Outputs and activities

The NEXT STEP project will realize the following outputs and main activities

4 Outputs

Empowering schools to design a more desirable and sustainable future

The main objective of this Output is to develop a competence-based framework that builds on the essential features of STEAM learning including exploration, dynamics of discovery, student-led activity, engagement in scientifically oriented questions, priority to evidence in responding to questions, formulations of evidence-based explanations, connection of explanations to scientific knowledge, and communication and justification of explanations which is tailor-made to achieve quality learning in the wake of the Corona-virus limitations on schools. These elements support creativity as a generic element in the processual and communicative aspects of the pedagogy by integrating arts (visual arts, performing arts, design, music) and proposing innovative teaching strategies that will offer students high participation and enable them to generate highly imaginative possibilities and supports students’ deeper learning. Based on project- and inquiry-based approaches students will be asked to create innovative projects involving external stakeholders. The proposed pedagogical framework will guide the teachers in these interventions, will provide the reference for the development of the assessment approach of the project and will provide the necessary requirements for classroom environment re-organisation and possible curriculum re-design that are required.

Scenarios of Use, Material and Support Mechanism (Competences development)

The two aims of the Output are:

  1. to develop an effective mechanism to support the operation of the STEAM IDEAS’ Square through specific student projects (activities) in schools that will propose interventions in their regions, communities, and cities in collaboration with the respective stakeholders. The proposed mechanism will be supported from a social empowered community platform, the NEXT STEP Community Support Environment (which will be included in the project’s website) that will act as the aggregator of best practices and working models among the schools’ community and as the central meeting point of the participating teachers and students.
  2. to develop a series of scenarios of use that are in line with the proposed approach and involve schools in a series of creative and innovative activities for the improvement of the local cities, settlements, and communities’ physical and built-up environments, while engaging key stakeholders (experts, researchers, local communities, businesses etc.) in the process.

Virtual workshops will be realised with teachers and students in order to introduce them to these activities.

The development of needed material will be also one of the main scopes for this output.

Operating the STEAM IDEAS’ Square Approach

The aim of this Output is to plan and support the users’ communities on how to operate the STEAM IDEAS’ Square Approach through various recommended activities. During this Output the activities will be realised at the local, national and international level following the proposed methodology (Output 1) as well as the material that will be produced explaining the operation of the IDEA’s Square (Output 2). During the lifetime of the project NEXT STEP participants will be supported through workshops, summer schools (virtual and face to face) as well as a structure web-based resources’ platform. This Output is devoted to the development of concrete and detailed plans for recommended activities (operating the STEAM IDEAS’ Square approach) in Local, National and International Level, that will present the methodology adopted for the design of the planned activities and will serve as a practical guide of action for the whole period of STEAM IDEAS’ Square operation and assessment phase of the project. Will define all types of project recommended activities along with the mechanisms that will be applied to monitor, guide and support the participating target groups.

NEXT STEP Guide of Good Practice

This output will summarize in a simple and systematic way the lessons learnt for the NEXT STEP professional development programme implementation and evaluation with the user communities.

The proposed innovation process (design and operation of the creative, innovative and inclusive activities in the STEAM IDEAS’ Square environment) will be monitored during the whole period of school involvement in the proposed activities. Applying the NEXT STEP approach in local settings will make it clear that schools have much to gain by fostering connections between formal and informal learning, between existing providers of education and new entrants. The NEXT STEP Guide of Good Practice will be an evolving set of guidelines that will be informed from the O3 findings and it will be delivered in two versions, the initial version that will support the schools that will be involved in the Operation of the STEAM IDEAS’ Square activities and the final version that will be the main outcome of the project.

Workshops and  Professional Development Course

Organisation of thematic workshops

The project will realise several workshops during 2021 and 2022 in several thematic areas relevant to STEAM Education.
The main aim will be to present and work with interested teachers and educators in order to get familiarised with the STEAM IDEAS’ Square Approach.

Teachers Professional Development Course

The Training Activity refers to a 5-day long International Summer School which is going to take place in July 2022 in Greece. This will be an intensive study programme that will train teachers, artists, educators to engage school students to NEXT STEP activities but most important will be used as an exchange of ideas setting. The participants will be able to bring their experiences and also learn about the Operation of the STEAM IDEAS’ Square approaches. The participants will act as co-creators and will collaborate in person after their experience in the previous school year. They will be able to work with the organisers, to simulate the STEAM IDEAS’ Square, in order to update the material and finalise the approach and provide recommendations for the sustainability of the NEXT STEP Approach. The participants will be related with the project’s partners and will be trained to act as ambassadors in their countries and beyond. The activities have a dual purpose of enhancing the intensive study programme’s training but also providing an innovative combination of formal and non-formal education. The various activities will be targeted towards a number of different target groups and focusing on student. The Material from O2 will be used within the Summer School.
The NEXT STEP Summer School will also be open to the wider public, and potentially interested external teachers, education professionals and artists.

Dissemination/Engagement Events

The consortium will employ a variety of dissemination, raising awareness and exploitation strategies that will target to guarantee the dissemination of project’s activities and outcomes at national, European level and beyond. Furthermore, it will provide the mechanisms for effective community building and active participation in order to encourage a better sharing of experiences among school education practitioners across Europe. To maximise dissemination and impact outcomes key stakeholders from all necessary areas of expertise are included in the consortium. These institutions are highly reputable within their respective fields and thus have a significant networking and consensus building capacity.

The aim is to create a multi-directional and multi-level information flow, which will allow partnership and recipients to learn from each other by assimilating and acting on the information acquired. The extended and effective dissemination approach will allow for the development of a wider collaboration and engagement in the project approach and outcomes.

National Conferences

The National NEXT STEP Conferences will be mainly targeted at various stakeholders involved in science and art fields: local Associated Partners, institutions at different levels (municipality, province, region and ministry), schools, universities, youth unions, career agencies; will be held near the end of the project and after the 1st phase of the Implementation, in order to exploit the results of the project up to then (after the main implementation period), engage stakeholders and gain their possible commitment to support the approach. These conferences will be organised in the participating countries: Norway, Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
The conference will be held in order to:
  • communicate and demonstrate all the results obtained within the project
  • demonstrate the NEXT STEP Innovation and mainly the STEAM IDEAS’ Square Approach
  • propose the “next step” in STEAM Education, particularly focusing on sustainability of the project’s results
  • engage stakeholders in taking an active role and being a vehicle of dissemination
The conferences are an excellent moment to explain how to realise activities according to the NEXT STEP Approach and how these will help to work on science, art as well as entrepreneurial transversal skills. In particular, it will be underlined how NEXT STEP will help develop their social entrepreneurship skills in a European framework.
The partnership expects participants to mature awareness of the existence of new methods and tools to develop the right attitudes to social entrepreneurship and creative education and learning and to assess personal skills in a European framework.

STEAM Approach in Science Education Conference

The International Conference on “STEAM Approach in Science Education” is jointly organised by the NEXT STEP and GSO4SCHOOL projects. The duration of the conference is 3 days. In 2021 the conference will be take place between 6th and 8th of December. The Conference is going to be an on-line event.
The conference will be an international meeting point for educators, scientists, artists, researchers and policy-makers during which cutting-edge perspectives on creativity in school education will be presented and further developed. The conference will be an exciting and enjoyable occasion for educators to gain valuable experience with specific Professional Development approaches to science-and-art (STEAM) methodologies through hands-on experiences, lectures and intensive, interactive workshops.