STEMpowering Youth, an educational STEM programme through which SciCo has reached 12.400 students since 2017, with the support of the Vodafone Foundation and the academic input from Ellinogrmaniki Agogi, is now evolving to Generation Next, an openly accessible STEM digital platform.
For three consecutive years and 5 successful rounds, through STEMpowering Youth, SciCo reached every corner of Greece and acquainted young people with inquiry, encouraging their active involvement in scientific developments and modern applications and cultivating the necessary skills for professional development. The programme aimed to empower students and enhance science and technology education in remote areas of Greece. It was based on a double approach: providing STEM extracurricular workshops for 12-17-year-old students and teacher training, or sending specially designed STEM kits to high schools in order to facilitate hands-on learning in Sciences and Informatics. During this period, STEMpowering Youth supported 47 different areas in Greece, set up 62 STEM workshops, provided 43 STEM kits, trained 52 teachers and above all educated 12.400 students from Thrace to Crete and from the Ionian to the Northeastern Aegean, inspiring them to create 180 projects that solve a local issue and compete for an educational trip to CERN.
Following the approval of the educational material by the Open Schools for Open Societies – OSOS programme and having won the European Network Science Centres and Museums - Ecsite Mariano Gago international award in 2019, STEMpowering Youth successfully evolved to the digital educational platform Generation Next. Through the Generation Next platform, students are able to get acquainted with STEM themes, follow step-by-step DIY activities and create their own projects, in order to solve everyday problems and participate in an exciting educational competition with the top prize being a trip to Silicon Valley!
The Generation Next Digital platform is set up on the trifold Discover - Learn – Create:
- The “Discover” section requires students and teachers to browse through global student STEM projects and examples of STEMPowering Youth projects conducted by Greek students for ideas and inspiration.
- The “Learn” section includes 10 scientific areas with a large number of lessons that will help students acquire the necessary STEM knowledge to implement their project. These online lessons touch upon a large range of scientific and technological areas, such as Astronomy, Electricity, Open Science, App Development, Internet of Things and are based on a number of tools, like Arduino, GPS, augmented and virtual reality.
- The “Create” section leverages the knowledge acquired from the “Learn” section and includes short DIY videos students can follow in order to make simple and fun scientific creations, such as a hologram, a telegraph, an earthquake alarm or a water filter.
Once students and teachers complete their digital tour on the platform, they are required to form a team of 2-4 members and submit their own project which solves a real issue, in order to compete to win a trip to Silicon Valley
Under the “project-based learning” approach, the programme aims to develop students' critical thinking and inquiry skills in a practical, hands-on way that combines theory and practice. It encourages young people to identify and solve real-life problems in their society and urges them to think of innovative solutions with the help of technology.