SbS at OTTER’s final conference “Beyond the classroom: rethinking STEAM education

On the 15th of February, the SbS consortium members were invited to our sister project OTTER’s final conference. The event, titled “Beyond the classroom: rethinking STEAM education“, was focused on the recognition of Education Outside the Classroom (EOC) methodologies to improve STEAM education.

The first part of the conference was comprised of four speeches that introduced the topic, discussed the OTTER project objectives and its results, and the role of out-of-school STEAM education in a sustainable future. The event also featured a panel discussion where four experts debated several questions regarding EOC challenges and opportunities, such as the relation between out-of-school activities and 21st-century skills, the main challenges to EOC integration in the national curricula, the possible role of technology in STEAM EOC and the future role of accreditation in the sector.

The day ended with a World Café, where participants were divided into five groups, two led by OTTER and three by other projects, and switched groups every 30 minutes so that everyone could participate in every table’s discussion. Surrounded by Science led the group regarding the incorporation of technology in EOC activities. There, the project’s main ideas, as well as its two apps, were presented. This discussion later evolved into what a visitor/user might need to better engage with apps like the Science Chaser and what a provider would expect from a platform like the Science Booster app.

The “Beyond the classroom: rethinking STEAM education” conference served as an invigorating inspiration towards transformative change in the education sector. Through the contributions of speakers, participants, and researchers alike, we have witnessed the potential to bridge the gap between knowledge and action. This event highlighted the collective power we possess to translate our research findings into actionable policies, thereby catalysing positive change within the education sector for a brighter future. Together, we have the ability to create an environment where every individual has the opportunity to thrive through an equitable and inclusive educational environment.