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STEAM communication in Europe
Start date: Dec 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Europe has several issues it needs to address to improve social wellbeing and its economic competitiveness. These include improving scientific literacy amongst its population, increasing the uptake of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers and enhancing the transferable skills of current researchers. In Malta, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) placed Malta 40th out of 50 countries, while a recent report commissioned by the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) showed that over half of the Maltese public are disinterested in Science especially those who are retired, unemployed, responsible for home duties and/or have a secondary level of education or lower. The STEAMed consortium will bring together the best higher education institutions performing science communication across Europe. Through the exchange of best practice an intensive study programme will be created that will train students and researchers to engage the public. This will be supplemented by a long-term training assignment were participants will continue practicing and perfecting the skills they learnt by joining science communication activities. The activities have a dual purpose of enhancing the intensive study programme’s training but also providing an innovative form of informal education. The various science communication activities will be targeted towards school children: primary (5–10) and secondary (11–15) school children and various public groups: teenagers (16–19) youths (20–30), young and established professionals, and pensioners—as dependent on the activity. Reaching the wider community through informal education is in line with the 2011 EU Modernisation Agenda. The training and informal education approaches will be innovative by involving interactive experiments and incorporating the arts. By using an informal approach and making things interactive will help engage low achievers. The intensive study programme developed is intended to be sustained beyond the study programme. STEAMed will help consolidate science communication activities and bring together best practices from each participant countries while developing a new programme for the coordinating country that will help build the skills of participants being trained and attendees of the activities.
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