Bridging the gender gap with Gender4STEM

Published on 11/04/2018

In the framework of its activities in Information Technologies, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) recently launched the project "Gender aware education and teaching" (Gender4STEM) co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. 

Context

Nowadays, innovation is mainly driven by Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. STEM skills are recognised as being key to rising to current challenges, which are leading to become knowledge-driven economies and societies. The problem is that girls seem to lack a calling for these disciplines and they are also very under-represented on courses in the disciplines in question. Culture, education, training, recruitment practices are vectors of gender stereotypes partly to be accounted for the low level of participation of girls in STEM. This is why Gender4STEM was launched!

About Gender4STEM

Gender4STEM aims to tackle the low representation of girls in STEM education and subsequently women in STEM careers. The ambition is to support teachers in dealing with gender - balance and diversity in their classroom.

In order to spark greater interest in STEM disciplines among girls, the project aims to create an e-learning platform where educational and awareness-raising materials are available for use by secondary-level teachers. The digital platform includes a self-assessment tool so that teachers can take stock of their own gendered education practices. Depending on each teacher's profile, the tool recommends learning content to help them better manage gender diversity in their classrooms. To design this solution, Gender4STEM brings together five European partners from Romania, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy and Croatia with expertise in gender issues, e-learning and teaching, and technology Research & Development.

Stay connected

In order to present the project and to regularly communicate on its results, a dedicated website was launched. www.gender4stem-project.eu contains a synthesis of an exploratory study on gender stereotypes in STEM education as well as best practices for education professionals: teachers, head teachers, psychologists, careers advisors or training organisations. At the end of this project, it will be an indispensable interface to access the digital platform that will provide the teachers from the five participating European countries with reference materials, tools and content to teach these high-potential subjects and also ensure a better gender balance.  A pilot version will be tested from September 2018 and throughout the school year. 

In parallel, a Facebook page was created with the objective to create a growing community. LIST invites you to follow the page and visit the website www.gender4stem-project.eu.

What’s next?

With the support of the Institut de Formation de l'Education Nationale (IFEN), LIST will organise together with its partners, the conference entitled “How to increase girl’s participation in STEM Disciplines?”. This event to be held on 7 June 2018 in Walferdange will focus on gender fair teaching good practises. Visit the event page for further information.

> For any further information, please contact Marie Gallais via email. 

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Marie GALLAIS
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