inGenious Teachers Convene in Istanbul to discuss STEM Education and Industry Collaboration

159 teachers, industry and government stakeholders from 20 countries in Europe and beyond convened in Istanbul at the end of August for a summer school devoted to the future of STEM education.

The meeting was an exciting opportunity for all to network and exchange their ideas and experience of school-industry collaboration.

"Industry-school collaboration is critical for Europe right now with the rise of new countries, we need to innovate to remain competitive and that starts with schools.” Dwayne Philip, UK

Workshops, roundtables and plenary presentations were part of a busy agenda. Brian Ager, Secretary General for the European Roundtable of Industrialists and Derek Bell, Professor of Education at the College of Teachers in London, intervened on how to develop productive partnerships. There were also presentations on industry and school collaboration in the Netherlands and in Turkey as well as a summary of the results of the first STEM Needs Analysis presented by Dr. Raquel Rios, representing the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

“I participated in the first year of inGenious and it was very important for me to exchange opinions with teachers from different countries and learn how the project is going in their classes. I teach physics & chemistry and for me these subjects only makes sense if put in context. Industry can play a very good role here and I often take my students not only to visit, but to have classes in industrial sites.” Carlos Cunha, Portugal

A good overview of the school-industry cooperation situation in Europe and beyond was provided, as well as an assessment of the impact and importance of inGenious. The workshops were partly focused on inGenious practices and how these were implemented by inGenious teachers during Pilot 1. There was also a focus on how Communities of Practices and Chats can be improved for the second cycle.

Furthermore, a workshop on how to set up school-company collaborations was offered which, through a number of role-plays, raised the teachers’ awareness on how to contact companies, how to “sell” their project and how to establish a successful cooperation.

“I am very glad about the opportunity to meet so many colleagues from all over Europe and learn more about their experiences in collaborating with companies. After all it is where our pupils will go when they leave school so it is important they get to know each other better.” Jürgen Schneider, Germany

During the summer school, national needs analysis meetings were held. These pursued the aim of bringing together teachers from the same countries to discuss the challenges and needs they face when establishing collaborations with industries. Networking played a major role during the event, thus plenty of opportunities were provided for the participants through the workshops, opening cocktail, dinner and coffee breaks.

The input and feedback received from the participating teachers and partners during the summer school is extremely valuable and will be used to improve aspects of the second cycle of inGenious.

inGenious brings together teachers who are motivated, who want to do new things and do the best for their pupils…and not just to share ideas, but to build momentum, create a collective force of will to bring about serious change in STEM education in schools across Europe.” Nick Styles, UK