CHOICE - Increasing young people’s motivation to choose STEM careers through an Innovative Cross-disciplinary STE(A)M approach to education

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CHOICE is a KA3 Forward-Looking Cooperation project that aims to develop and test an innovative and collaborative approach to STE(A)M education, complementing existing initiatives to support the reform of school curricula. The project aims to boost young people’s interest in STEM subjects and careers, helping to reduce skill mismatches in the labour market.

CHOICE promotes the joint action of nine organisations (non-profit, business, education institutions, advocacy network) across five European countries who will carry out a cross-disciplinary, bottom-up process leading to the production of innovative open educational resources (OERs) providing real-world examples regarding the implementation of STE(A)M approaches into teaching. The OERs will be collected in a MOOC, accompanied by a good-practice tool providing guidelines on the implementation of the proposed activities. In this sense, CHOICE aims to contribute to the call’s general objective of promoting innovation in education and training through European cooperation at policy and practice levels.

The project will directly involve teachers and students and role models representing companies and HEIs in the creation of new resources promoting STE(A)M approaches to STEM education, thus ensuring that the OERs respond to current skill challenges in higher education and the labour market. The consultation of policy-makers and stakeholders in the round tables leading to policy recommendations supporting the shift from STEM to STE(A)M education to reform school curricula will be key to mainstreaming the CHOICE action, in line with the call’s general objective of Empowering key stakeholders in developing and mainstreaming policy innovation.

The project takes place in three main phases:

  • State of the Art Analysis of existing initiatives, best practices, attitudes and approaches towards STE(A)M in educational contexts
  • Development and testing of innovative OERs and MOOC through collaborative practices of students, teachers and business/university representatives for the promotion of a STE(A)M approach to teaching STEM subjects
  • Mainstreaming

Besides these three core components, the CHOICE project will also envisage the transversal components of project management, dissemination and evaluation.

Basic information

Country: Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain

Coordinator: CESIE, www.cesie.org

Programme: Erasmus+

Project Acronym:

Target groups: education authorities, general public, policy makers, secondary school students, teachers, university lecturers

Topic: Agriculture, Applied sciences, Engineering, Information technology, Materials science, Maths, Technology, Education

Start year: 2020

End year: 2022

Url:

Contact person: Chiara Venturella, chiara.venturella (at) cesie.org

The research will focus on:

  • Collecting, summarising and discussing existing initiatives and good-practice examples regarding the reform / change of STEM education in different European countries
  • Understanding the attitudes of young people towards STEM education as well as the practical approaches of teachers and other educators towards these subjects
  • Including key stakeholders in an interactive discussion process identifying the needs of the labour market, the main issues regarding current STEM education and existing approaches to solving them
  • Setting up a framework to reform STEM education using a STE(A)M approach

The WP3 of the project will lead to the setting up of a Creative Leadership Team (CLT), consisting of students, teachers and role models from the business or academic world, who will work together to create OERs on STE(A)M approaches based on the combination of STEM and non-STEM subjects while simultaneously creating networks smoothing later project stages, such as field visits and mainstreaming and dissemination events. The team members will later take on the role of multipliers, sharing their knowledge about the innovative STE(A)M approach and the MOOC with colleagues or peers

The OERs, produced through a co-creative process during Design & Development workshops (D&D workshops), will be subsequently transformed into a MOOC guiding students and teachers in the adoption of a STE(A)M approach to STEM education. Teachers will participate in international training in order to be prepared for the process of co-creating the OERs, and in local training to be prepared for the testing of the MOOC. The MOOC collecting the co-created educational materials on STE(A)M education will be tested in the classroom by teachers and students.

The pilot testing will, on the one hand, provide direct feedback and inputs to the first version of the MOOC on STE(A)M education and, on the other hand, enable teachers to gain direct experience of new STE(A)M approaches, while triggering a cooperation process among students and teachers leading to an increase in students’ interest in STEM subjects and a change in teachers’ approaches in STEM.

Collected feedback will help identify strengths and weaknesses of the tools, content, methodology and approaches used and help in revising them.

A set of field visits (A3.7) to business and university faculties related to STEM fields with role models will also be arranged, thus further enhancing the impact of the action.

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