The gender dimension of research implicates that the share of women in research is extremely low in all European countries and associated countries. Throughout Europe there is a fear that interest in science and technology is declining, at the same time as demands for science and technology graduates grows. The TWIST project will address this challenge with an ambitious programme of coordinated activities targeted young people and their teachers and parents as well as the general public. A major aim of the project will be to create and develop innovative activities and exhibitions in the science centres targeting the general public and schools in order to create debates and ignite on-going discussions. A structured use of scientific role models via databases will be introduced and a new national way of focusing on the gender theme in each country will be established. Another important aim will be to build on already established collaborations between the informal and formal learning sectors in order to develop new methods and ways of approaching gender issues in schools and to ensure the project’s sustainability after the end duration. The project will work closely with teachers in order to develop a method of awareness where teachers become catalysts, sparking an interest in science and technology in young people. The main focus will be on helping girls to see themselves as the scientists of tomorrow. Girls tend to undervalue their own performance, and thereby their ability to pursue careers in science and technology. The reasons are many, complex and varied but a lack of role models and self-efficacy seem to be part of the problem. Methods that can help build self-efficacy and create self-esteem will be employed. Young people and specifically girls will be targeted on their own terms in order to successfully strive to change outdated gender stereotypes. In raising the gender question the TWIST project will seek to build gender awareness in both genders.
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