STE(A)M IT – An interdisciplinary STEM approach connected to all around us, will produce the first European integrated STE(A)M framework.

The term STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is used in very different ways in education. From a simple acronym referencing the four discrete fields to a way of indicating these fields have common aims, methodologies and problematics (e.g. the decrease in students going into STEM degrees and careers). Recently, the term STEM has been expanded to include A, representing Arts, as a way of highlighting the importance of creativity in STEM education, or even with A as a reference to All, i.e. highlighting the importance of connecting STEM to all other disciplines. But in secondary education in general, in Europe, STEM disciplines continue to be taught in an isolated way. There are no STEM classes, in general, there are S classes, T classes, E classes, M classes. And not even the S is “one”. There are Physics classes, Chemistry classes, Biology classes, etc.

In order to really get students to see the interest of STEM degrees and careers, and even more importantly, show students, and society at large, the key role that STEM plays in improving our lives and their need for our future, we need STEM to be taught in an integrated way. We need all the components of S to work together. All the letters in STEM to work together. And even better, for all the subjects to work together STE(A)M. We need to apply measures to teach the different disciplines in an integrated way, connected to real-life issues. We need “to steam education”. If we “STE(A)M IT”, we can ensure future citizens will be ready to tackle any issues in society, in a collaborative, critical and efficient way.

Project aims:

In order to achieve this, the STE(A)M IT project aims to (1) create and test of a conceptual framework of reference for integrated STE(A)M education; (2) develop a capacity building programme for primary schools teachers and secondary STEM teachers, based on this framework, with a particular focus on the contextualization of STEM teaching, especially through industry-education cooperation, and (3) further ensure the contextualization of the integrated STEM teaching by establishing a network of guidance counsellors/career advisors in schools promoting the attractiveness of STEM jobs to their classes.

This first European integrated STEM framework of reference will comprise of:

  • A Master Learning Scenario guiding teachers on how to teach in an integrated way.
  • 7 Example Learning Scenarios for Secondary education (12 – 16 years old) and 4 for Primary education (6 to 11 years old) with real case scenarios, based on the Master Learning Scenario.
  • A Capacity Building Programme for Secondary and Primary School teachers on teaching in an integrated way.
  • A network of teachers to exchange on integrated STE(A)M teaching.
  • A report on the development and use of this teaching methodology in real case scenarios, including tips and guidelines for integration at Ministries of Education level as well as by schools.

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