Multiplier Event “Implementing inclusive environmental STEAM lessons”

Summer – Autumn 2021, the InSTEAM consortium members organized the national multiplier event in their countries.

Multiplier Event in Greece

The Greek multiplier event was a two-part event. The first part took place on the 13th of May 2021 and the second part on 20th of May 2021. Each session lasted 3 hours. During the first session, the team presented the overall approach of InSTEAM; The topics selected, the pedagogical approaches followed and how activities are combined, as well as the Universal Design for Learning approach. In the second session the team presented some example activities and demonstrated to participants how they can be used through Go-Lab. A brief demonstration of the Go-Lab repository and the Graasp authoring tool were also given. Both sessions were interactive and teachers were invited to participate through discussions and hands-on activities. Participants were asked to do some preparatory activities before each session to be better prepared for the session. Participants were properly prepared and engaged during the both sessions to a great degree. There were a few parts of fruitful conversations during which teachers shared their views, worries, experiences and thoughts.  Many participants, even though it was late in the school year, decided to implement an inSTEAM activity in their school.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Greece there were many restrictions regarding face-to-face meetings which made it impossible to organize a face-to-face event. To overcome this restriction our team organized an online event instead. To ensure high participation, EA collaborated with the University of Aegean (the department of primary education in particular).

Multiplier Event in Spain

The national multiplier event was organized by Deusto LearningLab of the University of Deusto. It presented the results of O2 – “Inclusive, environmental STEAM Inquiry Learning Spaces” on the specific case – “Examples of Good Practice in STEAM Education: Water and Sanitation (SDG6)”. It was organized in a face-to-face format based on the consultations with and advise from Berritzeguneak (department on the teachers’ professional development of the education department of Basque Country). The open call for in-service and pre-service teachers was lunched. 20 teachers attended this action.
During the multiplier event we introduced the project as a whole. Mainly, we
(1) provided the social inclusive aspects (socioeconomic, open schooling, cultural and scientific/removing instructional berries) in STEAM subjects
(2) presented how to integrate the topics of environmental education into the national curricula of Spain on the example Sustainable Development Goal (SDG6),
(3) demonstrated how the 25 ILSs created and translated in Spanish and Basque in framework of the IO2 fit to the national curricula. The table of a relation among the national curricula for primary and secondary schools [Spanish and Basque] and created ILSs were delivered to teachers. These files are available on the project website.
(4) showed the alternative options of implementation /presentation of activities (hypothesis, assignment report, etc.), based on the of Universal Learning Design principles and Engaged Learning.
(5) introduced step-by-step (using the example of already created ILSs -IO2) on how to design the open education materials as part of the Go-Lab Ecosystem in an inclusive way.
At the end of each presentation, participants had the opportunity to ask questions and/or make comments. Overall, participants were very satisfied with the content of the event. They brought home “More digital resources, more information, other points of view”, “interdisciplinary and interactivity… research and practice”, “Normally the projects cover science, mathematics, but few include Basque”, “inSTEAM allows us interdisciplinarity and a greater opportunity to learn in another way” and so on.

Multiplier Event in Cyprus

In Cyprus, the multiplier event took place on September 11, 2021, and lasted two hours and a half. The event was held face-to-face, after a long period of lockdown and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and 32 participants attended. The event was hosted at a large room of the University of Cyprus so that to secure the social distance among the participants. The majority of the participants were primary and secondary school teachers in the public and private sectors. Some participants were key personnel of the Cyprus Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth (e.g. Network of Environmental Education Center, Examination Service, In-service teacher training, and Cyprus Pedagogical Institute).

Participants were first introduced to the interdisciplinary STEAM education, with references to specific examples in which the organizational principle of a STEAM lesson was environmental education. Then, the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles were presented and explained in depth. The emphasis of the UDL presentation was to provide participants with multiple options and tools to make their STEAM lessons inclusive. The next topic was on the pedagogical approaches followed in the context of the InSTEAM project for the design and creation of inclusive STEAM lessons. Specifically, the socioeconomic approach, the open schooling approach, and the cultural approach were demonstrated. Moreover, participants were been informed about the 25 Inquiry Learning Spaces (ILSs) created and published on the Go-Lab platform in the Greek language. For each ILS a brief description of the purpose of the lesson and its main learning objectives were provided. We also described a suggested implementation strategy of the bundle of ILSs for each topic (i.e. climate change, renewable energy, water management). Finally, the Go-Lab and Graasp platforms were demonstrated with emphasis on how an inSTEAM ILS can be duplicated, modified, and used in a real classroom setting.

At the end of each presentation, participants had the opportunity to ask questions and/or make comments. Overall, participants were very satisfied with the content of the event. They were interested specifically in the UDL principles since it was something new for them. They commented that the framework and the guidelines are well structured and they are willing to apply some of the guidelines in their lesson planning. Some teachers (especially from primary education) commented that it is hard for them to implement the inSTEAM ILSs at their classes since their schools lack equipment and often do not have good internet connectivity. However, they found the topics and learning objectives very promising for STEAM education. A final comment was that monitoring the implementation of an ILS through the Go-Lab ecosystem was still very difficult and they need more training to do so.

Multiplier Event in Portugal

Our event was centred in discussing the methodology and the resources produced within the inSTEAM project and its applicability in Portugal. The majority of the teachers had already some information about the project – either because they were on an online training where we presented inSTEAM in some detail, or they participated on the online teachers’ conference “Inclusion in STEAM class”. So they were ready to discuss the different approaches that inSTEAM chose to work with, and they gave their opinion on how it could be used in the Portuguese curriculum. We also focused the discussion on the importance of UDL, its advantages, and its results. Then we went through the Renewable Energy ILSs in some detail to see where in the curriculum they could be useful. Finally, we made a demonstration on how to use the ILS with the students from the point of view of the back-office of Go-Lab.
It was a very rich experience, both for us and the teachers. There is a huge interest on resources about sustainability and to know more about UDL and how to use it in the classroom.

The multiplier event was based on the intellectual output (IO2). We discussed the interdisciplinary and inclusive approaches of the resources; we shared and discussed the ILSs (IO2) and we presented help notes and guidelines on implementing the resources.

The workshop was organized in two parts:
1st part – participation at the inSTEAM conference
2nd part:
– inSTEAM methodology: Discussion and applicability of the resources in Portugal
– Presentation of the inSTEAM resources
– Go-Lab in inSTEAM