Clean, green future through STEM-sport clubs (STEMclubs) – Erasmus+ KA202 Strategic partnership: innovation development
Duration: 31.12.2020 – 30.12.2023
Project number: 2020-1-NO01-KA202-076537
- Odda upper secondary school (ODV) (Norway, Odda) (coordinator)
- Srednja škola Dugo Selo (Croatia, Dugo Selo)
- The South Bohemian Company for Development of Human Resources (Czech Republic, České Budějovice)
- Solaris FZU gGmbH (Germany, Chemnitz)
- Piarista Gimnazium, Kollegium, Altalanos Iskola es Ovoda (Hungary, Kecskemét)
- t2i – trasferimento tecnologico e innovazione (Italy, Treviso)
- Střední průmyslová škola chemická Pardubice (Czech Republic, Pardubice)
“Clean, green future through STEM sports clubs” is a European partnership of seven VET schools and educational organizations who will develop “STEM clubs” as a new learning and teaching method for STEM based motivation, orientation, preparation and dropout prevention in VET. It is intended as an ongoing leisure activity, as entertaining as sport for young students aged from 10 up to 18 years. All valuable results will be available for other European regions who face comparable challenges.
A few of the organizations have collaborated in another ERASMUS+ project before (2017-1-NO01-KA202-034179), also managed by the applicant Odda Upper Secondary School. The former collaboration has shown an urgent need for continuing activities for learners in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to keep motivation for such VET education on a high level and to avoid VET dropouts by better early orientation. The partners have deduced that an ongoing focus on STEM content is effective for the motivation of young growing people for VET studies in STEM fields. Special STEM competencies are important for the economy of nearly all European regions. Companies regularly seek specialists on local, regional, national and international level.
The project aims to make a significant contribution to the development of regional STEM clubs based on the structures of sports clubs. It will show the opportunities for innovative and modern content and attract volunteer educators who are implementing practical training activities and who improve their own competences of methodology, tools, resources and innovative approaches.
The method of STEM clubs will also attract young participants and give them a sustainable basis for their future. By joining a STEM club, young individuals get necessary experiences for their career decisions in an ongoing process. Innovative content such as renewable energy, modern mobility, ICT based tools or environment protection motivates them for special STEM-based VET studies. Young participants are invited to an interesting and somehow fun environment, worthwhile to invest time, creativity and commitment with many other likeminded people.
Supported by European mobilities the project will aim to strengthen structures for volunteers in extracurricular STEM activities across the regular school. STEM clubs are organised by analysing and adapting the voluntary work-based structures of traditional sports clubs. The main target groups are voluntary educators and young learners from 10 to 18 years of age. In an ongoing process appropriate persons for STEM clubs are identified. Activities focus on finding, motivating and qualifying volunteers (mentors, scientists, teachers, workers, retired persons, older students, etc.) A special platform is planned for interested persons who can easily register and get methodology and best practice information. They are also supported by the STEM club structure, which provides meeting and working places, financial and practical support, new partners, themes, contents and necessary resources.
Furthermore, good collaboration with the local economy is intended to select valuable content and to enable companies for the support of local STEM clubs.
Some of the participating organizations retain experience in STEM motivation of learners. They have chosen to continue cooperation, to include knowledge and experience of new partners and to develop new approaches by establishing the method of STEM clubs and by disseminating best practice to increase STEM education. As a target, partners will each establish at least one new STEM club in their region with at least 15 members per club.
The collaboration will focus on two main exchange activities: Blended mobilities (C2, C3) for educators and learners are planned in order to get familiar with established Italian and Croatian STEM clubs. A staff training event (C1) is expected to take place in Berlin / Germany to present a few existing German STEM clubs and to discuss development, structure, aims, methods, partnerships, learners and other details of the STEM club approach in a practical workshop. Participants will be either responsible persons who would like to establish new STEM clubs or interested volunteers and educators.
Furthermore, two intellectual outputs are planned with free access for all interested parties. A STEM club platform/ website (O1) will be offered to support new and existing STEM clubs. It facilitates the exchange of practical information and provides special content for the development of STEM clubs including e-Learning tutorial material for educators in STEM (O2). This uses the experience of the partnership to motivate other interested European organizations for the development of their own STEM club activities.
Additional results of the project are expected to include a higher self-motivation of all involved volunteer educators and an increased interest and higher motivation for STEM subjects in general.