About the project
Over the period 2015-2017, if we look at the rate of women graduates from higher education in science, Europe is not visible in the top 10, with only one oversea territory of Netherlands, Saint-Martin. The Top 10 contains : Saint-Martin (Netherlands) (75%), Tunisia (58%), Algeria (55%), Benin (55%), Oman (53%), Brunei (52%), Syrian Arab Republic (50%), Albania, (49%) Panama (49%) and Sudan (47%). There is therefore enormous progress to be made.
According to the UN Economic and Social Council, the first contact with science is a determining factor. This is exactly what this project is working on. PhysicsKIT4STEM is an Erasmus Plus project that aims to foster the interest of young people aged 11 to 15 in science, especially among young girls, whose numbers are small in this field of study. Thanks to the development of tools and training kits, the long-term objective is to increase the number of girls who will become scientists.
PhysicsKIT4STEM aims to:
- Strengthen the teaching skills of STEM educators by offering a hands-on approach to teach physics through DIY electronic kits.
- Advocate gender-balanced STEM classrooms and encourage young girls to follow STEM subjects in future education and careers.
Direct target groups:
- Teachers of physics in primary and secondary education
- Students of 10-15 years of age, with special focus on female students
- STEM professionals working with children 10-15 years old.
- Teachers in general, educators, counsellors.
- School education staff, parents.
- Authorities that can contribute to high-quality education.
- Networks, foundations, NGOs active in the field of education
The project will involve teachers from the start for shaping the physics curriculum and for designing the PhysicsKIT elements and ingredients. Following a complete, illustrative guide, teachers will build the kits, while the educational content, lesson plans and supporting resources will guide them on the use of the PhysicsKIT in the classroom.
The DIY kits to be used for experimenting on physics concepts and fundamental principles of motion and forces, electromagnetism, waves and gravity, along with basic programming constructs and physical computing, complement and enhance physics and STEM teaching, promoting also and innovative approach through hands-on play that can be extended to other subjects as well.
The skills to be acquired by the teachers include programming and electronics and hence contributing towards their professional development in an ever more digital society of IoT and Industry 4.0. The hands-on teaching approach supported by the do-it-yourself kits and accessories will help teachers reach out more effectively the children with learning difficulties and the disadvantaged and potentially also tackle early school leaving through the more inclusive engagement of children.
PhysicsKIT4STEM education and support the development of innovative ICT-based content, services, pedagogies and practices for lifelong learning (the outputs can be also used by adults, especially parents). PhysicsKIT will develop practical content supporting its delivery through a toolbox of sensors, electronics, peripherals and other components, a Raspberry Pi computer, basic programming, principles of physical computing and a Learning Motivation Environment which all together foster the teaching of physics and other skills in STEM.
The developed educational content will be applied to children within the framework of well-structured workshops, which will include sessions of different activities. This project resources aim to enhance the quality of the teaching profession. Through these activities, children will develop certain skills that will help them and affect them positively in future employment and social life as digital citizens.
All outputs are in the form of Open Educational Resources and their use will be supported by an online community (PhysicsKIT Club) through dedicated infrastructure.
The project promotes technology as a driver of improvements in E&T but without increasing screen time, through hands-on teaching which is healthier.