When it comes to attracting young people to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) formal education cannot do it all. Informal education plays a key role in attracting girls and boys to these areas of study. With Europe’s knowledge economy developing and new technologies on the rise, skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics will be needed for a broader range of careers than ever before. The evidence suggests that in the coming years Europe will face a shortage in its workforce. Science centres and museums are working to promote a more gender inclusive way of communicating science.
Hypatia is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project that addresses the challenge of gathering different societal actors around bringing more teenagers, especially girls, into STEM careers both in school and as a choice of learning and career in the future. It aims at changing the ways sciences are communicated to young people in and out of school to make them more gender inclusive.
To do so, the project will produce a toolkit, work around national hubs and organise a series of events. There will also be a campaign targeting teenagers all around Europe. Called “Expect Everything”, it will build on the results achieved by Science it’s a Girl Thing
Hypatia will produce an accessible, practical and ready-to-use digital collection of modules aimed at teenagers that will be used by teachers, informal learning organisations, researchers and industry.
The modules produce by Hypatia will have a central focus on gender-inclusive ways of communicating STEM, empowering teenagers and exploring the range of skills that are needed for a great variety of STEM studies and careers open to young people. The Hypatia hubs will provide a sustainable basis for these activities to be carried out on the long term, with a focus on dissemination through networks and stakeholder engagement allowing the project impact to multiply.
Led by science centres and museums, hubs are located in 14 countries: Austria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK. They will organize a series of events for teachers, head teachers and teenagers and will translate, adapt and implement Hypatia’s modules. They will link representatives of industries, teachers, policy makers and teenagers. They will strengthen the interaction among the stakeholders and will disseminate the Hypatia digital toolkit on a national level.
Events will take place in science centres and museums in 14 countries and will be specifically focus on engaging teenagers in a variety of future careers related to science. Other events dedicated to teachers and head teachers will be organized.
Beside putting forward new events and activities based on the project tools, hubs will adapted existing events, making use of the toolkit and improving the extent to which these events address issues of gender.