The STEAMBuilders project aims to foster STEAM education by adopting an active cross-curricular approach, contextualising STEAM through history and achieving hands-on, non-formal learning. To achieve these results, the project partners put all their expertise into linking STEM subjects to European Cultural Heritage, generating an approach that fosters the interest and learning of STEM subjects in schools.
This aspect is critical in our society, as STEM subjects are crucial for the evolution of life and for solving significant problems. Still, unfortunately for years, there has been a decline in pupils’ interest in these teaching subjects. According to the OECD’s PISA study project in 2018, 21.3% of Belgian 15-year-old pupils have an inadequate overall reading level. However, their performance is better in mathematics (19.7%) and science (20.0%). With these results, Belgian pupils are at the high end of the EU average but, unfortunately, still 15% above the benchmark and the target for the EU Member States. National education departments are therefore motivated and challenged to achieve lower ratios.
To achieve this, we will show pupils how these topics are present in every aspect of human history, with the ultimate aim of capturing pupils’ interest through a cross-cultural approach and cross-curricular lessons. This method is crucial for breaking down differences and promoting inclusion, particularly by capturing the interest of disadvantaged students and those with specific learning disabilities, who are more disincentivised from pursuing studies in these particular subjects. To give a practical example of this innovative teaching methodology, we can use lessons in History, Science or Mathematics, introducing concepts that capture the attention of all students and encourage them to participate. For example, many pupils are unaware that many of the mathematical and scientific theories we still use today were discovered centuries ago, thoughout History.
Through practical and engaging illustrations, we aim to contextualise information to increase interest in these subjects and raise pupils’ awareness of the importance of European Cultural Heritage. Contextualisation is a powerful tool to increase student’s engagement and motivation in solving new challenges and engaging in long-term learning. Through the academic outcomes of the project, teachers will be provided with ready-to-use teaching tools, namely a pedagogical guide linking Science and Maths principles to history, as well as an instruction booklet to link formal and non-formal approaches to STEAM, 35 Blueprints including examples of activities and material to reproduce, and finally a booklet of good practice and implementation following the results of the testing phases. The project website is also available where you can find all the detailed information, and follow us on the Facebook page to keep up to date with all the activities!