Mind over Matter (MoM) is a two year Erasmus+ strategic partnership focused on young people’s inspiration and motivation to join educational programs in STEM careers (eng. Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Believing that STEM has the chance for the world to make better place, consortium of the five European organisations that are working on educational programs for youth has designed the project in which they will expand the existing STEM into STEAM program by adding art and creativity into the project story and will make bigger interest for STEM education and career among young people.
The MoM project identifies and leverages the opportunities inherent in STEAM educational activities that will engage and inspire young people to follow STEM pathways through education and into both STEM and new emerging STEAM careers. We distinguish between these two in the following way: STEM encourages deep specialisation within a scientific discipline. STEAM educational activities integrate the Arts and creativity with a broad range of sciences in an interdisciplinary approach that draws knowledge from across a diverse range of expertise. This creative combination allows young people who might not immediately self-identify as a candidate for a STEM pathway to have a positive experience of STEM subjects in the context of something that more readily captures the imagination, and is project and goal-oriented than detail-focused. This can then lead to a growing interest in a STEM specialism or further work in a STEAM-oriented career.
Therefore, with the project Mind over matter experts from MoM’s consortium will develop inquiry-based approaches to education which will demystify science and scientific processes in order to increase young people’s confidence in approaching STEM. Partners will implement analyses of best practices of education for STEAM existing on EU level and define improvement that has to be implemented according to the relevant researches. Analyses will define the methodological approach that has to be implemented when creating STEAM activities in order to attract young people who aren’t interested in STEM fields. The methodology developed will be based on an environment conducive to high youth engagement, an investment from the youth in their learning, problem solving in the context of the real world, and a non-traditional format where the educator facilitates the development of ideas without being prescriptive. In order to test the developed methodology, 40 STEAM pilots will be developed and tested with 500 young people in online and offline environment. The main target group are young people 13 to 18 years old. Besides the youth enrolled in project activities, through promotional campaign we will reach other young people (13-30 years old). The aim of the campaign is to send a message that young people can become STEM and STEAM experts regardless of their current perceptions of what STEAM is. Pilots will be thematically connected to the UN’s sustainable development goals. An evaluation of the proposed methodology will result in detailed methodology guidelines that will be disseminated with the pilots toward educators from formal and non-formal education contexts. Based on their experience and findings from project implementation, partners will create policy guidelines that will be disseminated to relevant stakeholders from the field of youth and
Project Mind over matter is developed and will be implemented by AIN – Industry Association of Navarra (Spain), Centre of technical culture Rijeka (Croatia), CRHACK LAB FOLIGNO 4D (Italy), MTF Labs (Sweden) and Siauliai Youth Technical Centre (Lithuania). Project is funded by Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission.