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Aulas +: STEM for a sustainable future

Presentation of a catalogue of activities for Primary and Secondary Education to promote STEM vocations

Aulas +: STEM for a sustainable future

2 March 2023

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The presentation of the catalogue Aulas +: STEM for a sustainable future, promoted by the Women STEM Chair, took place on 22 February. The aim of this presentation was to highlight the need to improve STEM education in schools in order to ensure that more students choose STEM studies, so that they can fill the job offers in which these profiles are demanded and reduce the gender gap in the labour market if more women decide to follow this path.

The Aulas +: STEM for a sustainable future catalogue is a multidisciplinary webspace, accessible to all, which offers fun, creative and dynamic activities that allow students to discover and learn more about the world of STEM. Each of these activities has specific contents associated with it and is organised by educational cycle in Primary Education and by school year and subject in Secondary Education. These guides allow teachers to give classes in a simple way, and also contain additional resources that support the activity taught. This catalogue has been developed by a group of interdisciplinary specialists on Education and Engineering, like Ana María González Cervera, Marta Cubiles Álvarez, Ángela González Alonso and Celia Gómez Limia, under Yolanda González Arechavala’s guidance and Olga Martín Carrasquilla’s coordination. For more information, you can check Aulas + webpage.

The presentation of Aulas + had numerous guests related to the promotion of STEM studies. Students, lecturers and managers showed their vision on the need to improve STEM education in our country, focusing particularly on the importance to carry out activities with young people, but also with families, teachers and counsellors. The event began with an opening round table that welcomed the attendants and in which Mariano Ventosa, Vice Rector of Investigation and Staff at Comillas, Alfonso Sánchez, EMT managing director and Ramón Castresana, director of the Composition Committee of Foundations at Grupo Iberdrola, both patrons of the chair, took part. As Yolanda González, director of the chair, said “all of them are key pillars for the development of the chair, supporting all of its activities”.

Then, Yolanda González presented the Aulas +: STEM for a sustainable future project and showed the content on the catalogue. Afterwards, the first round table stressed the need to improve STEM education in schools, presenting proposals from the administration, like the STEMadrid seal, experiences from some schools and resources required to carry out these activities. The need to improve the orientation of vocational training studies was also highlighted. The speakers were Magdalena Rubio, support technician of the General Sub-Directorate of Innovation and Teacher Training Programs of the Ministry of Education, Universities, Science and Spokesperson of the Community of Madrid; Tomás Alonso, director at the Francisco Tomás y Valiente High School; Ana Isabel Jara, director of studies at Daniel Vázquez Días Primary School and María del Mar García, high school teacher at the Padre Piquer Training Center.

Lastly, the second round table was attended by several female students of different ages and backgrounds, who shared their experiences and how they decided to choose STEM studies, both in vocational training and university degrees. This round table highlighted the usefulness of carrying out STEM activities that motivate students and the existence of gender biases in the choice of studies. At the round table participated: Clara Massiel Arias and María Alejandra Báez, third year of secondary school students at San Alfonso School; Clara Palacios, second year student of the Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering in Telecommunications Technologies at Comillas ICAI; Raquel Zambrano, second year student of the T&D on Automatised Electrotechnical Systems at Francisco Tomás y Valiente High School and Esther María Zamora, fifth year student of the Dual Degree on Physics and Mathematics at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

“From the chair’s team, we want to thank all the attendants for their participation on the event, which has allowed us to get to know the STEM world from different areas. All of this helps us focus on our job day after day. We hope that the catalogue Aulas + ends up being a helpful tool to promote STEM vocation in students and we are waiting for suggestions and recommendations from every one of you so we can keep nurturing each other” said Yolanda González.

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