Hypatia is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project meant to develop a theoretical framework on gender-inclusive STEM education and to produce, test and promote a toolkit with practical solutions and modules for schools, businesses and science centres and museums across Europe.

Europe’s knowledge economy and society is advancing quickly. More than ever, a more diverse workforce in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is needed to keep up with the pace of change. To attract more girls and boys to these fields of study, formal and informal education play a key role. In the Hypatia Project, science centres and museums work together with schools, industries and academics to promote gender-inclusive STEM education and communication.

Basic information

Country: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Coordinator: NEMO Science Museum, https://www.nemosciencemuseum.nl/en/

Programme: Horizon 2020

Project Acronym:

Target groups: education authorities, industry, primary school students, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers

Topic: Gender in STEM

Start year: 2015

End year: 2018

Url: http://www.hypatiaproject.eu

Contact person: Meie van Laar, Email: vanlaar (at) e-nemo.nl

In all its products and communications, Hypatia follows the developed Theoretical Framework. The Theoretical Framework distinguishes four levels of engagement.

  • Societal Level – Gender identity is shaped and influenced by the culture and society which institutions, educators and learners are immersed in. These conditions are difficult or even impossible for educators to change, but being aware of them can help to offset or counteract their effects.
  • Institutional Level – Institutions routinely embed gender meanings in their ideologies, the distribution of resources and the way they organise their practices (Risman & Davis, 2013). Being aware of potential gendering and making it explicit can help educators counteract or circumvent it.
  • Interactional Level – It is important to have considered the ways in which the interactions among may inadvertently create and reproduce inequality.
  • Individual Level – When girls and boys encounter science education activities, they already have well-established gender identities. To avoid reinforcing the sense that the science activities they encounter are for certain kinds of learners and not for others, it is important to avoid building essentialist presumptions into the activities.

Hypatia’s toolkit is an accessible, practical and ready-to-use digital collection of innovative activities aimed at teenagers.

The collection contains workshops, speed dating, card games, debate scenarios and role plays drawn from good practices across Europe. Each activity, called a module, has a central focus on gender-inclusive ways of communicating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), empowering teenagers and exploring the range of skills that are needed for a great variety of STEM studies and careers open to young people.

Every activity contains gender and facilitation guidelines and can be implemented by teachers, informal learning organisations, researchers and industry.


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