On March 3-4, 2022, the first Taskforce Meeting of the 'Towards a New Norwegian STEM Strategy' taskforce took place in Copenhagen, Denmark. The objective of the meeting was twofold: (1) To evaluate different existing national STEM strategy-models that could be suitable for the Norwegian context, and (2) to zoom in on existing national actions focused on achieving gender equality in STEM. In a two-day programme existing national STEM strategies and implementation programmes were presented and discussed.
The objective of the meeting was twofold: (1) To evaluate different existing national STEM strategy-models that could be suitable for the Norwegian context, and (2) to zoom in on existing national actions focused on achieving gender equality in STEM.
On March 3-4, 2022 the first Taskforce Meeting (TM) of the Taskforce "Towards a New Norwegian STEM Strategy" took place in Copenhagen, Denmark. The objective of the meeting was twofold: (1) to evaluate existing STEM strategy models and (2) to evaluate existing actions focused on achieving gender equality in STEM in various EU member states.
The two-day meeting programme was divided in two parts. The first day focused on the existing national STEM strategies and approaches, most notably in Denmark (Technology Pact) and Finland (LUMA). The second day of the programme focused on the operational level and relevant actions focused on gender equality, including from Norway, Estonia and Germany. A summary of the meeting can be found below. Presentations and meeting minutes are available via the link on the right.
Background and status of the Norwegian STEM Strategy, Guro Rorvik, director NCSR
A brief overview of the role of NCSR, current actions and objectives were presented by Guro Rorvik. It is important that new actions are not launched as individual actions but within a coherent framework.
Towards a new Norwegian STEM strategy - Silje Wolff, senior advisor NCSR
A brief overview of what has been done so far was presented by Mrs. Silje Wolff. A new government platform was created in which NCRS provided input. A steering group was established ('STEM for Future'), and input on the previous STEM strategy ('Close to STEM') was collected and evaluated.
Danish national Education Strategy, Dore Salomonsen, Talent and Development Manager, ASTRA
The Danish National Science Education Strategy was initiated in 2016 and implemented from 2018 – 2025. In the first part, the ground layer was made by identifying challenges and report on the recommendations for the national strategy, aiming to create common frameworks for science efforts and to:
The strategy is funded by 33%/67% public and private funding, respectively, and the presidency oversees both programs and events. The Danish education chain has been visualized as “Marias travel through the natural sciences”. The five main goals of the strategy
are to develop and contribute to:
Some of the initiatives in the current strategy lasts until 2024. For the next TFM it woud be useful to invite members from Naturvidenskapernes Hus and Dansk Arbeidsgiverforening (equivalent to NHO). Both the recommendations for a national science education strategy and two versions of the national strategy have been summarized in three different reports
Danish Technology Pact, Emilie Normann, Head of Research, Danish Technology Pact
Technology pact was established in 2018, as part of an ecosystem in Denmark and as a result of a collective need for increased digital competence. The Technology Pact is organized as a national, multi-stakeholder strategy aimed at having more Danes obtaining STEM and digital skills, funded by public budgets.
STEM recruitment within the LUMA ecosystem, Topias Ikavalko, Secretary, LUMA Finland
Luma provides support for formal (school) and non-formal (media, libraries) and informal (LUMA centre, Science Centres) education. The Government of Finland launched the LUMA / STEM strategy in 2021 building on the LUMA approach (see related descriptions) in 2021 aiming to improve science education by strengthening skills and knowledge, promoting curiosity, creativity and learning through collaboration, and build science capital (Archer, Aspires).
The objectives of the LUMA Ecosystem are:
The first LUMA Centre was established at the University of Helsinki in 2009 by national measure from 2013. In 2022 there are 13 LUMA centers located at universities all over Finland. They are mainly driven by PhD students arranging STEM related learning activities in LUMA labs located at the universities
Key stakeholders / target groups of LUMA are: pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, children and youth, university, industry.
Women’s pathways and motivation factors to studying and working within technology (Hilde G. Corneliussen, Western Norway Research institute)
The presentation and discusion focused on the question why girls from countries other than Norway have a different attitude to ICT. One of the hypothesis is that the exposure to this subject is greater in other education systems (e.g. UK, where it exists as a separate subject from grade 1).
Strategic Vision 2023-2029: How to support STEM studies through informal learning activities (Mare Vahtre, Coordinator of the TeaMe+-Programme, Estonian Research council)
The second presentation and discussion focused on the STEM shortages in Estonia. Here, the national focus is primarily on lifelong learning and girls are seen as a key-way to reduce the current shortage of approx. 20.000 on a population of 1 million. Key initiatives include the HK Unicorn Squad (age 7-14), mentoring initiatives, tv campaigns and sciece-focused programmes (e.g. Rocket 69). In particular the infotainment initiatives have been extremely successful and Estonia has one of the highest STEM and ICT uptakes among girls of Europe.
The zdi approach to increase the public awareness about girls in STEM (zdi. NRW ), Susanne Jakobs-Bohack, Consultant
Several key-initiatives implemented by ZDI (STEM platform) in North-Rhine Westphalia (Germany) were presented. ZDI hsa 4500 partners and implements 70 student laboratories, 47 regional networks. A key-element of the ZDI approach is the bottom-up nature of the implementation (through regional networks). Activities include everything from informational campaigns to intensive programmes and mentoring (see slides and minutes for details).
A follow-up taskforce meeting has been scheduled for August 2022. Prior to the taskforce, the results will be evaluated by the steering group.