The first semi-yearly General Assembly meeting of 2017 took place in Tallinn, Estonia. The meeting was co-hosted by the Estonian STEM platform (Estonian Research Council) and focused on the theme of impact assessment. In various settings, EU STEM Coalition members and stakeholders discussed impact assessment methods. The discussion topics were based on the reflections on the theme prepared by the national STEM platforms prior to the meeting.
To highlight the international dimension of the main topic, several presentations were given by relevant EU- and international organisations. In the first presentation Mrs. Gunda Tire of PISA Estonia presented the reasons for Estonia's remarkable results in the 2015 PISA assessment. Estonia ranks first in Europe for science and second in mathematics. At the same time few Estonian students are interested in pursuing higher education in STEM. In the second presentation, Mr. Marian Belko of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) presented the EIT label, and how it relates to the EU's strategy for knowledge triangle integration in education. Finally, Dr. Vladimir Garkov of the European Commission presented the New Skills Agenda for Europe, which launches a number of actions to ensure that the right training, skills and support is avalable to the people of Europe. Mr. Garkov highlighted the role of the EU STEM Coalition in the implementation of the action points of the New Skills Agenda.
The second day of the meeting consisted of work sessions. Prior to the work sessions, Mrs. Pauline Hoyle, associate director of STEM Learning (UK STEM platform), gave a short presentation of impact assessment practices in the UK, with a specific focus on STEM Learning's flagship STEM Ambassadors programme.
Following the success of the visit to the Danish STEM week during previous GA meeting, the meeting concluded with a demonstration of an Estonian best practice programme: Rakett 69 (Rocket 69) by Ms. Frida Laigu (winner of the sixth season) and Mr. Aigar Vaigu, the television programme's host. Rocket 69“ is an educational scientific entertaining TV contest for young people aimed show that STEM can be fun and they can do it, while offering excitement and new information to the audience. “Rocket 69” was awarded by EBU as the best educational TV show in Europe in 2012. The name of the show originates from the fact that in 1969 the first man landed on the Moon.