From March 24 to March 26 2017 T³ Europe – European network of math, science and STEM teachers – held its biennial Sharing Inspiration conference in Brussels, Belgium. The conference was devoted to “Igniting Serious STEM Education” and is the start of a continuous publication and professional development process.
In the morning policy makers met at the Saxony Liaison Office on invitation of DIGITALEUROPE and in cooperation with the STEM Alliance to talk about today’s roadblocks and options for improved STEM education as best possible preparation for future school and college absolvents in light of increasing digitalization.
Katja Maass, the coordinator of STEM PD Net, gave a talk about “Professional Development as Motor for Change in STEM Education”. She described her vision of STEM education for the 21st century and pointed out that cooperation between practice, research, policy and industry is the key to implementing this vision at school The morning session was concluded by hands-on workshops in the Future Classroom Lab at European Schoolnet on how the aims could be realized concretely in the classroom.
In the afternoon the actual “Sharing inspiration” conference for the teachers and teacher educators of the T³ Europe Network started, with keynotes from Peter Balyta, from Texas Instruments, Katja Maaß and Hans De Clercq. Later in the afternoon, STEM PD Net project and its connected European network of STEM Professional Development Centres informed at a playground about their international work on investing in teacher professional development to substantially improve STEM education.
Over 130 educators and policy makers from across Europe together with guests from US, Australia and Singapore came together discussing how to systematically integrate STEM concepts in everyday classrooms. In various formats they shared classroom practice examples, teacher professional development concepts, educational content initiatives and curriculum and exam tied projects.
Katja Maaß, University of Education Freiburg
Stephan Griebel, Texas Instruments and Gultekin Cakmakci, Hacettepe STEM & Maker Centre, Turkey