On April 25, 2018 a taskforce meeting took place in Budapest, Hungary. The meeting marked the final step in a two year long process to establish a STEM platform in Hungary by Obuda University, to which the EU STEM Coalition contributed in various phases (see meeting reports of the General Assembly meetings in Copenhagen and Brussels).
The taskforce meeting took place in the broader context of the launch conference of the Hungarian STEM platform, organised by Obuda University and supported by the Hungarian education ministry. The goal of the Hungarian STEM Platform is to provide integrated coordination and support for the STEM Programs in Hungary, to promote STEM career orientation and involvement in the STEM education. The Hungarian STEM Platform will work in close cooperation with enterprises, the government and education and also with the non-profit sector.
In this final step towards a Hungarian STEM platform, the EU STEM Coalition was invited to participate in a panel discussion (programme and meeting documents of the rest of the conference can be found here). The goal of this discussion was to present other European platforms to the participants (mainly from the Hungarian education field and government), and to discuss key success factors and challenges.
As part of the conference programme, the EU STEM Coalition was invited to participate in an expert-panel. The panel consisted of the directors of three national STEM platforms (Denmark, Finland and Norway) from the EU STEM Coalition network:
The panel discussion was moderated by Geert Asselbergs (coordinator of the EU STEM Coalition). After a brief presentation of the three organisations, the discussion focussed on three topics:
Each of these topics showed the wide variety in approaches and organisational structure between the three organisations, highlighting the need for a ‘bottom-up’ approach that fits in the national and regional context. In Denmark this was illustrated with the launch of the Danish Technology Pact, with its strong focus on regionalised implementation. In Norway the education ministry has a leading role, while in Finland the close link with research and leading role of universities were highlighted.
After the discussion the panellists answered a series of questions from the audience, which focused on wide variety of topics from individual activities and programmes to impact assessment methodologies and the need for long-term commitment to STEM approaches.
The launch of the Hungarian STEM platform was closely connected to the General Assembly meeting that took place the next day. During this meeting Laszlo Palkovics (Hungarian State Secretary for Education) presented the state of STEM in Hungary and the launch of the Hungarian STEM platform to the other members of the EU STEM Coalition (see full meeting report here).
In cooperation with the Digital Education Institute of Taiwan and the Industrial Development Bureau of the Hungarien ministry of Economic Affairs the Hungarian STEM Platform launched the online course "STEAM Learning for COVID-19 Prevention and Control" based on an existing Taiwanese model.
The course consists of a series of ten different lessons and aims to help teachers to integrate STEAM subjects into their teaching. Participants in the course receive advise on how the COVID-19 virus works, how it affects them, their school and their community. Activities for students include 3D-printing protective face shields, developing motivational LED-display boards and discussing the societal challenges related to the outbreak.
The course is suitable for teachers of children between the first and twelfth grades, as well as other school staff (e.g. school managers) and STEAM activity distributors.
In addition to the course, the STEM platform is making available free web-based learning programmes from other sources.