The USA, the UK and other countries are currently facing a skills gap surrounding STEM-based job roles; according to Engineering UK, each year the UK is producing only half the number of engineers with the right qualifications to fill nearly two million job openings expected by 2020 – let alone producing as many engineers as economic competitors in Asia.
Employers are looking to hire people with more advanced skills, especially in STEM fields, but job seekers are often struggling to figure out which skills they need and where they can learn them. In workplace learning, employers, are providing fewer opportunities for on-the-job training than they have in the past; yet, they are still looking to hire workers with skills and experience. What also seems important is the need to launch and -why not– establish collaboration between employers and educators so as to identify the skills they need to fill the jobs available and help map career pathways from entry-level to middle skill jobs and beyond.
As science, technology and engineering are powerful drivers of economic growth, it is critical to encourage more young people to opt for these subjects at school and university as it is equally critical to showcase STEM careers as an attractive option among the many choices offered to highly talented graduates. This is actually one of the goals of UMI-Sci-Ed: Exploring Ubiquitous, Mobile & Internet of Things in Science Education, funded by the European Commission in the context of Horizon 2020 calls (GA750183) (UMI-Sci-Ed Weblink,The UMI-Sci-Ed Platform .
Investigating the introduction of UMI technologies in education on STEM subjects and establishing Communities of Practice on the basis of supporting in a work based like environment European youngsters 14-16+ years old , has been seen as the major UMI-Sci-Ed partners’ challenge. By providing instructional design infrastructure for STEM based educational scenarios and space for on line collaboration among IT corporate specialists and European secondary teachers and students , UMI-Sci-Ed project carefully exploits state of the art technologies (UMI) to build STEM skills and train young students so as to become talented and skilful STEM future employees. Offering novel educational services, implementing innovative pedagogies and enhance students’ and teachers’ creativity, encouraging socialization and scientific citizenship are also important for the UMI-Sci-Ed rationale. Which skills are important for pursuing a STEM oriented career? In what ways company stakeholders could be involved in the effective tracing and development of these skills?
Evita and I were very happy to participate in a Scientix webinar about the STEM Discovery Week campaign with hundreds of educators in STEM education on 28 February 2018.
We enjoyed answering the large number of questions we received from the participants.. The main questions were about what kind of activities they could organise for the STEM Discovery Week, how they could disseminate the campaign and how to participate in its associated competitions.
A few teachers also asked us for examples of activities of previous campaigns. Well, this is the third time the STEM Discovery Week is organised so, if you want to get some inspiration, you can of course have a look at the winners of our competitions in 2016 and 2017.
One teacher also asked us how she could organise the best week. There is no golden rule or a formula for success, it all depends if your activity meets your intentions and the learners’ expectations. If you need some ideas for getting started, though, you can have a look at a recent blog by Evita Tasiopoulou here.
We are over one month away from the STEM Discovery Week of 2018, and we have already exceeded the number of events we had last year. That’s very exciting news for the campaign! Our aim is to reach 500 activities by 23 April and we look forward to reaching this target with you!
Watch the recording of the Scientix webinar about the STEM Discovery Week to learn more about the campaign and how you can participate.
Every school year, in Romania, one school week is dedicated to “Another kind of school” week. During this week, students participate in extracurricular activities and projects. This year, in my school, Școala Gimnazială Nr. 9 „Nicolae Orghidan” Brașov, between 26th and 30th of March, an event dedicated to STEM education will be organized for providing opportunities for learning STEM topics to young students aged 6 to 11. For five days, students will visit companies, meet engineers, doctors or scientists, make experiments based on Scientix Resources or create posters. STEM education is a priority in our school as we are involved in many national and international educational projects based on STEM topics.
Science Festival On 8 March, the Science Festival was held once again in the walls of our school. We hosted specialists from various fields of knowledge: natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. We were visited by lecturers and doctoral students of Warsaw universities: Warsaw University, Warsaw Medical University, SGGW. The program of the Science Festival also includes attractions prepared by our students: Science Escape Room, presentations, experiments, geocaching, which has already been traditionally prepared by the European Club, operating at XXXV LO im. B. Prusa.
During the STEM Discovery Week, teachers from different cities in our country will work on their planned activities with their students. All Scientix Ambassadors of Albania will collaborate and create during the all-day Conference on 28 April, which will be held at the school “Flatrat e dijes”, Fier, Albania. Each of the Ambassadors have their responsibility to take part in the organisation.
What about the conference?
It will be an all day conference, starting at 09:00 am and ending at 16:00 pm.
During the conference, different speakers will have presentations they prepare.
A discussion panel with an invited person will be part of this conference and teachers will prepare questions they are interested in.
Parallel sessions of training for educators is another point of interest for educators which will inform about the Scientix platform and possibilities to get involved.
Lunch and the ceremony of certification for the invited teachers.
Who is going to be invited?
Different teachers from science subjects at school. There will be an open invitation to submit documents, where teachers can express their interest to take part. All Ambassadors can invite their colleagues from their schools too, but only a limited number of teachers will be selected.
Speakers of the conference?
Almida Cercizaj – first Scientix Ambassador of Albania
Adriana Laze – (Scientix Ambassador of Albania)
Dhurata Myrtollari – (Scientix Ambassador of Albania)