On Friday, November 10th, Citilab invites all citizens to the 10th anniversary…
Mind the Gap! is a promotion and teaching project of Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM), for women and young females. It is led by a consortium of five partners from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Spain.Its goal is to combat the lack of women in these professional fields, along with the increasing drop-out rates of STEM among youth of the European Union.
Up to 1,300 million people with technical skills will be needed by 2020, and current post-graduate levels in STEM subjects are not enough to cover these vacancies. Political heads of the European Union have demanded more action in order to attract more students to these areas. There is also another significant problem: women are are hardly present in the STEM sector.
A 2012 report from WISE indicated that while only a few countries (mainly ex-Soviet countries) have around 20% of women involved in STEM, in Western European countries, such as France and Spain, this figure barely reaches 17%: 16% in Denmark, 15% in Germany and Finland, and 9% in the United Kingdom.
Therefore, it is evident that the incorporation of women in the STEM sector could decisively help in covering the lack of professionals estimated for 2020.
The goals of the project are::
- To help teaching staff of each country to promote STEM among women and to encourage young women to choose STEM careers.
- Give support and inspire young women to continue STEM education and start out on a career in the sector, helping to develop social skills needed to work in a male-dominated environment.
Citilab considers it essential to promote the vocation in STEM among the youth 1> of the city The Edutec group works towards developing a passion for programming and technology, with tools and contents to give support to teaching staff, and to make the world of programming accessible to everyone wanting to learn.
This project is an opportunity to contribute in promoting these vocations among young people, in order to help in overcoming stereotypes, and to discover the opportunities to develop in scientific-technical environments.
The first phase of the project consisted of making an analysis of the needs of each country. To do this, the partners carried out “focus groups” with students and teachers, plus a compilation of national statistical data and research regarding STEM vocations among young women.
During the second year, Citilab created a website of the project and ane-learning platform (Moodle), in order to provide a “learning Hub”, avirtual learning environment for the consortium. At the same time, the project focused on starting-up training proposed for the project.
The first consists of two pilot workshops, developed by VHTO (Netherlands) in order to raise awareness of the problem of gender stereotypes.
The second training package is the “Career Circles” developed by Inova Consultancy (United Kingdom). “Career Circles” are carried out with teaching staff from Barcelona, particularly teachers of the Martí i Pol and the Esteve Terradas secondary schools of Cornellà.
Each “Career Circle” consists of a facilitator and 5 senior school and training cycle teachers, wishing to train in this methodology. The programme combines group discussion of both collective and individual problems, reflection, setting goals and planning personal action.
Furthermore, guiding and motivating STEM vocations in young women was the other methodology used to reach these goals in teacher-training. Gender awareness has been encouraged in teachers. A manual has been drawn-up addressed to all senior school and training cycle teachers, in which all parts of the training are detailed.
The project is firstly targeted at senior school and training cycle teachers wishing to improve guidance to their school students, in order to develop scientific-technical vocations (STEM).
The second profile to which this project is addressed are senior school and training cycle students, wishing to reinforce their professional orientation to areas of science and technology.
Citilab has made a great effort in promoting this training among education centres of Cornellà de Llobregat.