The Department of Physics and Chemistry – Emilio Segrè (DiFC) of the University of Palermo and CEIPES (International Centre for the promotion of Education and development) have organized a focus group for the “BioS4YOU – Bio-Inspired STEM Themes to involve the younger generations”.
Young students (14-18 years; generation Z) are more connected and more attentive to the environment and social issues as well as psycho-physical well-being, compared to “millennials”. The BioS4YOU project aims to involve new generations (through forms of formal, non-formal education and active learning activities) in the study of scientific subjects (STEM field), starting from current topics of interest to them, such as social impact and environmental aspects of new technologies (BioSciences, Bio-Engineering, Bio-Architecture, Bio Technology, Bio-Photonics, etc.). Within the project, a European network of teachers will be created who will compare ideas, practices, methods in order to develop innovative learning paths for students on these specific topics, disseminate and put them into practice.
Furthermore, it is hoped that the teachers who took part in the project will be able to support students and raise their awareness of bio-inspired technologies as a tool to build a better future, encouraging the study of STEM disciplines and making their choice of a more aware and responsible university career.
The focus group had the objective to present the project to the stakeholders, that is to all STE(A)M teachers, and to collect their comments, taking notes of their needs, as experts in the sector, in order to make them actors, and not viewers, in the process of implementing the final products.
The event consisted of two moments:
1) Presentation of the BioS4YOU project idea and of the methodology proposed by the Consortium for the creation of teaching / learning units;
2) Brainstorming of ideas, suggestions, criticisms relating to the teaching of STE(A)M.
The teachers were enthusiastic about the project and were of a great inspiration, giving their points of view, talking about their concerns and difficulties but also about their ideas and hopes for the future of education. They gave us a unique insight and we will transform it into the best product.