Bringing STEM research into the classroom

The 14th Scientix Projects' Networking Event (SPNE) was held at TECHNOPOLIS in Athens, Greece, on 5 September 2018. SPNE14 brought together 30 participants, among them experts, researchers, teachers, policy makers and representatives of organisations working on the topic of "Research into the classroom". During the first part of the workshop, project results and best practices were presented. During the second half, a three-stage participatory activity was organized, during which participants discussed the importance of science outreach programmes in dispelling negative stereotypes associated with science and research and produced a draft of recommendations of follow up actions on bridging research and classroom practice.

Prof. Achilles Kameas, Vice Chair of ALL DIGITAL Board and coordinator of the STEAM cluster, presented project UMI-Sci-Ed (http://umi-sci-ed.eu/) as a good practice in promoting STEM Education in the classroom using Mobile and IoT technologies. Achilles emphasized that UMI-Sci-Ed aims at enabling young students to think in STEM terms and at providing them with the next generation digital skills, so that they can to live and prosper in a society fully supported by IoT technologies and mobile applications. He also made evident the need to invest in the professional development of teachers, who are the pillars upon which STEM education should be built.

During the second part of the workshop, participants identified several negative stereotypes that are associated with STEM education and related careers, including heavy workload and comparatively low salaries, as well as lack of free time and social life, while it was pointed by almost all participants that this is perceived as a male dominated sector suitable only for very smart people! Good practices and ideas for breaking the stereotypes were proposed, most of them focusing on the need to reformulate educational policy and practice, perhaps starting from local level and moving up to the national policy makers. In addition, it was argued that the teachers should be provided with opportunities to enhance their research capacity. The results of the discussion will be published in a Scientix Observatory article co-authored by all participants, that will be available here: http://scientix.eu/observatory

More information about SPNE14, as well as Achilles’ presentation can be found here: http://www.scientix.eu/networking-event/14th-spne-after

These networking events for science education projects bring together project coordinators, managers and other representatives, from European and national science education projects, as well as people and organisations involved in STEM education. You can check here for future events here: http://www.scientix.eu/networking-event

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