Gender 4 STEM - Gender aware education and teaching
Gender 4 STEM aims to tackle the low representation of girls in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and subsequently women in STEM careers. One of the reasons why STEM disciplines are unappealing to girls might be persistent stereotypes.
Teachers are not always equipped to manage gender diversity in their classrooms. Educational materials also lack female characters, role-models likely to stir young girls' interest in these subjects from a young age.
E-learning platform & reference materials
In order to spark greater interest in STEM disciplines among girls, the Gender 4 STEM project focuses on the creation of an e-learning platform called the Gender4STEM Teaching Assistant, where educational and awareness-raising materials can be uploaded for use by secondary-level teachers (of pupils aged 11 to 18).
As part of a co-creation model bringing together partners from five participating European countries, the project seeks to develop reference materials, tools and content enabling staff to teach these high-potential subjects and also ensure a better gender balance.
In each country, partners will go out and meet teachers and pupils (more information) to try to identify existing stereotypes in order to develop the best tools for debunking them.
The planned content includes awareness-raising campaigns, lesson plans, quizzes, videos, and so on. The digital platform will also include a self-assessment tool so that teachers can take stock of their own gendered education practices. Depending on each teacher's profile, the tool will recommend learning content to help them better manage gender diversity in their classrooms.
In the near future
The Gender4STEM platform, tools and content produced at the end of the project will be made available to all teachers. Training and awareness courses for teachers will also be developed and taught. They aim to boost uptake of the platform but also to contribute to teaching that fosters gender diversity across the scientific disciplines. In the long run, the project hopes to increase the number of girls who choose to STEM education and plan STEM careers.