Integrated STEAM learning is a critical element of living and learning in the 21st century, since it is based on developing a hands-on interdisciplinary problem-solving mindset. In this presentation we reflect on the process of designing and implementing STEAM curricula for 12-14-year-old girls, as part of a larger European project, aiming at bringing girls into contact with activities related to STEM fields, helping them understand the role of women in STEM professions, combating stereotypes that exist in this field and cultivating entrepreneurship skills. The first cycle of the curriculum consisted of a four-day summer school in Cyprus in 2021 and focused on the topic of colors connected to different STEAM activities each day (e.g., colors in giant bubbles, in the environment, using color-indicators in labs), through a range of activities (e.g., field study, inquiry-based activities, makerspace activities, lab visit), and problem-solving inquiry for designing scientist uniforms in different STEM professions. Based on findings from the first year, a new version was designed and implemented in the summer of 2022, focusing on providing girls with the necessary skills, knowledge and experiences to help them work on a problem introduced the first day: How can we improve scientists’ well-being in their work space using color? Lessons learned from the process of designing and implementing the STEAM curricula were related to using a driving problem to guide activities, introducing activities that promote students’ interests, explaining and engaging students with the design process, and adding entrepreneurship activities.
Eliza Pitri, University of Nicosia, Cyprus
Maria Evagorou, University of Nicosia, Cyprus
Agni Stylianou-Georgiou, University of Nicosia, Cyprus