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Scientix 3

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Scientix 3 (Scientix 3)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2019-09-30

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are essential to our lives. Despite this, there are less students pursuing STEM careers and jobs, and the image of STEM in media and society is not consistent with the importance they have. To address this, numerous projects are financed to promote STEM subjects, careers and education. To increase awareness of the overall outcome of these “investments”, Scientix: The Community for Science Education in Europe, was created in Dec 2009.
In its first stage (2009-2012), Scientix built a portal to collect and present European STEM education projects and their results. Scientix 2 (2013 – 2015) expanded this community to the national level. This activity was continued in Scientix 3 (2016-2019) with the following objectives:
• To ensure the continuation/adaptation of Scientix activities.
• To contribute to and support the development of national strategies for wide uptake and dissemination science education methodologies.
In order to achieve the objectives, as well as the more general aim to improve the awareness and quality of STEM in primary and secondary education, and thus have better informed and prepared adults in the future, Scientix 3 has run numerous activities including networking events between Ministries of Education, industry and STEM education professionals, professional development training for teachers, and dissemination campaigns, both at national and European level.
Scientix activities can be grouped into four types. We provide here a summary of the work performed and main results achieved between Apr 2016 and Sep 2019:

1) Scientix Portal
• The Scientix portal (http://scientix.eu) until mid-2016, was available in 8 languages. Since Sep 2016, the navigation of the portal, as well as key pages, are available in all 24 official EU languages.
• Additionally: 164 new projects, 180 news items, 282 events and 906 resources published; 142 resources were translated through the Scientix translation on demand service and the resources in Scientix can now be accessed from any portal with the Scientix widget.

2) Dissemination and exchange of practices
• Increased social media presence via Facebook “Science Teachers in Europe”, Twitter @scientix_eu and Instagram scientix_eu.
• Sent 84 Email Digests and published 10 thematic newsletters
• Published posters and fliers in 29 languages; 7 Scientix observatory papers; the 3rd Scientix Conference proceedings; a Scientix status update; and 11 interviews.
• The STEM Discovery Week (SDW) annual campaign promotes collaboration in STEM. 4 SDW Campaigns were organised. The 2019 SDW reached 4,700 schools, 15,500 teachers, 122,000 students in 40 countries.
• Campaigns also organised for the 3rd Scientix conference and around the publication of two reports on STEM education at the end of 2018 that provided an overview and analysis of current policies and practices in STEM education.
• Scientix has been presented at 36 events and supported 48 STEM education events and fairs.
• The Scientix Online Meeting Room was used 167 times and 140 new blog articles were published.

3) Professional Development
• The 3rd Scientix conference (May 2018) had 352 participants. The programme featured 4 keynotes, 56 talks, 14 workshops, six roundtables and 15 exhibition stands.
• 5 Science Projects Workshop in the Future Classroom Lab (FCL) were organised with 40 to 60 participants each time; and 2 week-long FCL training courses were organised with 23 and 41 teachers attending.
• 4 Scientix Project Networking Events (SPNEs) were organised with 20 to 30 participants each time; 31 webinars; 9 European Scientix hands-on trainings and 16 new Moodle courses
• 3 MOOCs were carried out by Scientix. Two in collaboration with the STEM Alliance and SYSTEMIC project: “Opening Minds to STEM careers”, for teachers (Apr 2017) and “Opening Schools to STEM careers”, for heads of schools and career advisors (Sep 2017). The courses reached over 1,200 and almost 600 participants respectively. The 3rd MOOC “STEM is everywhere” (Oct 2018) for teachers, had over 2,100 teachers participating.

4) Support of national strategies
• Scientix National Contact Points (NCPs) provide the link between Scientix at a European level and national activities. There are two types of NCPs: Ministries of Education (MoEs) and organizations acting as NCP selected through a call for interest. The MoEs are also members of the MoE STEM representatives Working Group (MoE STEM WG), a platform of discussion and exchange for MoEs regarding their STEM education policies. By Sept 2019, 27 countries had an NCP, with 22 of them also in the MoE STEM WG. Numerous national workshops and conferences have been organized with the support of Scientix. 3.
• Scientix Ambassadors (SA) act on a voluntary basis and are selected based on 1) obtaining a score of more than 65% in a SA Training Course and 2) an application to be a SA. From the 3 editions of the course 473 teachers from all over Europe and beyond became SA. SA disseminated the project on more than 2,430 occasions in 43 countries in Europe and beyond either online and on newspaper articles, national webinars or TV and radio interventions. 110 of the SA provided support to Scientix and to other STEM projects under the Scientix Projects Support initiative.
Scientix made a huge breakthrough regarding innovative STEM teaching and online learning and has undoubtedly made a significant impact on teachers, their teaching practices, and consequently their students, throughout Europe via the creation of Scientix ambassadors and the numerous training opportunities offered.
The expansion of the Ambassador programme is one of the key successes of Scientix. The increase in Ambassador numbers during Scientix 3 has many encouraging implications, extending the reach of Scientix to more remote localities less often included in national or international projects.
The second achievement of Scientix is everything that has been done for career advisers in schools. From an economic point of view, it is essential to attract students to STEM jobs. Scientix has contributed beyond the initial situation, thanks to its various training activities to revive the profession of career advisers, providing them with the appropriate tools to make STEM jobs more attractive, and collaborating with industry and public-private partnership initiatives such as the STEM Alliance initiative.
The third achievement of Scientix is how it contributed to the development of national strategies via the Ministries of Education STEM representatives Working Group (MoE STEM WG) following an agenda that addresses the ministries’ priorities and main interests.
Finally, Scientix has managed to build a reputation for organizing landmark events in STEM education such as the 3rd Scientix conference. This conference as well as the numerous training activities organised by Scientix, help teachers to learn more about recent developments in STEM education, based on research and practical implementation of STEM-related strategies but also allow them to construct networks and collaboration in direct relation to their main areas of interest.
Overall, what matters is the scaling up of the learning processes which have led Scientix to obtain these results, and that is certainly the challenge for tomorrow helping teachers even more to inspire young minds to study and understand STEM but also to consider careers within them.
Scientix 3 overview