On the 14th of October 2021, within the 14th ALL DIGITAL Summit, a unique platform for the European digital inclusion sector, took place the STEAMonEdu project final conference, gathering more than 400 registered participants. EU policy makers, ALL DIGITAL members, EU stakeholders and private companies, academics, educators, and young people had the opportunity to get to know the results of the STEAMonEdu project by attending the STEAMonEdu – Increasing the adoption and impact of STE(A)M education by the professional development of STE(A)M educators conference. The event focused on three main aspects, all related with STE(A)M education: the results from STEAMonEdu project; the current innovations within STE(A)M education; and the future challenges in the field.
STE(A)M education nurtures critical thinking skills which are crucial in critical phases of societies to overcome problems and innovate thanks to a creative mindset. This interdisciplinary approach integrates the analytical and the creative thinking, stimulates the development of convergent and divergent skills at the same time, stimulating both the right and left side of the human brain. STE(A)M education prepares learners for current and future careers independently from the sector or field of interest and life when dealing with complex situations.
Participants to the event gained knowledge on the latest achievements, EU positions and action plans to support and facilitate an increase adoption of integrated STE(A)M within the educational system. Prof. Achilles Kameas, the scientific coordinator of STEAMonEdu project, gave an overview of the activities of the project, highlighting its important achievements.
Then, during the first session of the event, project partners presented in detail the project outcomes: the STE(A)M educators’ competence framework and STE(A)M readiness Self-Assessment Tool, the STE(A)M education framework and body of knowledge, the MOOC and the online platform that hosts the Community of Practice of STE(A)M educators.
Two excellent keynote speakers educated the audience in the basics of STE(A)M education and the latest policy developments. EU policy officer Dr. Anusca Ferrari, DG EAC, through her keynote speech shed light on the EU objectives and initiatives: “We set STEM as a priority for cooperation projects in Higher Education in the Erasmus+ 2021 Work Programme.” Professor Anastasios Mikropoulos, University of Ioannina, highlighted the need for and importance of combining STEM and STE(A)M education to stimulate citizens in being able to solve real problems, introducing the circular process needed to facilitate the integration.
The brief presentation of projects on STE(A)M-related topics led to a very interesting panel with the participation of experts each representing a different stakeholder’s perspective. The panel was moderated by Prof. Achilles Kameas, who engaged the panelists in discussions about reaching a common understanding of STE(A)M education, designing the policies to achieve its widespread adoption and identifying the means and resources to reach it. The panelists were:
- Erik Ballhausen, E+ Call Manager, European Education, and Culture Executive Agency
- Dr. Agueda Gras-Velazquez, Science Programme Manager / Head of the Science Education Department, European Schoolnet
- Cecilie La Monica Grus, Project Manager, CESIE
- Dr. Sofoklis Sotiriou, Head of R&D Department, Ellinogermaniki Agogi
Integrated STE(A)M sounds the next urgent goal within the field, where disciplines can be merged with a balance between them. STEM and STE(A)M is one of the priorities of the 2030 Digital Compass supported by a variety of initiatives announced as part of the European Skills Agenda, European Education Area and the Digital Education Action Plan with the aim of upskilling educators, facilitate women in accessing STEM careers and train professionals to solve real world problems.
Educators feel the need to tune into a STE(A)M mindset where integrate approaches, blend skills and knowledge into a more dynamic and flexible way of teaching and supporting learners in developing skills. During the panel discussion it has been stressed the strategic understanding of the field to avoid educating only some generations. At the opposite, STE(A)M education should refer to all generations.
The event concluded with the presentation of STE(A)M education best practices by the educators themselves. STEAMonEdu project is significant project not only thanks to the tools and outputs it developed that contribute to adopting STE(A)M approaches and methodologies within education, but also because it placed educators (teachers and trainers) at the heart of its activities and focused on their professional development.
The full recording of the session is available here:
Information about STEAMonEdu project
The STEAMonEdu project aims to increase the adoption and impact of STE(A)M education by investing in the community of practice and the professional development of educators and the pillars of implementation of STE(A)M education policies. Supporting educators’ professional development through the developed blended training programme and the exchange of experience, collaboration and creative work of the community supported by an online peer learning and crowdsourcing platform. The consortium has developed the STE(A)M education framework, Educators’ profile, and Self-Assessment STEAM, including competencies, policies and methodologies. Find out more at:
- Web: https://steamonedu.eu
- Email: SteamOnEdu@cti.gr
- FB: #SteamOnEdu
- Tw: @SteamOnEdu
Information about ALL DIGITAL
The Summit was organised by ALL DIGITAL – a Brussels-based network of organisations working to enhance digital skills of Europeans. Established in 2007 as an informal thematic network, in 2010 became a formal international non-profit association. Thirteen years later, ALL DIGITAL is a major European Association in the field of digital inclusion and empowerment, but also a family united by one purpose: empower Europe through digital skills.