Brussels, 22 April 2016 - The first STEM Discovery Week starts today in classrooms across Europe. Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths teachers along with industry and education professionals will organise a series of online and face-to-face activities with the support of the STEM Alliance partners namely organisations such as European Schoolnet and CSR Europe as well as industry partners: Amgen, Cisco, Dassault Systèmes, EPCA, IBM, La Caixa, Lego Education, Lenovo, Microsoft, Shell and Texas Instruments.
The annual STEM Discovery Week focuses on raising awareness of STEM teachers, career counsellors and professionals of the various STEM career paths existing in the industry and other sectors. In addition, the campaign highlights the opportunities offer to teachers to learn methods and practice to teach STEM in a more attractive way, linked to real live examples, using industry practices.
“We need motivated, properly trained, well-equipped science teachers to prepare and inspire the next generation of researchers and innovators in Europe”, explains Marc Durando, the executive director of European Schoolnet, a network of 31 European Ministries of Education. The continued substantial shortage of STEM skilled workers and STEM teachers seriously jeopardizes the success of the European economy and its education systems. The STEM Alliance was established in November 2015 to tackle those fundamental societal issues with the support of industry partners and Ministries of Education across Europe.
During the STEM Discovery Week, STEM education stakeholders from private and public sectors can get involved & support the STEM Alliance and organise their own STEM event. In addition,
schools can participate to the STEM4YOU competition, the first competition organised by the STEM Alliance. They are invited to challenge the classrooms and organise a STEM Discovery event with exciting and special activities or create a video to explain why STEM careers and studies matter.
During the STEM Discovery Week, schools can also engage in European online events. The STEM Alliance will host its first webinar on careers as well as its very first Community of Practice - online event consisting of moderated forums – on the key topic of the impact of STEM teaching on student’ motivation and attainment in these fields.
EPCA (The European Petrochemical Association) has produced 3 education films: “Chemistry: All about you”, “Science: Where can it take you?” & “Petro and Chemistry: Partnership for a Better Life” as well as role model films of people from within its membership, showcasing what it is like to work for an industry like ours. These films will be promoted during the STEM Discovery Week. EPCA will also launch the first of 9 national finals of the European Youth Debating Competition (EYDC.eu) in Zagreb, Croatia (29th April 2016). Young students aged 16 to 19 will get the chance to debate on chemistry related issues around the overarching theme “50 years of chemical industry. What’s next?” The debates will all follow the same standardized formula at national and European level. The national competitions will then be held in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom with a grand finale to be held in Budapest in early October 2016, at the 50th EPCA Anniversary Annual Meeting.
“We want to open up a constructive dialogue with the decision makers of tomorrow“, explains Cathy Demeestere, CEO of EPCA, “showing the openness of the chemical business community whilst promoting the chemical industry as a good industry to work for. STEM education is an excellent starting point for challenging careers for girls and boys all over the globe“
About the STEM Alliance
The STEM Alliance (www.stemalliance.eu) – inGenious Education and industry, brings together Industries, Ministries of Education and education stakeholders to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education and careers to young European's and address anticipated future skills gaps within the European Union.
The STEM Alliance builds on the success of the EU-funded inGenious initiative (2011-2014) to increase the links between STEM education and careers, by involving schools and business throughout Europe.
EPCA (The European Petrochemical Association www.epca.eu) is a Brussels based international non-profit association that serves a global network for the chemical business community consisting of producers of petrochemicals, their suppliers, customers and service providers. In this industry segment EPCA is the platform to meet, exchange information and transfer learning as well as think tank challenging business as usual approaches. EPCA currently operates for and through more than 700 member companies with an aggregate turnover of 4.4 trillion Euro and 5.6 million employees worldwide. EPCA was founded in 1967.
About European Schoolnet
European Schoolnet (www.europeanschoolnet.org) is the network of 30 European Ministries of Education, based in Brussels. As a not-for-profit organisation, we aim to bring innovation in teaching and learning to our key stakeholders: Ministries of Education, schools, teachers, researchers, and industry partners. To fulfil its goals, European Schoolnet develop European-funded projects with the European Commission, the Ministries of Education and industry partners. European Schoolnet also run a number of services for teachers and policymakers, such as Scientix, to promote science education. European Schoolnet was the coordinator of ECB - Ingenious, now continuing with the STEM Alliance.
About CSR Europe
CSR Europe (www.csreurope.org) is the leading European business network for Corporate Social Responsibility. Through its network of around 55 corporate members and 45 National CSR organisations, it gathers over 10,000 companies, and acts as a platform for those businesses looking to enhance sustainable growth and positively contribute to society. Improving STEM skills and promoting quality business-education partnerships is a key priority for CSR Europe, as is reflected in the Pact for Youth launched in 2015. As co-leader of the STEM Alliance, CSR Europe welcomes the STEM Discovery week as a key contribution to the Pact for Youth.