Previous STEAM projects have proven the need for a community-based approach to STEAM education and this project offers the opportunity to undertake a leverage and natural continuation of the GeoGebra Maths and STEAM world-wide success and sustainability relying on the synergies of teachers in different national, cultural and social requirements.
The proposed STEAM-Connect project aims to connect teachers, parents, artists, pedagogues and researchers from different disciplines to develop innovative transdisciplinary workshops and pedagogies together to enhance collaborative STEAM teaching and learning for secondary school students of all abilities and backgrounds.
For both teachers and students, the STEAM-Connect project focuses on new innovative methods for STEAM education and through this initiates the acquisitions of new skills and competencies. Important for those traditionally used to silo and single-subject learning. We aim to develop and trial, closely working together with the participant teachers, innovative STEAM resources and pedagogies for school education making student learning more inspiring and meaningful. To do this, STEAM-Connect aspires to utilise a range of open and innovative practices through mostly open-source or affordable digital tools such as GeoGebra, Sonic Pi, Raspberry Pi, as well as new technologies such as 3D printing, Augmented and Virtual Realities, and robotics etc. The project team already has extensive experiences in research and development of digital resources and tools. In addition, we aim to utilise Arts-related pedagogies to foster learning in schools. Finally, through getting experiences in STEAM education development as well as immersing teachers in educational and design research their teaching profile and professional prestige are being raised so as the teachers’ who get involved in STEAM-Connect related activities besides the project participants.
Our goal is to encourage teachers and students through exploration and discovery to be inspired and immersed in the multi- and trans-disciplinary study of different phenomena within STEAM.
Specifically, we want to
(1) Connect learning communities who are presently developing multi- and trans-disciplinary learning modules and STEM-to-STEAM programmes and experimental pedagogy practices including special needs,
(2) Develop, document and evaluate state-of-the-art STEAM programmes and pedagogies,
(3) Enhance creative STEAM co-teaching and collaborative learning in secondary education through joint efforts of a variety of stakeholders,
(4) Develop innovative sustainable training and continuous professional development in the field of STEAM and multi- and transdisciplinary learning.
The project connects experienced teams from Universities and educational organisations in five different countries. In each country, two schools and at least 5 teachers are involved in the local process, in which schools appropriate inspirational materials and develop new ideas, assisted by the local universities and organisations (phase 1).
Building on this initial experience, the first iteration of a structured format for the participatory multi- and trans-disciplinary STEAM workshops is developed (phase 2).
The initial framework is tested and redeveloped, utilising Design Research Methodology (DBM) in the third phase of the project.
In the fourth phase of the project, schools will exchange their projects locally and then internationally both physically and online.
Our extensive multiplier activities will be based on the above four activities. As the project and multiplier process develops, we will collaborate to best develop channels for the potential users. For example, Austria will include the Ars Electronica Centre in Linz, Ars Electronica Centre with whom we will jointly host dissemination workshops and multiplier events for STEAM-Connect as well as integrate ideas from the project into its teacher training activities and student events and festivals.
GeoGebra and its close contact with JKU our Austrian partner will allow us to utilise a widely-used and well-known technology resource, work with their extensive network of teachers and students, as well as offer us its repository capacities and technology development opportunities. GeoGebra itself has more than 100 million users and extensive social media and mailing list opportunities counted in the 100 thousand.
The project will have three main project results:
Project result 1: Methodology and documentation of ’collaborative design’ workshops
This project result provides a methodology and documentation for co-creating/co-imagining experiential collaborative workshops that engage a new epistemology, a different way of looking at the world; facilitating a bridge across disciplines and connecting communities. After several cycles of Design Research and in collaboration with participants we will finalize the guidelines, create a repository of tried-and-tested STEAM teaching and learning materials, and spread resources across our wide and vivid networks for further feedback and collaboration. The GeoGebra team in Linz has already started the design of a new repository system that enables numerous kinds of resources, such as interactive worksheets, videos, texts, assessment.
Project result 2: Open-Access toolkit for educators to apply the methods
From the above, a publicly available toolkit will consist of instantly applicable tools, course tasks and inspirations for developing their own STEAM projects and tools for the participating teachers and educators and at the same time, these will serve as evidence and motivation for running local co-creation processes, even independently from our project, to make our efforts sustainable.
Project result 4: Open Access Guidebook for Assessment and Evaluation through Design Based Methodology
One of the major aims of the project is to first share then further develop STEM-to-STEAM programmes and experimental pedagogy practices and through these develop local and international learning communities. Project partners and associated partners already have extensive experiences and tools in STEAM areas. These resources and approaches will be presented to a team of teachers from varied disciplines and working with both mainstream and special needs schools (following the same inclusive approach featured in the KIKS project, based on design research approaches further developed to transdisciplinary learning modules in several Design Research cycles. These elements will be shared and adopted locally and internationally and evaluated for further improvements.