The "Haus der kleinen Forscher" Foundation and the Siemens Stiftung are inviting around 80 experts from all over the world to Berlin on 2 and 3 November 2017 for an symposium entitled "International Dialogue on STEM – Developing a Vision for Early Education". The focus of the event will be on early childhood and primary education (i.e., education for children between the ages of three and around 10) in the domains of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the arts, ESD (education for sustainable development), and computer science.
The aim is to provide representatives of like-minded initiatives from all over the world with a platform for exchange in order to facilitate joint reflection, to learn from others, and to give and receive ideas and suggestions. The central question in 2017 will be: "What skills and abilities do children need for a worthwhile future, and what contribution can we make?".
With this symposium, the two foundations want to bring together international experts, representatives of leading initiatives in the domains of STEM, the arts, ESD, and computer science from all over the world, and (political) decision-makers. The aim is to discuss and analyse activities, intervention logic, and outcomes and to define potential for the future.

Format

The conference will take place over two days in plenary discussions and working groups. There will be keynotes on different topics (e.g., future trends in education, the legitimation of STEM education).
On the one hand, the working groups will focus on the expansion of STEM education to include other disciplines (STEM + ESD, STEM + the arts, STEM + computer science, etc.). On the other hand, the way in which knowledge is transferred (pedagogic approach, intervention logic, digital learning, etc.) will be discussed.

The symposium will take place under the auspices of the German Commission for UNESCO. Besides the Siemens Stiftung, as the main cooperation partner, implementation support will be provided by the German Federal Foreign Office and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.


About the conference

STEM education is more than science,
technology, engineering and mathematics.

Like the "Haus der kleinen Forscher" Foundation and the Siemens Stiftung, numerous other initiatives and programmes throughout the world promote early STEM education in their countries. They develop pedagogical resources and provide professional development to teachers, educators, and/or multipliers. The days when the substantive focus was on pure "experimenting" are long gone. Today, the promotion of a broad range of competencies takes centre stage. Inquiry-based learning enables children to develop problem-solving skills, find their own answers, and experience a sense of self-efficacy ("Yes, I can!"). The importance of these experiences and abilities for personality development and the future professional biography extends far beyond childhood. The objective of most of these initiatives is to enable children to think independently and to act responsibly.