

Get introduced to ‘Project-based learning and innovation in an open school’. The presentation is for anyone involved in teaching, innovation and PBL.

Project-based learning is a teaching method that is rapidly entering the European education system. But what elements should a PBL and Open School programme contain, and how do we create a culture and didactic stance that has a common language across the many disciplines of primary schools? In this presentation, you will hear about didactic models that provide schools and teachers with a common didactic direction for working with PBL, open school, creativity and innovation skills.

See individual models here: https://www.klimazirkus.com/english

“Code! .. Draw! .. Stitch! / Coded Embroidery” Title tbc.

(Andrea Mayr-Stalder, Turtle Stitch)

Workshop Description

Coming soon…

“Title to be confirmed”

(Christina Dahl Madsen, VIA University College, Aarhus, Denmark)

Workshop Description

Coming soon…

Conference organiser contact

Children’s University of Romania – local conference host

Laura Cristea 

Mail: laura.cristea@unico.org.ro

Phone: +40744388285

Mirela Paraschiv

Mail: mirela.paraschiv@unico.org.ro

Phone: +40724559840


Kinderbüro Universität Wien GmbH – project coordinator

Chris Gary

Mail: christian.gary@univie.ac.at

Phone: +4366488672333

Cyril Dworsky

Mail: cyril.dworsky@univie.ac.at

Phone: +4366488672334