The rising need for creative problem-solving in our evolving economy has made one thing clear: skills in the STEM fields can no longer be seen as being the sole domain of scientists and engineers. One of the international initiatives paying homage to careers and studies in STEM fields is the STEM Discovery Campaign. This year it’s focusing on the topics of sustainability and citizenship. Organised by the EU-funded Scientix 4 project, the 2021 STEM Discovery Campaign has invited stakeholders in education from Europe and beyond to take action with the aim of increasing awareness of STEM topics. From 1 February to 30 April 2021, with activities peaking during the week of 23-30 April, projects, organisations, libraries, schools, universities and youth clubs will have the opportunity to join one of the world’s biggest STEM campaigns. Becoming involved is simple. All you have to do is organise STEM activities and feature them on the STEM Discovery Campaign map. The Scientix website lists some ideas. These include organising webinars, chats, quizzes, or other online STEM activities for or with students, and creating online courses using the Scientix Moodle platform and the Scientix Online Meeting Room to host webinars or live events. Other ways of becoming involved include participating in the campaign’s online events, contributing a story to the STEM Discovery Campaign Blog, and – if you’re a school, project or organisation – becoming an official partner of the campaign.
In addition to the above, the 2021 STEM Discovery Campaign is also holding 10 competitions to whet the appetite of education stakeholders. One example is the STE(A)M IT competitions for primary and secondary school teachers aimed at drawing attention to the importance of creativity in STEM education and the value of integrated STEM teaching. Participants have to submit a new learning scenario or try out an original STE(A)M IT Learning Scenario in class and report on the outcome. Winners will be invited to join the STE(A)M IT Career Advisors Network. Their entries will be included in the Scientix repository and STE(A)M IT portal. Educators interested in making their lessons more nature-friendly and connected to real life have the opportunity to participate in the Nature Based Solutions NBS in Education Competition for Teachers 2021. The aim of this competition is to highlight the social, environmental and economic benefits that can be achieved through STEM education. Similarly to the STE(A)M IT competitions, participants have to submit a new learning scenario or try out an original NBS Learning Scenario in class and report on the results. The competition will have up to 60 possible winners. The campaign’s other competitions also focus on vital issues of our time that can be tackled through STEM learning. These include the need for clean technology, alternatives to animal testing in science, the art of teaching in these difficult times, climate change and gender discrimination. Scientix 4 (Scientix 4), the 4th edition of the Scientix project that began in 2009, will continue collecting information about European STEM projects and making it available through an internet portal. It further aims to increase professional development activities, enhance community building and establish European partnerships until the end of its term in December 2022. For more information, please see: Scientix 4 project website
Scientix 4, 2021 STEM Discovery Campaign, STEM, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, competition