Inspiring good practises in STEM education

  • Introducing Croatian Makers, the initiative fueling a STEM revolution in Croatia's schools with the help of micro: bit technology. Croatian Makers aim to introduce an integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM subjects) curriculum into the national school system, based upon real-world applications.
    1,800 robots have already been donated to 360 Croatian schools, with more than 8,000 children benefitting and each of these schools now taking part in the Croatian Makers League competition.
    More information on www.calvertjournal.com and croatianmakers.hr.
  • Support the STEM revolution in Croatian Schools via Indiegogo
    Croatian Makers brings STEM activities to Croatian schools with a series of initiatives (a family of platforms), the most renown of which is the Croatian Makers League.
    It encompasses 1800 donated robots to 360 schools and institutions that work with children, with 8000 children involved.
    More information on www.croatia.org---Support-the-STEM-revolution-in-Croatian-Schools-via-Indiegogo.
  • Master Course Gender Perspectives in Teaching
    Run by the University of Bologna (Department of Educational Sciences) this course is open to teachers with an MA or with documented teaching experience and its goals are to provide teachers with knowledge, skills and tools to: acknowledge and analyze gender stereotypes which are at play in our society; develop critical reflections and practical tools for a gendered approach to schooling to practice education in view of gender equality principles develop educational projects (in and across disciplines) with a gender inclusive approach deconstruct the idea of gender “neutral” disciplines.
    More info on www.unibo.it.
  • Nuvola Rosa (Pink Cloud)
    Microsoft Italy in partnership with Fondazione Mondo Digitale and GrowITUp has been promoting every year since from March to December a series of training and raising awareness event and a communication campaign. Events take place in Lombardy and in the Rome Region, and in 2017 1.500 students were involved into IT literacy, coding, robotics and digital arts courses.
    More info on startupitalia.eu.
  • Django Girls Python trainings for girls
    Django Girls is a global group of girls programmers who had the idea in 2014 to create a community to show girls that being a woman programmer is possible, that they don’t have to stop because of the gender gap in tech professions. They organize workshops locally and accessible to women who don’t necessarily have previous coding skills, using the Python programming language. The first Italian event took place in Rome in 2015, and more recently in Florence and Rimini
    More info on djangogirls.org/rome 
  • "Donne nella scienza"/”Women in science” portal is part of a project co-funded by the Ministry for Education and Research in 2012. It is dedicated to women, Italian women but not only, who were acknowledged for their contribution to science and technology, and collects their biographies, their scientific findings, the historical context they lived, stereotypes they have faced, through interviews which aim at being examples for girls who are choosing STEM studies. Resources are organized along 6 disciplines: anatomy and medicine; astrophysics; chemistry and physics; philosophy; technology. It also targets teachers, counsellors, Science and Technology Museums.
    More info on Donnenellascienza.it.
  • Ragazze Digitali Summer Camp is organized by EWMD (European Women Management Development) from Modena e Reggio Emilia and the University in the same city. Beside dedicated raising awareness events, aimed at contrasting gender stereotypes in STEM/ICT and targeting an audience of students, school/university teachers and companies, its main activity is the annual summer camp, the first of its kind in Italy, where girls from the third and fourth grades in secondary schools can benefit of a one month immersive and hands on experience in coding. It started in 2014 and is supported by a multistakeholder partnership of public institutions, ngos, and companies. The programme includes workshops, meetings, a contest and an annual award. It involves approximately 60 girls per year. 
    More info on www.donnedigitali.it and www.ragazzedigitali.it.
  • #TIMgirlsHackathon has become one of the most renown women’s technology competition in Italy at present. Promoted and carried out by TIM (the mobile branch of the biggest telecommunications company) in collaboration with the edu-tech start up Codemotion, the project aims at bringing the female universe closer to coding through coding hackathons in the biggest cities of Italy (Rome, Bologna, Milan, Venice, Turin, Naples, and Catania) involving almost 800 girls participating each year. During the Hackathon, girl coders (university students) worked in teams to create an application that could fight cyberbullying effectively. The challenge was not only about improving the coding abilities of girls but they were also encouraged to find a real solution to the problem that affects especially young people. 
    More info on codemotionworld.com/hakcathons/tim-girls-hackathon/.
  • Scuola di Robotica (School of Robotics) is a NGO founded in 2000 and intensively promoting educational robotics through national and EU funded projects, with a peculiar gender sensitive approach in the belief that an applied and more concrete approach to programming robots can be a good way for raising girls’ interest into technologies: in 2008 Scuola di Robotica became regional center for the EU project “Roberta: girls discover robots. They are promoting the FIRST LEGO Leagues competition, the NAO Challenge  and a Summer School for Teachers.
    More info on www.scuoladirobotica.it.
  • Informatica Sarà Lei (She will be Computer Scientist), it’s a project promoted by the Equal Opportunity Council of the Veneto Region and University Ca’ Foscari in Venice. It proposes a series of short biographies and video interviews of graduates in Computer Sciences who have pursued a career in ICT. It conveys the idea that computer sciences is creative, fun, and ‘the grammar’ of innovation crosscutting all other disciplines, and providing role models to girls. 
    More info on www.youtube.com.
  • Bee creative makerspaces is an initiative in formal and non-formal education which supports youngsters to use technical tools and new Medias, and promotes creativity, talents and entrepreneurship in the area of ICT.
    More info on www.bee-creative.lu.
  • Bricks 4 Kidz® was developed as a hands-on enrichment class where students build and design simple machines, famous landmarks, catapults, and robots using LEGO® Bricks. Building takes place after students have participated in a STEM based curriculum about the model of the day.
    More info on www.bricks4kidz.lu

  • The Girls’ and Boys’ Day combines the encouragement for girls to choose STEM or other “atypical” occupations for women and the encouragement for boys to choose education and occupations in the health, old age, childcare or youth occupations for men.
    More info on www.girlsdayboysday.lu.
  • Megaspil is a card game launched in 2013 and is directed to the children of the second and third cycles of fundamental education.
    More info on www.mega-spill.lu
  • Science.lu is the scientific web site which is aimed at the general public (children, youngsters, adults and professional of education and research). https://www.science.lu/fr
  • “Rails girls" is a Finish initiative that originated in Helsinki in 2010, and provides girls and women with the necessary IT knowledge to develop and spread their ideas on the Internet, through the programming language Ruby.
    More info on railsgirls.com/luxembourg
  • Women in Digital Initiatives Luxembourg Asbl is a non-profit organisation initiated in Luxembourg in 2013 and officially founded in 2014 currently acting as WIDE (Women in Digital Empowerment). The mission of WIDE is to offer practical support and activities to include more women and men in the field of digital and to contribute to build a more diverse workforce and a wider ICT talent pipeline for Luxembourg.
    More info on wide.lu
  • Jonk-Fuerscher Fondation aims to promote science with youngsters by encouraging them taking part to internships, competitions, visits, etc. 
    More info on www.jonk-fuerscher.lu
  • Kniwwelino was built in the scope of the Bee Creative makerspace. The Kniwwelino hardware is the first micro-controller development platform entirely designed for children attending fundamental schools and “maisons relais” in Luxembourg. The name Kniwwelino is a composition of the luxembourgish word "kniwweln", that means to craft something, "ino" should show the deep affinity to the Arduino ecosystem and finally "Lino" as a name has a relation to lion, which is the heraldic animal of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.  
    More info on www.kniwwelino.lu
  • Girls and women in IT: DigiVita
    Together with female IT-professionals, female students, and CIOs, VHTO aims to increase the number of girls/women in IT-study programmes and professions. VHTO’s activities for girls/women in IT are called ‘DigiVita’. In the Netherlands, programming is currently not yet part of the education curriculum. However, VHTO finds it very important that children learn IT skills from an early age. Several activities for girls are organized as a part of DigiVita, both inside and outside of school. For example, informatics guest-lectures by female IT professionals are given in secondary schools, and girls can participate in work shadowing or ‘speed dating’ with these professionals. VHTO also developed the website www.digivita.nl (in Dutch) for girls in secondary school. The website contains a mix of short movies, pictures, and stories of women in IT, examples of innovations by (young) IT professionals, and information about IT studies/professions.
  • Gender Scan
    VHTO has developed a gender scan to map the opportunities for optimising policy and activities regarding gender/girls and STEM. The gender scan of STEM-study programmes within Vocational Education & Training (VET) and universities is performed together with key stakeholders involved in the study programmes (e.g., deans, programme managers, intake managers, public relations officers) female students, and science teachers from secondary schools. Based on the gender scan, VTHO develops and action plan with a focus on female students, a full day workshop on how to implement proposed actions, and the formation of a gender team. The main aim of a gender scan trajectory is to raise gender awareness, to formulate and implement relevant actions, and to create a group that feels responsible for pushing the gender theme forward within the school/university.
  • Mentoring Circles™ and transition to the labor market
    VHTO offers Mentoring Circles for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) students in the last phase of their study, in order to support students in the transition from their study to the job market.
  • Primary education: ‘Talent Viewer’
    Talent Viewer is a project for elementary schools. With a series of lessons, both boys and girls explore their talents, meet female STEM professionals, and discover what talents are needed for a variety of jobs in STEM. VHTO and Amsterdam-based Science Centre NEMO have developed and implemented a primary school (grade 5 & 6, 9-12 years) project (Talent Viewer, ‘Talentenkijker’ in Dutch) since 2011. Over the past two years, more than 3500 classes in elementary school participated. Talent Viewer aims to:
  • Projects in secondary education
  1. Role models
    Although the past few years have shown a positive trend, the number of girls choosing for STEM in the Netherlands is much lower than the European average. An important reason for this is the lack of role models that girls can identify with. Girls often have a limited representation of the variety of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) professions and what it means to work in STEM. Therefore, activities for girls in secondary education mainly focus on bringing girls in contact with female role models. Spiegelbeeld, or ‘Mirror Image’ is VHTO’s online role model database, and contains more than 2000 female STEM professionals and students. Together with VHTO, they have one goal: to make more girls enthusiastic about a future in science, technology or IT!

  2. ‘Speed dating’
    VHTO’s role-models visit secondary schools at defining moments (i.e. before subject-cluster choice, and before choosing a higher education study programme). Meetings with the role models are usually organised as ‘speed-dates’. In a speed-date session female STEM professionals talk with small groups of girls. They talk about their working life, about their aspirations and attainment. The aim is to show the variety and diversity of STEM professions and provide girls with an image they could identify with. The role models demonstrate that not only they are good at what they do in their work or study, but that they enjoy doing it! Many role models also participate in Girlsday.

  3. Teacher training
    The training programmes for teachers in secondary education focus on creating gender awareness among (science and math) teachers, on changing stereotyped ideas concerning gender and STEM, and on gender-inclusive science teaching and career guidance. The training explicitly covers topics such as girls’ self-confidence, stereotyped associations regarding gender & STEM, and the effect of communication (e.g., girls with an average grade are often advised not to go into science because it supposedly is too difficult for them, whereas boys with the same grade would be encouraged to go into science). Recently VHTO developed a lesson series in which girls practice with handling a growth mind set instead of a fixed mindset. Teachers learn how they can make their lessons more gender inclusive, how they can foster a growth mindset, and how they can create a positive image of career potential in STEM for girls. VHTO has developed a website with images (photos and films) and stories of male and female STEM professionals for this purpose. Teachers can use the website ‘This is what I do in STEM’ as a tool explore the possibilities of STEM together with their students (www.ditdoeik.nl).
  • Girlsday
    During Girlsday, technical companies, (non-)governmental organisations, and research institutes open their doors for 10-15 year old girls, in order to awaken/increase their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). VHTO has organized Girlsday in the Netherlands annually since 2010. In 2016, more than 10.000 girls participated in Girlsday. The activities that take place during Girlsday are diverse, but can consist of (a combination of) a tour, hands-on activities/workshops, a quiz, and of course an encounter with female technical professionals. The central goal is to provide girls with a better/more comprehensive image of what it’s like to work in STEM, to show that women can also be successful in STEM professions, and that it can be a lot of fun!
  • Share my Day in Tech
    In the ‘Share my Day in Tech’ project, pre-service teachers from teacher preparation programmes will participate in a day of work shadowing with female technical professionals. In the ‘Share my Day in Tech’ project, 225 pre-service teachers from teacher preparation programmes will participate in a day of work shadowing with 75 female technical professionals. The aim of the project is to give future teachers a broader and more comprehensive picture of technical professions. During Share my Day in Tech project, pre-service teachers from teacher preparation programmes visit a technical company, where they meet female professionals who shows them what the company does, and the technical aspects of her work within the company. The pre-service teachers follow her for a day, and get the opportunity to ask her questions about her career choice and profession. Together with her, they make a school assignment, based on a real-life problem or challenge that the female professional encounters in her work. The pre-service teachers then work on this assignment with the pupils of the school where they do their teaching internships. The pre-service teachers are prepared for Share my Day in Tech with a guest lecture and a preparation course.
  • FRONT Association: Non-profit organization whose members fight the cause of women. It aims to promote and support human rights in a broad sense and feminism as an ideology and social action to support women's rights in a narrow sense, to promote and support equal opportunities for women and men, to promote and support policies and projects aimed at empowering women in public and private life; improving the status and image of women in Romania; raise public awareness of women's discrimination in Romania, bring public awareness of the problems faced by women in Romania, promote and support the social inclusion of women from disadvantaged groups, cooperation and partnership with other organizations, foundations, associations in similar fields.
    More info on www.feminism-romania.ro
  • Center for Curriculum Development and Gender Studies – FILIA: has as main objective the promotion of gender studies through an integrated, multidisciplinary approach of gender in academic research, as well as in the analysis of other aspects of Romanian culture and society. The FILIA Center actively supports political or civil society actions meant to contribute to the improvement of the situation of women in Romania and Eastern Europe and to the awareness of the importance of the gender dimension at all levels of the Romanian society. The FILIA Center provides students and students, master students, PhD students and PhD students and young researchers and researchers with the only Library in Bucharest with materials that discuss the gender dimension of public society, culture and politics.
    More info on www.centrulfilia.ro
  • Foundation Center for Equality Partnership (CPE): promotes the integration of the principle of equal opportunities for women and men into public policies and associated practices as a component part of open democracy and society in order to redefine the status and improve the condition of women in Romania.
    More info on www.cpe.ro
  • Association for Equal Chances: The main purpose of the association is to educate the Romanian society by promoting affirmative policies aimed at supporting the participation of women in the decision-making process and in public life.
    More info on www.sanseegale.eu
  • The Pro Women Foundation: main mission is to support the participation of women in the development of society by increasing self-confidence and personal development. http://www.prowomen.ro
  • Women's Association of Romania: first post-communist  post-communist organization founded in the Revolution of December 1989. It has an impressive number of members (over 9,000) working in Bucharest and the 20 county branches. 
    More info on www.afr.ro
  • Association of Female Entrepreneurs in Romania: The Association was founded in December 1998 as a private, non-governmental, nonprofit private legal entity, having as main mission the encouragement of women in order to increase their entrepreneurial and managerial potential.
    More info on afir.ro
  • Heroines among Heroes: Arguments for a Gender Sensitive Material Patrimony: The research published in the volume (Non-Sexual City) (www.discriminations-urban.com) shows that among the 102 busts and statues in Bucharest, 87 are men and only 15 women; women sleep, men fight for the homeland; most of the statues / monuments inventoried are made by. The lack of history and memory of women in the symbolic landscape of Bucharest is a fact that cannot be overlooked. The need to preserve the memory of these women and the abusive practices that can be directed against citizens is the reason why we initiated the project of building a monument for women victims of pro-natality politics during the Communism
  • Innovation Camp (Bucharest, 7-9 February 2016): Within the Innovation Camp, adolescents met and participated in non-formal education workshops supported by the School's Trainers, such as self-knowledge, goal setting, leadership, teamwork, design and project planning. One day was reserved for the creation of projects with a clear implementation plan to help young girls in Romania.
  • Living Library in Bucharest (10-12 February 2016): ‘Exceptionals’ are a non-formal education project that is under the sign of values, passion for Science and knowledge, people who want to live meaningfully, and are willing to offer what they are and what they know. On 11 February girls from Upper-secondary schools contacted 14 leading companies and institutions in Bucharest, interested in investing in youth and education. Thus, the extraordinary people have learned insights about various areas, answered their curiosities and learned the key elements that underpin the success of some organizations.
  • BootCamp Kaufland România for girls: It is very important to know yourself, to know your values, to know your limits and to learn to overcome them, to have a clearer idea of your personal life, both professionally and professionally. BootCamp for girls offers you the necessary plus.

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