New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Promotion of STEM Education through STEM Clubs in Georgia

Medea Abramishvili, National center for teacher professional development (Georgia)


Applying STEM teaching principles to schools is not an easy process due to the traditional characteristics of today's education system. One thing is undoubtful, working on an interesting project requires appropriate skills, space and time. The "subject frameworks" rooted in Georgian schools also stay an outstanding problem. Unfortunately, it is not common for teachers of different subjects to collaborate at the level of a joint curriculum. STEM projects do not recognize "subject boundaries", children use their versatile knowledge and experience while finding ways to solve life problems. Based on these factors, we at the National Center for Teacher Professional Development believe that the first step for STEM teaching promotion in a Georgian school is non-formal education. That why STEM club, named "Tinkering" club was established. The goals of the club are: to strengthen such a strong form of non-formal education on a school basis, such as club work, and to connect it with the teaching process, increase the professionalism of teachers in STEM approaches in the learning process, increase students' motivation and involvement in the teaching of science subjects. The concept of our program and club work is based on the involvement of children in the teacher professional development system. We pay special attention to the visits of groups of students and teachers of the school. During these meetings, the student gets the first experience of working with electronic components, working with microcontroller Arduino and its programming, gets acknowledged with the project ideas and their connection to solving important life problems – such as traffic in cities, environmental pollution, health and safety, poverty and hunger control and other issues. We talk about the problems of the world and the sustainable development of our country. 

A year of work with public school principals and teachers has shown that principals financially support STEM activities in their schools, as creating such activities require far less financial support than buying one whole Physics, Chemistry and other labs, and they see the main benefit - all students in the class can participate in such activities at the same time. Also teachers who started their STEM activities with club work have developed the skills needed for such activities and are now incorporating STEM activities into their formal education.

Keywords STEM, club working, non-formal education, teachers professional development


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