The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

How Can we Turn the Interest of Young Generations to Study Geoscience Related Disciplines? The ENGIE Project’s Review of Best Practices for Teaching STEM and its Feedback on the Project’s Strategy

Silvia Giuliani, ISMAR-CNR Bologna (Italy)

Lívia Leskóné Majoros, University of Miskolc, Institute of Mineralogy and Geology (Hungary)

Máté Zsigmond Leskó, University of Miskolc, Institute of Mineralogy and Geology (Hungary)

Iva Kolenković Močilac, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering (Croatia)

Ana Maričic, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering (Croatia)

Luca Giorgio Bellucci, ISMAR-CNR Bologna (Italy)

Renata Lapinska-Viola, ISOF-CNR Bologna (Italy)

Armida Torreggiani, ISOF-CNR Bologna (Italy)

Éva Hartai, University of Miskolc, Institute of Mineralogy and Geology (Hungary)


The problems related to the shortage of skilled employees in key scientific professions and the need for modernizing science teaching in schools have become crucial in recent years. The recruitment crisis in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professions is particularly worrying for the European Union (EU), as it needs to deepen its innovation capability to compete on global markets and maintain or improve the European way of life. The challenges are even greater for the recruitment of young girls in Engineering and Geosciences careers, traditionally considered as masculine. The project ENGIE – Empowering girls to become the geoscientists of tomorrow [1] has been approved for funding by EU-EIT Raw Materials for the period 2020-2022 and has now started its second year of activity. The project aims to turn the interest of 13-18 years old girls to study specific STEM disciplines: Geosciences and related Engineering. As career decisions are school-mediated and made generally in this period of life, the project is expected to contribute in improving the gender balance in the fields of these disciplines. For this purpose, the ENGIE project needs to take inspiration from (and develop) best practices to approach students and teach them STEM-related subjects. Thus, an extensive research on best programs and practices was carried out in 2020 with the aim of learning from successful stories and contribute to the customization of the ENGIE Action Plan for the implementation of awareness actions in the following two years. The research comprised literature studies and historical evaluation of successful programs and initiatives. It reviewed past and current actions, in Europe and worldwide, aimed at raising girls’ (and also male students’) interest for STEM (in general) and other STEM-related yet specialized campaigns (such as ICT or engineering). Projects and initiatives were reviewed both on national and EU level with the purpose of adapting their scope and replicating their successes within the field of geosciences and geo-engineering. They were selected after widespread searches on the web and through direct experiences by several project partners. Results were reviewed and categorized to identify key lessons for ensuring the success of ENGIE’s initiatives and the reaching of its goals. These key lessons could be summarized into the following 5 “golden rules”: 1. Avoid any kind of gender bias; 2. Present positive examples provided by both successful researchers and peers; 3. Focus on active learning strategies and hands-on activities; 4. Organize practical activities and use new/updated technologies and approaches; 5. Empower students through the exposure to Science.

Keywords: best practices, Geosciences, STEM, teenagers, education.



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