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News | Education | 23. July 2018

Service-learning for a STEM education with an emphasis on value promotion: Web-based training introduces the topic and supports teachers in taking the first steps toward implementation.

Students learn about the functions of a forest and local ecosystems and reforest educational nature trails that lie fallow.
© iStock.com/cglade

Out of the “Service-Learning in STEM subjects” model project, which was put together by Siemens Stiftung and the Foundation for Learning through Civic Engagement, an online course of the same name has emerged for teachers. Because it is web-based, there is flexibility in the way it can be put together – in terms of environment, length and content. It is available at no cost on the Siemens Stiftung Media Portal and conveys basic knowledge to teachers as well as some initial ideas for the implementation of this teaching and learning model in science and technology education.

 

What is service-learning, and how does it fit into STEM subjects? Service-learning is a teaching and learning model that connects topics in the classroom with social engagement. Students in the 7th grade become familiar with, for example, the functions of a forest and local ecosystems in interdisciplinary science courses. They then set out to reforest, together with their teachers, educational nature trails that lie fallow. Through the engagement of the students, the educational nature trails can once again be used by the local community. The method is especially ideal for STEM subjects whose social significance and benefits to students often remain unexplored. Service-learning can be implemented in all forms of school and at every age.

 

An online course enables educators to begin using this teaching, and learning method. Participants can freely choose where and when to complete the course, can repeat exercises and can direct their learning process on their own. In the forum, they can enter into dialog with each other, and present their own project ideas.

 

Technical introductions into theory, interactive exercises, and applications as well as self-reflection are components of the web-based training “Service-Learning in STEM subjects”. Educators can immediately put what they learned into practice, and initial concepts can emerge for individualized teaching. In addition, other teachers provide an exciting glimpse into the practical implementation of their service-learning projects.

 

The course is free and available in the Siemens Stiftung Media Portal (Publication in German). Nevertheless, we recommend that you register so that you can gain access to helpful additional functions, such as saving your completion status, the creation of personalized notes, and the use of the forum.

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