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ICSE is taking off!

By January 2018 No Comments

Successful inauguration of the International Centre for STEM Education and the ICSE Consortium takes place at the University of Education in Freiburg, Germany.

What a great start into the New Year: On 18 January, 2018, the festive opening ceremony of the International Centre for STEM Education and the ICSE Consortium took place in the auditorium of the Freiburg University of Education.

The well attended event brought together educational policy makers, researchers, teachers and industry representatives from all over Europe and was enthusiastically received by the participants.

In addition to short plenaries and a panel discussion, there were many opportunities for networking with coffee, finger food and drinks during the celebration. The event was accompanied by festive and lively sounds of the great PHunky-MHonkey Big Band.

Festive: Participants of the ICSE inauguration at the auditorium of the University of Education. Photo: ICSE

Experts for STEM education at the ICSE panel discussion. Photo: ICSE

In short, inspiring lectures the meaning of ICSE from the university’s point of view was outlined by Prof. Dr. med. Druwe, Rector of the University of Education Freiburg, and by em. Prof. Dr. Michèle Artigue, Université Paris Diderot. Then, Prof. Dr. Katja Maass, Director of ICSE, explained, based on concrete examples from everyday teaching, the rationale for founding of ICSE as well as its aims: She emphasized that STEM teaching should prepare all students for a life in an ever-changing, increasingly technical world and raise their interest in STEM subjects. To achieve this, cooperation with all key players in the field of STEM education would be essential.

It was precisely these key players, with representatives from industry, politics, research and teaching practice, who came together in the subsequent panel discussion. The experts agreed on many points: In the future, assessment should not only be limited to recalling factual knowledge, but must be adapted to innovative forms of STEM teaching. Teacher education and training should focus on that.

Achieving this would not be an easy task, Prof. Michiel Doorman, ICSE consortium member of the University of Utrecht, noted at the panel discussion. Marc Durando, executive director at European Schoolnet, emphasized the importance of an initiative like ICSE and expressed its full support to the Center.

Dr. Peter Balyta, President of Education Technology at the US-based company Texas Instruments, highlighted optimistically: It is an important first step that all representatives of this panel recognize the problem as such because only with joint forces the parties involved can tackle the challenges in STEM education. Katja Maaß emphasized that ICSE wants to further promote the cooperation of various key players in the future.

Congratulations from Volker Schebesta, State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. Photo: ICSE

ICSE’s international representation. Photo: ICSE

Following the successful panel discussion, there was a market of innovation that presented current education and training materials from the research on STEM education of ICSE and its partners. More than 100 guests from around 20 countries enriched the opening event and had lively discussions about the possibilities and trends of MINT education and research in Europe.

At the end of the event, Volker Schebesta, State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, emphasized the urgency of promoting STEM subjects.