STEMpowering: Youth Innovation to the local community and science communication

STEMpowering: Youth Innovation to the local community and science communication

Author: Theodoros Anagnostopolos – SciCo, Greece

Marilena Andrikopoulou – SciCo
Elpiniki Pappa – SciCo

STEMpowering Youth is a program developed to facilitate innovation in local communities, via STEM education and science communication. Trying to fill in the gap of Greece’s educational system, the program supports interactive “hands-on” education and seeks to connect citizens’ everyday life with science.

We developed a 9-week STEM program that was piloted in 12 educationally weak, remote areas in Greece. This program was implemented in out of school hours and aimed to make students use science tools and engineer innovations in order to tackle local social challenges. As a long-lasting solution approach, we empowered local educators on how to use student-centered and project-based activities to teach science. As an end result, each team produced an innovation that aims to solve local or social problems.

In a second phase, the “student-innovators” were asked to explain their work through a series of local, popular events. The common characteristic of all these events was the communication of scientific and technological knowledge to the public, i.e. to people who were not aware of these topics.

In the pilot phase, we trained fourteen teachers and 360 students, aged 13 to 16, while 15 innovative projects were constructed. The projects constructed, as well as, the science behind them were communicated to approximately 3.000 people.

The project’s results were disseminated to the general public through social media while all innovative constructions were video recorded and uploaded on video platforms. More than 50.000 people have viewed these. The project is planned until 2019.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Visual talk
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices