Little STEAMers

Little STEAMers EN summary

A common thread of the Little STEAMers project is to foster Critical thinking, Crativity, Collaboration and Communication for problem solving from early childhood.

Participants will enhance the development of key competences, such as digital competences, multilingual competences, entrepreneurial mindsets, collaborative learning, critical thinking and creativity through job shadowing.

We envisioned the acronym LSTEAM (Little STEAMers) four C’s (foster the development of the four C’s: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication from Early Childhood to Adolescence). Particularly important to us is the collaboration in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STE(A)M). In our experience, STEM without A (art) is lean and uninteresting, especially for young people! Indirectly, we will also pursue environmental objectives within STE(A)M by addressing issues related to raising awareness of environmental and climate change challenges.

We will also include issues related to saving resources, reducing energy and waste, replacing carbon footprint, choosing sustainable food and mobility options. In the process of educating staff through job shadowing visits and in preparation for partner visiting our school, we will test innovative practices that can prepare students, staff and youth workers to become true factors of change. Through smaller units of problem learning, we will seek to achieve behavior changes in individuals’ preferences, consumption habits, and lifestyles. We are already actively doing all of the above at our school and kindergarten. For example: everything from bats was investigated in kindergarten this fall, how it is related to a larger population of bark beetles, which is a result of environmental changes that have caused good conditions, due to higher temperatures, a larger population of bark beetles that bats also feed on. The temperatures are, of course, higher due to our consumption, food choices, transportation, etc. Many learning materials, gadgets and even innovations have emerged, such as: a smart bark beetle trap that sends changes to the bark beetle population with the help of Micro:bits and light sensors.

Artificial intelligence, which has become increasingly visible in recent years, is not so good known to us. We note that there is already some learning content for young people in this field, but our knowledge is very modest, so we will strive to explore innovative practices in this field throughout the project.

As a counterweight to the virtual worlds we explore and create with children in Minecraft Education Edition, a great environment for STE(A)M and artificial intelligence, we will also expose social competencies through various social games. In this way, we will achieve the adoption of shared values, equality, social inclusion, diversity and non-discrimination in an innovative way and with a holistic approach, with a particular focus on gender equality. Attention will also be paid to raising awareness and understanding of the context of the European Union, in particular with regard to the common values of the EU. In this way, we will encourage mutual cooperation and help reduce gender and intercultural differences, which are especially present due to the increased number of migrants in recent years.

A total of 10 teachers and 6 educators will visit 8 different schools and kindergartens from Malta, Spain, Turkey, Poland and Finland, where we have already agreed to visit, and more schools will be sought during the implementation of the project. We will be conducting an English course for mobility participants and other employees in the fall of 2020. On 2-3 day visits, we will get to know the learning system, curriculum, STEAM activities, the involvement of schools in the field of environmental and climate goals, social games and consolidate language competences across the vertical from 1 year to 15 years. Within the LSTEAM project, the acquired knowledge will be implemented in regular work and shared with colleagues.

As a result, we will improve education from early childhood throughout our lives. Among other things, the goal of the LSTEAM project is to meet new partners and create new opportunities for KA229 collaboration in the future. In the long term, we expect greater flexibility of teachers, sensitivity to new technology and new teaching methods. We also expect greater participation in projects and greater interest in international collaborations. In the process of finding partner schools, we have offered job shadowing to several schools and have found out that we have a lot of good practices that we would like to share with others. We have already produced Europass language cards, and we are participating in the Twinspace environment, where we will continue to exchange good practices. We will be using existing social media channels, a school website and a local newspaper to share our progress and findings.