The second General Assembly (GA) meeting of 2018 took place in Paris, France. In addition to the GA, a separate pre-even was organised. This event brought together a wide variety of organisations and stakeholders in the field of STEM. The main meeting programme (see meeting documents) covered two half-days focussed and featured presentations by the European Commission and several national best practices. A keynote speech was given by the French minister of Education Mr. Jean-Michel Blanquer.
The second General Assembly meeting of 2018 took place in Paris, France. The meeting was co-hosted by UPSTI and AEDE-France and followed a pre-meeting programme focussed on the French context. The main meeting programme (see meeting documents) covered two half-days and featured presentations and sessions focussed on both the European- and French best practices. A keynote speech was given by the French minister of Education Mr. Jean-Michel Blanquer.
Day 1 (October 10, 2018, 14.30-18.00h)
Introduction and progress report (Geert Asselbergs, coordinator EU STEM Coalition)
After a word of welcome by Mr. Sébastien Gergadier (president of UPSTI) a brief update on the progress of the network (taskforce meetings, new members, etc.) was presented by Geert Asselbergs (coordinator EU STEM Coalition).
Presentation #1: Centres for Vocational Innovation (Dominiek Veen, project manager VET, PBT)
The first presentation of the day focussed on public-private partnerships in VET. Dominiek Veen of the Dutch national STEM platform (PBT) presented the 'Centres for Vocational Innovation', a government programme that aims to develop public-private partnerships in VET. In these so-called 'centres' students work on innovation problems directly from industry. The Centres for Vocational Innovation are co-funded by the Dutch government (max. 1/3 of total funding) and industry (min. 1/3 of total funding). In 2018 more than 150 public-private partnerships (centres) were operational involving over 6000 companies with a total government investment of over 200 million euro (since 2011).
Presentation #2: Centres of Vocational Excellence (Luca Pirozzi, European Commission)
Building on the first presentation, Mr. Luca Pirozzi of DG Employment (European Commission) presented the upcoming 'Centres of Vocational Excellence' initiative of the European Commission. Funded through a special call in the Erasmus+ programme, the Commission aims to launch 'platforms' for international cooperation between existing regional public-private partnerships in VET, focussed on a specific sector. The action was partially inspired by the Dutch Centres of Vocational Excellence. The first phase of the pilot will be launch in 2019.
Presentation #3: Newton Rooms (Stian Elstad, director FIRST Scandinavia)
The third presentation focussed on the 'Newton Rooms'. The Newton Rooms are a highly innovative education concept developed and implemented by FIRST Scandinavia in Norway, focussed primarily on secondary education. Each Newton Room is shared between several schools and linked to a specific theme or sector (e.g. Aquaculture, energy, etc.). After the successful launch in Norway, Boeing pledged 10 million USD to pilot the Newton Rooms in nine EU countries.
In three short, 15 minute presentations several members of the EU STEM Coalition presented brief updates, including Mr. Tamás Kerszanski (Obuda University) on the Hungarian STEM platform (launched during the previous General Assembly meeting of the EU STEM Coalition) and Mr. Philippe Jeanjacquot & Jean-Luc Richter on the upcoming Science on Stage Festival. The final presentation was given by Mr. Vladimir Garkov of DG EAC of the European Commission on the latest state of affairs of the EU STEAM Coalition action, which will be launched later this year.
Day 2 (October 11, 2018, 9.00-14.00h)
After a brief reception and introduction of the programme by Mr. Hervé Riou (UPSTI), several short presentations were given on the French context, including a student presentation, the STEM Olympiads (Olympiads des Sciences de l'ingénieur) and a presentation on Girls in STEM.
The presentation was followed by the keynote speech, which was deliverd by the French Minister of Education, Mr. Jean-Michel Blanquer. In his speech Mr. Blanquer addressed the importance of- and challenges in French STEM education as well as various upcoming government reforms, including in Vocational Education and Training focussed on the formation of campusses that include incubators and knowlegde institutions with links to vocational fields and sectors.
After a tour of the laboratories of Chaptal and several demo's of French STEM education materials manufacturers the programme was closed with a networking lunch.