Multiplier Events

Turkey, June 2019

International STEM Education Conference – Teacher Professional Development Matters: An international multiplier event in the frames of STEM PD Net held in Istanbul on 13-14 June 2019

The conference took place in Istanbul at the Ayvansaray University, Turkey. It was organized by the Hacettepe University and the Turkish Ministry of National Education as the last multiplier event for the STEM PD Net project and included three events:
(1) International STEM Education Conference
(2) International STEM Teacher Conference and
(3) a STEM Expo.
The aims of the conference were:
(a) to promote the outcomes of the project to policy makers, directors of PD centers and PD providers across Europe
(b) to discuss and share (in)effective PD models and
(c) to provide opportunities to tackle the emerging issues in Europe.

During the conference, a colorful programme in English and Turkish offered the attendees the opportunity to participate in oral presentations, workshops, STEM Shows and the STEM Expo where 20 companies/institutions demonstrated their products. More than 250 participants from 22 different countries attended the conference.
Among them: policy makers, directors of PD centres, managers of Ministry of National Education from different countries and cities, head teachers, representatives from science centres, PD providers and trainers from Science & Art Centres and other institutions.

The conference created an avenue to disseminate the intellectual outputs from the STEM PD Net project and presented best practices of Professional Development and STEM education within Europe and beyond with participants from Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Jordan and Russian Federation. Engaging discussions between the consortium members and attendees led to a lively exchange for future collaboration and guidance.

The conference also created a platform for sharing other EU-funded projects:
(1) Maxim Bondarev (Russian Federation) and Ainur Zhumadillayeva (Kazakhstan) presented their EU-funded project “Integrated approach to STEM teacher training (STEM)”.
(2) Enrique Martín Santolay (European Schoolnet) presented the project entitled “STEM School Label”.

The STEM PD Net members of T³ Europe, Bulgarian Academy of Science and the Turkish Ministry of National Education, Science & Art Centers received the “Best of STEM Education Award” in the category of “Professional Development”. The award is given the institution who has created effective PD ecosystem on national and/or international level.

The success of such diverse participants can be linked to the wide and active network of Hacettepe University and the Turkish Ministry of National Education. Both national partners worked closely together and invited different stakeholders, not only from Turkey, but also from all around the world. All partners’ contribution for the advertisement of the conference brought the success of this influential event, who will continue 2020 in the second International STEM Education Conference in Istanbul.
You can find more information about the activities and the impact on the conference participants on the created blog.

Slideshow. Click on first picture then use arrow keys.

Following short videos capture the nature of the conference.

Bulgaria, March 2019

Effectiveness of activities and resources for professional development:
a national multiplier event in the frames of STEM PD Net held in Sofia on 14-15 March 2019

More than 40 representatives of institutions dealing with the professional development of STEM teachers in Bulgaria got together in the Home of the scientist in Sofia to discuss in two consecutive days (March 14-15) the effectiveness of activities and resources offered by IMI-BAS in the frames of STEM PD Net. The participants included policy makers from the Ministry of Education and Science, from regional directions of education in Sofia and Pazarjik. PD centers, Center for innovations of BAS, national laboratories in telematics and in software security, experts in mathematics and information technologies, businessmen, Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians, teacher educators.

The presentations from the first day covered topics dealing with: the importance of the intellectual outputs of STEM PD Net and the ways they have been reflected in the PD courses the IMI-BAS has been delivering (Toni Chehlarova); evaluating the results from PD courses based on the implementation of IBL via dynamic geometry software (Maria Brauchle); the impact of binary lessons for revealing the connections between mathematics and the rest of STEAM components, as well as with some apparently distant subjects such as physical education (Roumiana Anguelova); the effect of taking “a step away” from a classical school-math problem and applying the “what-if” strategy (Petar Kenderov).

The next session dealt with evaluating the impact of a PD course from the view point of teachers, students, businessmen, school principals and parents. After being split in the corresponding groups of stake holders, the participants discussed quality criteria for a teachers’ PD course and presented their views in public. As the proverb goes: Beautiful minds think alike… and there was a lot of common among the views of the groups. Still, a careful analysis shows that each group could learn from the recommendations of the rest.
The schedule of the day ended with a poster session provoking vivid discussions and enthusiasm to try the good practices presented.

The second day was held in the “Acad. Stefan Dodunekov” hall of IMI-BAS. A talk on some specific forms of supporting the inquiry-based learning at its higher levels (guided inquiry and open inquiry) was delivered by Evgenia Sendova based on the long-term experience of IMI-BAS in educating educators and young mentors to guide research projects. After this Ivaylo Kortezov shared his experience from his latest PD course on Combinatorial problems in the contest’s mathematical themes for 8th-10th class. Reformulation of a classical problems and theorems in a form close to the world and interests of the students convinced the audience that these problems could find their deserved place in the school curriculum. His talk was followed by joint presentation of Toni Chehlarova, Georgi Gachev and Monka Kotseva on a novel Platform for distance education being developed by the authors.

The importance of blending physical and computational media was well demonstrated by the final workshop, delivered in the Mathematical Classroom of IMI-BAS, in which fragments of various PD courses were carried out by the participants.
The first impressions shared by the participating stake holders make us optimists about the outputs of STEM-PD-Net project. As one of the teachers expressed it: …The principle behind events like this one reminds me of a boomerang – an idea generated by someone and refracted through the eyes of another, comes back to the first one even reinforced! During this event I got several ideas I am going to implement in my school.
Evgenia Sendova
P.S. The schedule of the event (in Bulgarian) could be found here and an illustrated report of the event (in English) here.

Sweden, September 2018

Providing and evaluating high-quality PD (NATDID)

An important source of inspiration and experience was the Multiplier Event that was arranged in Sweden, Norrköping on 13-14 September. The ME attracted persons from several different PD organizations in Sweden; teacher educators on universities, the Swedish National Ministry of Education, teachers with special mission to lead collegial professional development, science centre pedagogues, and Swedish National Resource Centre. The ME, that was organized as a workshop, discussed the quality criteria from IO1, both on organization level and on specific courses were discussed. Furthermore, insights from the work with IO7, PMB #1, #2 and #3 were presented and discussed. The participants appreciated the discussions and felt that they could benefit from the workshop in their daily work.

This multiplier event was a national event to disseminate the intellectual outputs O1, O5, O7 within Sweden. The target groups are PD centers, representatives from municipalities, teacher educators and school leaders. This multiplier event “Providing and evaluating high-quality PD” was held in Swedish. Therefore, one of the preparation tasks for the organizing group was to translate the material into Swedish, to use a terminology that works in a Swedish context. The venue of the national event was Linköping University premises in the city of Norrköping, which is easy to reach from all over the country.

The multiplier event was advertised directly to the target groups through internal channels, via email lists. In addition, the event was announced on NATDID’s website as well as on NATDID’s Facebook group. These channels provide a representative selection of PD providers on a national level in Sweden, working within the STEM subjects. The event aimed to present the intellectual outputs O1, O5 and O7 as well as to promote the PD centre network as such to other PD centres in Sweden and PD providers in general. The participants attending the ME were from several different PD organizations in Sweden; teacher educators from universities, the Swedish National Ministry of Education, teachers with special mission to lead collegial professional development, science centre and science and technology museum pedagogues, and Swedish National Resource Centre. The participants represented all STEM subjects. The PD providers attending are all striving for delivering high-quality PD and were thus interested in the content as a means of quality assurance.

Another challenge for PD providers is the fact that Sweden during a short period of time has taken up large numbers of refugees and hence, teachers are facing increasing diversity in class. Many pupils do not speak Swedish when they are integrated into regular classes, providing the teacher with great challenge on how to teach these children STEM. Therefore, teachers need support in addressing diversity. Moreover, the attending PD providers were very interested in learning about the PD centre network as such and in getting support in delivering high-quality PD – as this will strengthen their position as PD centres in the national context.

The ME was organized as an 8 hour event (from lunch to lunch), which consisted of short time presentations of the intellectual outputs and the PD centre network and most importantly, of workshops in which participants used cooperative working methods – to elaborate on how PD centres and other PD providers can implement the quality criteria, evaluation methods and activities addressing diversity within their organizational framework in the Swedish context. Before the workshop all quality criteria had been translated into Swedish in a collaborative work between CETIS and NATDID.

During the workshop those matrixes were distributed to the participating PD providers. The quality criteria were discussed in small groups consisting of persons representing different PD provider organizations. From the research-based foundation provided in the presentations by the STEM PD Network members, and the experience from the attendees, suggestions were made on how to adjust the quality criteria to work for assessment of a Swedish PD provider organization, both on organization level as well as in specific PD offers.

The participants appreciated the discussions and felt that they could benefit from the workshop in their daily work. The workshop resulted in a suggested adjustment of the quality criteria for Swedish conditions and the challenges of providing PD to teachers that deal with a rich diversity of languages and cultures. Follow-up information will be provided after the meeting as to support dissemination: The event will be documented through the publication of an article on NATDID’s website to communicate the results of the event.

The article will also be sent electronically to all participants of the event in august 2019, together with the Swedish version of the PMB #3. Moreover, the adjusted quality criteria will be distributed to the participating PD providers. The Quality criteria will also be distributed open access in Swedish on NATDID’s webpage together with the translated material from the other IO’s.
Claes & Karin

Madrid, May 2018

Delivering high-quality STEM PD (INTEF)
On May 23rd and 24th 2018 the Multiplier Event took place at INTEF offices in Madrid, Spain. This national conference focused on the dissemination of PD materials (IO4) and PD center models (IO5) and to discuss them within the Spanish PD context. The event was of high importance in the context of Spain as external and internal assessment has shown that Spanish students ought to improve their results in STEM, particularly in Mathematics.

A wide range of activities and formats were implemented. The agenda included conferences about the importance of STEM education and stereotypes in STEM, a talk on the STEM PD project workshops on selected PD materials to analyze their usefulness and relevance, a round table on PD center models and educational policies in the STEM field, workshops about STEM in primary education, scientific dissemination and maker culture. Furthermore a materials market for commented STEM PD material took place, displaying a selection on innovative methods regarding diversity, disadvantaged minorities and multiple learning styles.

At a special policy seminar the relevance of the intellectual outputs (IO 04 and IO 05) was presented and discussed as well as possible measures to extend or replicate good results (legal issues, budget requirements, networking and partnerships and so forth). The congress received excellent feedback and was a priceless opportunity to disseminate STEM PD Net.

The event was attended by 85 participants: PD providers and facilitators, policy makers and PD centers throughout Spain, autonomous regions’ administrators for PD programs, education colleges and universities).

Lithuania, April 2018

Discussing the perspectives and challenges for STEM PD implementation in Lithuania (EDC)

On April 12th 2018 the Education Development Centre in Vilnius organized a national multiplier event to discuss challenges PD Centres in Lithuania face when implementing STEM PD and to facilitate discussions among various partners on opportunities for closer cooperation.

The aims of this event were threefold:
(i) to introduce the STEM PD Net project and its major achievements;
(ii) to give a broad introduction on the work in progress;
(iii) to collect feedback from participants on the implications of the IOs for PD centres’ practice, particularly on possibilities to use collected materials for STEM teachers PD (IO4); on quality criteria for STEM PD centres (IO1) and the development of centres‘ activities (IO5); on possible initiatives of PD centres for leading to a closer cooperation with various partners.

The event attracted 30 participants from the Ministry of Education and Research, institutions providing teacher professional development services, STEM subject teacher associations’, STEM school network representatives and researchers from universities.
The hosts were highly satisfied with the event: by connecting Lithuanian key players in this field valuable exchange was evoked and new contacts were established.

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