News | Education | 12 Oktober 2022

IDoS peers pledge to deepen cooperation on innovative early STEM education

The peer organizations at Berlin for the first peer meeting
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Badin Borde, Siemens Stiftung and Nina Henke, Haus der kleinen Forscher welcome the peers at the kick-off session
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Dr. Nina Smidt delivers the keynote
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IDoS peers from Office for Climate Education and La main á la pâte
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Peers working in workshops together
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Peers with Dr. Smidt and Michael Fritz, Chairperson of the board, Haus der kleinen Forscher
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The first-ever in-person peer meeting of the International Dialogue on STEM Education (IDoS) convened in Berlin (10-11 October 2022). The international network brings together international stakeholders and developers in the field of early STEM education to promote early innovative and sustainable learning in kingergartens and schools across the world. Co-founded by the “Haus der kleinen Forscher” Foundation, (Little Scientists’ House), and Siemens Stiftung, the network currently comprises Smithsonian Science Education Center, LUMA Center Finland, La main á la pâte foundation, and Office for Climate Education. Representatives from the member organizations joined the two-day meeting in Berlin to foster closer cooperation and chalk out the network’s strategic road map.  

Dr. Nina Smidt, Managing Director and Spokesperson of the Board, Siemens Stiftung and Michael Fritz, Executive Manager, “Haus der kleinen Forscher” Foundation, opened the peer meeting in the inspiring atmospherics of Siememsstadt Square a new digital, sustainable, and energy-efficient urban district currently, under development in Berlin.  

The peers engaged in intense discussions specifically focusing on preparing a new paper on impact-oriented network that highlights the role and potential of international networks play drive first-hand exchanges and partnerships to promote innovative early STEM education for sustainable development. 

 “The world has certainly woken to the importance of early STEM education, and it finds a place in national education agendas.  However, a comprehensive international dialogue among stakeholders is needed to channel the perspectives and learning from a wide range of participants. We are delighted to have all our six members under the same roof. It gives us the impetus to deepen the impact of our current network and induct new peers”, says Badin Borde, Project Manager, Siemens Stiftung. 

The role of digitalization in STEM education was one of the key topics raised during the meeting. Ilan Chabay, Senior Research Associate, IASS Potsdam presented “Addressing narratives and normative views in digital media for STEM learning,” explaining how digitization has opened a whole new world of models: the climate change model, the pandemic model and how can we use these to interpret data and involve young children in the process to provide them with experiential early education. 

Through expert presentations and interactive sessions, the participants deepened their understanding of the new digital tools of learning like Open Education Resources and web-based media portals. They discussed how these materials can be easily adapted to the regional and national contexts of the peers’ networks and freely disseminated from one part of the world to the other. 

“At Smithsonian Science Education Center, our mission is to transform science through education in collaboration with communities worldwide. IDoS is such an important part of that, to share learning and implementing it with likeminded and committed organizations”, Laurie Rosatone added.  

In her closing remarks,  Nina Henke from “Haus der kleinen Forscher” Foundation said: “The energy and synergies that we’ve witnessed over the course of the last two days is inspiring. It makes a real difference to finally meet in-person and to see how all peers are motivated to get engaged to further STEM education for sustainable development in both their own regional context and in the IDoS peer network itself. ”

The next peer meeting will take place virtually on 5.12.2022. The new paper on impact-oriented networks will be released at the beginning of 2023.

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