As more aspects of daily life are tied to technology, the need to improve and expand STEAM education across the curriculum will only get more pressing. Without enough STEAM educators, students can’t get access to the types of STEAM opportunities that are likely to encourage long-term interest and passion in these fields and beyond. As more aspects of daily life are tied to technology-based sySTEAMs, the need to improve and expand STEAM education is considered key to maintain a competitive edge in the 21st century. With more emphasis on STEAM education, a meaningful STEAM curriculum is often introduced to the youngest students, beginning at the preschool level.
Research confirms that exposing students to STEAM experiences at a young age encourages critical thinking skills, increases science literacy, and fosters creative problem solving. These experiences can help establish a long-term passion for STEAM subjects, as well as general academic success across all disciplines. Unfortunately, due to the rapid developments experienced, the vast majority of teachers and especially pre-primary teachers feel illiterate in modern science and technology because they cannot keep up with the current trends of ICT.
Research made shows that STEM support should start early: children in disadvantaged circumstances, especially, start elementary school lacking the foundation for that success. The project idea derived following a small-scale needs assessment was carried out in the form of a survey (link to Google form) where a number of teachers in primary education participated. The study investigated the needs of the target groups with regards to skills development and innovative solutions in their field. The analysis revealed the challenges teachers are facing in introducing STEAM or Robotics in their lessons due to the lack of knowledge and technological fear of the new technologies in education.
In addition, respondents revealed their interest in being introduced to STEAM teaching and how they can apply educational robotics in their lessons, obtain expertise on the topic and enhance their educational methodologies since they recognised the importance of lifelong learning and constant professional development. In this framework, the project aims at the Development of Knowledge, Skills and Key Competences of STEAM and Educational Robotics of Teachers in PrePrimary Education (STEAMERs). Through the project teachers will develop the skills and competences required in carrying out STEM-related tasks which include cognitive, manipulative, technological skills and collaboration and communication skills
This project will identify through desk and field research specific lack of knowledge that early childhood teachers have on implementing STEAM and educational robotics in their lessons. What we want to achieve is the Development of Knowledge, Skills and Key Competences of STEAM and Educational Robotics of Teachers in PrePrimary Education (STEAMERs).
Through the project teachers will develop the skills and competences required in carrying out STEM related tasks which include cognitive, manipulative, technological skills and collaboration and communication skills. The main output will be a complete report on the findings, the STEAMERs Compendium report which will be a complete report which will identify the training needs of pre primary school teachers so as to obtain expertise on STEAM and Educational Robotics and also identify current trends in each partner countries. When this report is completed a methodological Training Course will be designed and implemented for pre-primary teachers: This will include Curriculum for teachers that will contain practical guidance for developing the skills, knowledge and key competences identified through the compendium report.
Finally An e-Learning platform will be developed to promote online learning actions and resources and virtual cooperation, communication and experimentation, combining virtual and blended learning opportunities for the pre primary teachers. It will include the training course online, technical design of the course, self-assessment, implementation of testing and finalisation.
The activities of the project are primarily addressing the following target groups:
Inside the partnership: The consortium is in charge of disseminating the findings among the partner organizations. The partners’ distribution will be very helpful to the project, and the outcomes and findings will be promoted through their internal contact platforms and networks.
Outside the partnership: Education VET providers and centers, teacher unions, educational agencies, and training providers: This audience will be targeted by all of the project’s produced materials. The partnership will use all of their channels to effectively convey to this target audience all of the project’s content, including enabling them to actively engage in the pilot testing process (R2).
Decision makers: Regional/national/European public authorities and policymakers, as well as related networks of interest Decision-makers and relevant education bodies who are involved in the creation and implementation of core competencies for teachers. We want to promote the effectiveness of the STEAMERs training system, specifically R2, the Training Guide for Teachers, and present its use and benefits to relevant school boards and authorities from local, national, and regional institutions in participating EU countries, as well as EU institutions.
Universities: The project’s findings will be shared with universities with a faculty of education, with the aim of promoting dedicated lectures and programs about STEAM/ER in pre-primary education, as well as the value of key competence growth for teachers.
The STEAMERs Compendium which will present the current situation of STEAM/ER in early childhood education.
- Desk research (research on related literature)
- Field research (50 participants per partner country + online focus group)
- Desk Research on STEAM/ER key competence models and contexts
- Synthesis of findings - Lead partner
- Compendium translations in 6 languages (Polish, Greek, French, Italian, Romanian)
The STEAMERs Training Guide develop pre-primary teachers’ key competences to effectively teach STEAM/ER in their schools.
- The STEAMERs training Guide, a modular course
- The STEAMERs Training guide translations in 6 languages (Polish, Greek, French, Italian, Romanian)
- Integration of the Training course in the e-Learning platform.
- 1st Pilot on VET trainers and pre-primary teachers in C1.
- 2nd Pilot on children in R2 pilots.
The STEAMERs e-Learning Platform will be the central point for any pre=primary teachers that wishes to gain knowledge, develop their skills and competences for teaching STEAM/ER in their lessons.
- Planning and specifications of the e-Learning platform.
- Implementation of the platform – Lead partner
- Development of the content of the Platform (R1, R2 contents)
- Translations in 6 languages (Polish, Greek, French, Italian, Romanian)