Bringing Teenagers Closer to Science and Technology
With demand for graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) far outstripping supply in Europe, H2020 project STEM4youth takes these subjects back to the classroom, along with a dose of fun to make science attractive and show its central role in many careers, from marketing analysts to ethics experts, zoologists, and many more.
The project organises courses in seven subjects – chemistry, physics, citizen science, engineering, medicine, maths and astronomy – emphasizing how core principles of each discipline arise in everyday life and showcasing job features associated to these disciplines to help young people take conscious decisions about their future.
Basic explanations are combined with hands-on experiments and activities, games, critical thinking sessions and insights into how the skills acquired fit career choices. The course in medicine, for example, begins with a recap of what most people have already learned at school and then digs deeper into personalised cures and intelligent drugs that are designed to take out unhealthy cells without affecting healthy ones.
The course then moves onto next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics, looking at the impact of big data analysis for medicine and the IT skills needed to perform this.
An open-source educational platform enables teachers and students to share course materials and interact with others through games and online tests. The team will also develop a multidisciplinary guide for teachers on how best to exploit STEM subjects.
STEM4YOUTH engages students, teachers, parents and citizens in general, in our social networks, and actively involves them in its events taking place in the streets or during other science festivals, so as to make them feel part of an international community. Finally, STEM4youth gathers feedback from the school courses and produces a set of recommendations for policy makers on how to improve STEM education across the school systems of partner countries.