STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
The STEM Engagement Europe Project (SEE Project) is a consortium of partners led by Zlinsky kraj and involving a partner from the previous Careers of the Future Leonardo Partnership activity Galway Technical Institute from Ireland as well as a partner from a previous TOI (Safe Arrival Project) SES13-19 Limited who have significant expertise in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) related work, a college from The Netherlands who participated in a STEM study visit in the UK and Cappadocia Education Academy Association who is well experienced in European educational projects. The partners have identified STEM promotion and development in vocational education as a major way of addressing unemployment, contributing to economic development in general and particularly addressing inequalities for young women and people from minority communities and those with disabilities.
The project start date is 01-09-2015 and its duration is 24 months.
Why do we want to engage Europe in STEM
According the Communication of the European Commission “Improving competences for the 21st Century: an Agenda for European Cooperation on Schools” there are three key areas in which change, sometimes radical change, will need to be made if Europe’s schools are to equip young people fully for life in this century:
- a focus on giving all pupils the competences they need for life in our rapidly changing knowledge society. This includes modernising curricula, learning materials, teacher training, and assessment accordingly.
- a commitment of the schools to provide high quality learning for every student. This involves improving equity in school systems and support for students with special needs.
- the quality of teachers and school staff. This will require more and higher quality teacher education; more effective teacher recruitment; and help for school leaders to focus on improving learning.
SES13-19 Limited has identified the lack of knowledge by young people as a barrier to accessing STEM careers and contributing to economic growth in the UK. Young women in particular are disadvantaged. The UK needs 1.25 million science technology and engineering professionals and technicians by 2020 to support sustained economic recovery. Currently women make up less than 10% of the engineering sector. More than a half of Czech enterprises face the lack of employees with technical education. Students there consider STEM fields as “dirty, difficult and exhausting“. Attitude of teachers at technical schools, boredom and lots of theory discourage pupils from further STEM studies. STEM Education is increasing in its importance in the Irish Education system. More students are applying for STEM courses in Universities around the country as employers are looking for more graduates qualified in these areas. The present availability of STEM graduates for employers is quite low and many organisations are left with no alternative but to import STEM graduates from abroad. The same picture emerges across Turkey and the Netherlands. Staff in vocational education often lacks the skills and tools to address this.
The aim of this programme is to Promote STEM Activity and associated careers across partners by enhancing the knowledge and skills of staff.
The objectives are
- to exchange good practice across the partner countries through learning raids
- to develop a website incorporating good practice including curriculum materials across partners
- to produce a range of curriculum materials in each STEM area for partner usage
- to upskill staff in each partner county including knowledge
- to impact on vocational students career choices.
The project concludes with a final conference in Turkey aimed at dissemination practice as wide as possible and attended by delegates from all partners as well as a wide range of invited delegates.
The STEM Engagement Europe Project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme.