STEMpowering Youth supports STEM teaching by providing lab equipment to schools in remote areas!
"STEMpowering Youth" started in February 2017 as an extracurricular program of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education for 12-16 year-old students in remote Greek areas. The program's main aim is to enhance and support the process of STEM education in remote areas of Greece. This is why, in 2018, STEMpowering Youth, which is implemented by SciCo with the academic contribution of Ellinogermaniki Agogi and the support of the Vodafone Foundation, expands with one more initiative. Starting in the spring semester of 2018 we are implementing the distribution of specially designed Materials Packages, aiming to facilitating the teaching of Physics and Computer Science in secondary schools!
Greek students have historically low performance in science in the international OECD PISA assessment scheme- the only way to reverse this trend is to boost the combination of theory and practice, an approach which is crucial in order to facilitate the students' understanding of scientific principles and the scientific method, but also in order to develop multifaceted skills like critical and creative thinking, exchange of ideas, teamwork and problem-solving skills!
However, while the guidelines of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and the Insitut of Educational Policy for the Physics and Computer Science curricula in Secondary Schools include mandatory laboratory exercises, experiments and research projects, these cannot be implemented in many schools of remote areas due to the lack of appropriate laboratory equipment and materials necessary for their completion. For this exact reason SciCo, in an effort to support interactive learning in schools lacking laboratory infrastructure, provides specially designed equipment and materials packages for Physics and Computer Science to secondary schools in remote areas of the country, after ascertaining local needs. The materials packages for Physics include certified laboratory equipment that covers (almost) all of the educational units in the Physics curriculum for the three secondary school grades, aiming to create a mobile laboratory. The packages include equipment that covers the completion of the experiments and laboratory exercises outlined in the laboratory guides and educational guidelines of the Institute of Educational Policy, as well as an accompanying Educator's guide in printed and digital form. The packages should facilitate the educator's work in experiential, project-based and interactive teaching. The overall goal is for the equipment to remain in the school and be used in an annual basis by school educators, with local laboratory centres for science education (ΕΚΦΕ) acting as advisors for the proper use and maintenance of the materials.
In the same vein, the materials packages for Computer Science are designed to facilitate the inclusion of new technologies and digital literacy (ICT) in the teaching of the programming and robotic systems units included in the curriculum of the three secondary school grades. The package includes Arduino equipment (a set of Arduino with basic sensors and materials for a robotic vehicle) to be used by groups of students, as well as an accompanying Educator's Guide in printed and digital form. The Educator's Guide includes proposed activities of graded difficulty, to serve the student levels of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades, and support the student in programming the final project required by the 3rd grade curriculum.
The program was implemented on a pilot basis in the spring semester of 2018, providing packages to 12 schools of remote areas. In the 2018-2019 academic year the program expands with the participation of 12 more schools all over Greece- we hope this is only the beginning!
For more information on the program and to find out how your school could participate please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org