Living STEM: Using Permaculture to boost STE(A)M education

Global warming calls for global action and we need to understand the impact each one of us can have. This starts at the very beginning of our education and comprehension of science. Living STEM project is created at the junction of those 2 topics.

Indeed, the issue of Global warming is ever so central in today’s news and the younger generations have taken a particularly big interest in. Massive climate protests in many countries makes this generation of young people and upcoming ones particularly concerned with the fallout of climate change, and their preoccupations will be centralized around this problem.

To be better equipped to future challenges there is a great need for STEAM skill. However, today’s STE(A)M education is often found lacking with 22.2% of European 15-year-olds present an underachievement in math and 20.6% in science according to PISA results, which shows a critical need for improvement.

With youngsters feeling concerned about the environment on the one hand and the insufficient education results for the STE(A)M subjects which could help them resolve this in the future on the other hand, we are in a situation that clearly shows that scientific education is in need of an upgrade according to both institutions and the students themselves.

Living STEM is a project with the ambition to help with both issues. The objective is to use the practical experience of Permaculture to engage the students between 10 to 14 years old in the scientific subjects which would boost STE(A)M result but also encourage students to pursue a scientific career. While at the same time, sensitize them to the environmental issues of today and giving them some keys and leads to a better, environmental-friendly, lifestyle.

Photo by pixabay.com

The project would help them understand the basis of our production and consumption, but also the importance of a shift in the way we produce food and develop their critical thinking at the same time.

Living STEM provides a full learning experience linking in-class learning and field activities with a gamification system, allowing children to discover the daily use of STEM in playful settings. The project would be a gateway to secondary scientific courses while raising awareness to the impact of Global Warming on the environment and promote an attainable, more sustainable lifestyle.

It also aims at creating relations between different stakeholders to give them a network of sort that would support the different initiatives and to help teachers teach STE(A)M subjects and science through a different, more practical approach. It would also help them create a variety of exercises, games and field activities for children at a local farm or garden to discover science on the field but also in the classroom with preparatory lessons on key concepts.

The idea is to make them discover the environment, food and nature through outdoor practical activities and games, which will allow them to observe and experience things directly for themselves. This kind of hands-on experience will stick to memory better and will also engage learners with Specific Learning Disorders more.

The project will produce:

  • The living STEM Manual
  • Gamification System
  • Deck of cards
  • Ideal kitchen garden Game
  • Ideal Menu Game
  • Practical STEM videos

The project will start in November 2019 and will last for 2 years.     

Photo from pixabay.com                            

Project Partners:

GENERATIONS.BIO (Belgium), TRANSIT PROJECTES (Spain), EDU lab (Italy), The Polish Farm Advisory and Training Centre not-for-profitSp. z o. o. (Poland), ed-consult (Denmark), Citizens in Power (Cyprus) and Logopsycom (Belgium).

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