EPISTEME is a philosophical term which derives from ancient Greece and means knowledge, science or cognition. It is also an acronym of an English name of our project “European Partnership in STEM Education”. The beneficiaries of this initiative are the students of the partner schools, aged 12-16, as well as the teachers of science, technology and mathematics. There will be over 100 people taking part in international project meetings. The aim of the international cooperation of schools from Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia and Latvia is to improve education quality in these scientific disciplines. In order to reach this target, we will come together to develop innovative methods, forms and didactic resources that will make science, mathematics and technology education (STEM) more attractive to young people. The international qualities of the project create a possibility for exchanging experiences and adapting examples of desirable practice into the parent/home schools.Before commencing this partnership, the needs and problems of schools had already been identified by us. We had set goals and stated tasks that would lead to reaching our aims in promoting STEM education.
Each of the partners proposed to prepare two issues related tot he modern approach to STEM education and to coordinate actions related to their selected topic in all the schools participating in the project. The selection of topics and the way of their implementation has been made taking into account natural values, geographical location and the scientific and technical potential of the region in which the school is located.
- A project-based learning method in teaching science and mathematics (Poland)
- Encouraging students to make simple study aids – an integration of knowledge and practice (Poland)
- Education games as a method of teaching science and mathematics (Latvia)
- Using social media in teaching STEM (Latvia)
- Robotics in teaching STEM (Estonia)
- “Out of the box” – the creative approach to STEM education (Estonia)
- The importance of the experiment in teaching STEM (Bulgaria)
- Teaching STEM subjects through educational trips (Bulgaria)
The implementation of the above topics corresponds with the next stages of cooperation. Each stage will consist of three phases:
- substantive, cultural and linguistic preparation for the visit,
- the visit to the host school responsible for conducting the training,
- implementation of developed methods and techniques at the home school
The “epiSTEMe-labs”, equipped with tools supporting an extensive and creative development of students, will be established in each of the partner schools. The equipment of the laboratories will not only include specialist tools for teaching and learning STEM, but also hand-made study aids created by students.
The most important, expected results are:
- An increase in attractiveness of STEM teaching and in students’ interest in learning these subjects.
- An increase in students’ knowledge about STEM subjects as well as in their linguistic skills
- Equalising of educational opportunities of young people
- An improvement of the quality of the educational offer and its adaptation to the labour market
- Gaining experience in hosting intercultural events
- The promotion of the Schools in the local community
Materials and experience gathered during the project implementation will be used in subsequent years after its completion, and thanks to dissemination activities, they will be able to be implemented in other European schools.