STEM is an approach to the curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.
We need employees that are motivated, well prepared and trained now and for the future. The STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are particularly important for the further development of European Economy and welfare. At the moment we have to face the problem that not enough young people are choosing to study or work within these STEM areas. The aim of our project is to close this gap. We intend to develop the student’s interest in STEM topics and to motivate them to work towards further development of modern technologies.
The main aim of this project is to make STEM education more relevant and meaningful for our students in ways that respect gender equality and cultural diversity. The other aims are:
- Improving the study of scientific subjects
- Fostering the basic and transversal skills, especially in Maths and Logics
- Encouraging the auto-production of multimedia in science
- Using philosophy as a tool not a subject
- Acquire 21st century skills; critical thinking and problem solving; collaboration across network and leading by influence; agility and adaptability; initiative and entrepreneurship; effective oral and written communication.
“Little STEMists” was the product of collaborative work carried out in coordination with 11 countries. During the project, we investigated, how students could be easily motivated, by implementing a creative approach to teaching and learning that was both innovative and purposeful. In the practice, prepared according to Piaget’s “Active Learning”, students were totally centered in the process and they learnt by using a very hands on approach and were very much active participants in their learning. For this reason, during the practice, the learning activity was put into active mode by stimulating the children’s interests and building on their self esteem as active learners. As a result, students took ownership of the process and became learners who, as individuals, were conscious, creative, curious, aware of the source of the knowledge and the importance of their learning.
At the end of the project we had:
- A broad range of teaching resources, worksheets, instructions etc.
- A twinspace https://twinspace.etwinning.net/23165/home and a web page about our project work and cooperation http://littlestemists.blogspot.com/
- A digital magazine https://issuu.com/okuloncesipaylasim/docs/little_stemists_online_magazine
The most successful outcome of our project is being able to observe and quantify the learning achievements of our students and teachers who were willing to take risks in the way they have delivered the curriculum.
Author: Merve Akyol Kilic
The pictures included in the article are the author’s own, except for the featured image.