There’s no doubt that children are the future of our society. What we must keep in mind is the role of their education in reaching the achievements and success of our society. Today’s education system should be able to follow the change in the world and try to meet the demands of a globalized society while aiming at developing and cultivating critical thinking, teamwork, knowledge building, technological literacy and basic skills that pupils and students need to have to shield themselves from modern challenges. The education system needs to be grasped with innovative elements that make young people more resilient, flexible and ultimately successful as they enter the real world and start to contribute to society.
The success of the STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) innovation in education applied in the USA since 2006 proved it to be the driving force for preparing children for their future. The creation of a STEAM school (with A-arts added to incorporate culture and communication) is an important step towards the necessary educational redesign. But how great would it be to incorporate among these skills also the entrepreneurial mindset and skills? And this is what the project STEAME (the last letter E stands for Entrepreneurship) is bringing closer to reality – the combination of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Entrepreneurship, all with the purpose to give our children the best fighting chance toward their success in the future. But looking around trying to find a STEAME school providing this kind of education shows that there is still plenty of work to do.
The project titled “STEAME: Guidelines for Developing and Implementing STEAME Schools” has been developed to support the European teachers’ knowledge and understanding of creating successful STEAME learning activities. It offers useful and practical help and assists the schools in developing and implementing STEAME curricula. The document Guidelines for dynamic and adaptive STEAME curricula provide examples of how teachers gather information about scientific progress and STEAME achievements, use this information to enrich their own teaching and learning, and share it among the teachers in the STEAME education community. The Guidelines for STEAME Activities in Schools for two age groups created within the STEAME project together with two Handbooks for Learning & Creativity Plans encompass appropriate methodologies, project-based learning, inquiry-based learning and problem-solving learning, that support interdisciplinary learning and creativity. The e-book Guidelines for STEAME School Organizational Structure is targeted mainly for the school authorities, management, the head teachers, the teaching and administrative staff in schools and anyone interested in implementing STEAME activities and developing STEAME methodology in schools, existing or new ones.
The project is oriented towards education in presence, face to face, as it provides the best learning experience for pupils and students when they can be able to involve all the five senses and support the non-verbal communication skills at the same time during the education process. But sometimes it is necessary to be flexible and adapt to the change like the one that we experienced during the covid-19 pandemics. The STEAME Goes Hybrid project is a continuation of the STEAME project and develops innovative learning practices in the digital era we live in, by developing new educational, learning and training methods and moving school-based STEAME activities to online and distance STEAME activities so to formulate a hybrid approach. Most importantly, teachers need to be aware and adaptable to changes and to the needs not only of today’s students but also of the students in the future, by developing a collaborative and evolutionary vision.
The project has resulted in several outputs that help to reach the intended goal. The Blueprint Guidelines for Hybrid STEAME activities is a document which targets STEAME teachers and represents a useful resource that was developed based on the findings, results and professional feedback and helps teachers to carry out successful STEAME project-based activities in a blended-learning/hybrid manner. In addition to teachers, those who will benefit from this material are students aged 12 to 15 and their parents in situations when students are supposed to work from or from home.
The Training Programme for facilitating the implementation of STEAME L&C Plans by SE teachers and Piloting the Blueprint Guidelines together with the STEAME-Hybrid Learning and Creativity Plans offer samples of activities for various age groups of students. These samples can inspire teachers to work with students on the topics like e.g. creation of an e-shop and what is needed to know about the costs, revenue and profit in business, how art reflects the community and how technology connects to art, market analysis, entrepreneurship and mathematics related in a non-obvious way, environmental impacts of food production and healthy alimentation.
Schools interested in this innovation of education can be instructed on how they can obtain The Hybrid School Label – a brand-new certification aimed to attest to the appropriate level of hybrid education readiness reached by schools. Schools applying for the Hybrid Label will undergo a thorough process of self-evaluation of their hybrid/digital accomplishments at multiple levels, prompting a holistic analysis of their current digital performance provided by all the different subjects of their community (executives, board members, teachers, administrative personnel). The focus is to be placed not only on the need to procure modern high-level digital tools and services but also on the provision of digital competences for the full school community. Digital education readiness should be seen as a regular process. The Hybrid Label represents the acknowledgement and showcasing of the commitment of a particular school towards high-quality digital education.
Learn more about our project STEAME GOES HYBRID at https://steame-hybrid.eu/