DiSTARS aims at bringing positive and long-lasting results addressing

  • participating organizations, creative industries staff, researchers in science education, and other educational staff
  • teachers by presenting a new vision for teaching, outlining strategies for how teachers’ roles and conditions can support and enable deeper learning for students.
  • primary school students themselves, through implementing storytelling, in their practice, as a catalyst for the effective interaction between art and hands-on STEM activities and through gaining insights on how new ICT technologies (e.g. AR, VR) operate and how they can support us in learning science related to human Space Exploration.

    DiSTARS will develop a Pedagogical Framework that builds on the essential features of Creative STEM Education and supports creativity as a generic element in the processional and communicative aspects of the pedagogy by integrating arts (virtual arts, performing arts, design, music). Emphasis will be given to storytelling as it can act as a catalyst for the implementation of the proposed framework in school settings while at the same time offers unique opportunities to assess students’ deeper learning competencies such as communication, collaboration and problem-solving.


    The consortium will create a step by step practical guide which will describe what the teacher has to do in the classroom to realize the framework proposed above. How he/she is going to introduce the activities in the classroom. Thus, it will be delivered as a practical guide for implementation.


    The DiSTARS platform supports Mars Colonization and will be upgraded to host more planets and celestial objects. The architecture of the authoring tools (e-book, 3D rocket development and 3D colony building) allows for the creations of the students (paintings, models, dioramas and constructions, 3D objects and landscapes, animations, science videos and science theatre plays) to be captured according to their scenarios and be integrated in storylines.


    As part of the support offered to the schools the project team will identify and develop a collection of guidelines and support materials in a form of a toolkit. The DiSTARS toolkit will provide support that covers the following aspects that are crucial to enable successful piloting in schools:

    • Background information on the planets and moons of our solar system and on the challenges in Space Exploration
    • Ideas and help how to support classroom activities
    • Guidelines to teachers for introducing storytelling techniques to their students
    • A (technical) manual how to use the storytelling platform

    DiSTARS’ ambition is to offer to the educational community insights about the effectiveness of the integration of arts in bringing digital storytelling and creative technology to the classroom as compared to other outreach methodologies regarding STEM, thus filling a major gap in the field of creative science education. The target groups of the project’s assessment activities will be mainly students and teachers. The assessment toolkit will include a series of instruments and evaluation tools that will introduce more effective and user-friendly assessment methods beyond the traditional ones to the teachers participating in the project.


    The project consortium will deliver a set of guidelines for the research and the educational policy communities to further explore and exploit the unique benefits of introducing digital storytelling in schools through STEAM. This output will summarize the “heritage” of the project, provide research findings of the project, provide the description of successful project implementation activities, provide material which has been evaluated and ready to use for every educator as well as policy guidelines for curriculum developers across Europe. The Guide of Best Practices will be created will be translated in all project countries’ languages.


Pedagogical Framework
Identifying the DiSTARS pedagogical framework; on which research it is based, and how it is meant to support the different intellectual outputs.
DiSTARS Pedagogical Framework

Educational Toolkit
A. Background information on the Moon and on Space Exploration: challenges, ideas and classroom activities.

The Moon in a Nutshell
Trip to the Moon
Exploring the Moon
Living on the Moon

B. Introducing teachers & students to storytelling

Mars Journey
Mars Journey (GR)

C. Exploring Mars : A game-based activity using Scratch computing language

Assessment Toolkit
The assessment toolkit includes
i) two different types of questionnaires for students based on the period of implementing DiSTARS at their school (short & long intervention)
DiSTARS short-intervention Questionnaire
DiSTARS long-intervention Questionnaire
ii) an evaluation grid for teachers assisting them in evaluating each project (digital book) separately
DiSTARS Evaluation grid for teachers
iii) a comprehensive overview of the evaluation and validation plan for the DiSTARS project, along with an analysis of the outcomes in the form of an assessment report
DiSTARS Assessment report

Guide of Best Practices
This guide summarizes the main aspects, activities and achievements of the DiSTARS project, presents a collection of best practices and recommendations on how STEM education and art can be merged to provide an engaging educational experience through the creative exploration of “real science”, thus contributing to a better understanding of science and the role that it plays in society.
DiSTARS Guide of Best Practices