Erasmus+ “KIDS INSPIRING KIDS IN STEAM” project with Experience Workshop’s contribution and support
On 29 September, 2017 Experience Workshop has contributed to the closing event of the Kids Inspiring Kids in STEAM (KIKS) international Erasmus+ project. The program was taking place in the framework of European Union’s largest science- and learning popularization program, the Researchers’ Night. In Finland the honorary guest of the event was Zach Shelby, CEO of Micro:bit Educational Foundation.
The goal of the Kids Inspiring Kids in STEAM (KIKS) international Erasmus+ project was to raise students’ awareness towards the multi- and transdisciplinary connections between the STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics), and make the learning about these fields more enjoyable. In order to achieve these goals, KIKS project has popularized the STEAM-concept by projects based on the students inspiring other students-approach and by utilizing new technologies, tools, open-access educational resources, and everyday items and materials. Experience Workshop’s experts has provided methodological support, learning aids and resources focusing on STEAM for the project.
Through the students inspiring other students-approach, we have aimed to get participating students developing STEAM learning activities for other students in their own local context and in a wider European physical and virtual community.
5 schools in Finland, 4 schools in Hungary, 10 schools in the UK and 9 schools in Spain were participating in the program. Each of the participating 28 schools were represented by minimum 1 team of minimum 4 students, facilitated by minimum 1 teacher, and there were several places, where complete school classes have joined to the KIKS-project. In Finland 115 students and 7 teachers have joined to the KIKS project.
KIKS-Experience Workshop in Researchers’ Night, Jyväskylä-Finland:
information in English on the KIKS-Experience Workshop in Finland
KIKS-Experience Workshop in Researchers’ Night, Budapest-Hungary:
information in Hungarian on the KIKS-Experience Workshop event in Budapest
The KIKS Erasmus+ project website:
From Hothousing to International Collaboration in STEAM Multi- and Transdisciplinary Learning
The Kids Inspiring Kids in STEAM (KIKS) Erasmus+ project was based on a three-stage process. The first stage was called ‘Hothousing’, to creatively develop ideas. On the second stage we have organized the Local Challenges, to develop those ideas into projects and support students to deliver them to other students. In the third stage, we have organized International Collaboration among the students and teachers.
In Finland 5 teams from 5 schools was involved in the project, but we have managed to achieve impact in non-participating school communities as well.
The project has positively contributed to the current processes related to the new Finnish National Core Curriculum’s “multidisciplinary learning module”, which requires the development of similar forms of learning like those, we have promoted in the KIKS project. Real success of the KIKS project was providing encouragement to the students and teachers to try new ways of learning, to test new hands-on and digital tools and the establishment of the community basis of the Finnish STEAM movement.
Key figures in Finland
• 5 Schools
• 115 participating students (22 students from the Huhtasuo School, Jyväskylä; 20 students from the Laukaa School, Laukaa; 15 students from the Mankola School, Jyväskylä; 21 students from the Palokka School, Jyväskylä; 27 students from the Viitaniemi School, Jyväskylä.)
• 10 Hothousing Project Activities developed by FINLAND KIKS project team
• 5 Local Challenge Projects developed by FINNISH KIKS students
• 3 international collaborations (Viitaniemi School – UK school; Laukaa School – Spanish School; Laukaa School – UK)
• Dissemination: KIKS project was introduced in 14 conference talks by the Finnish KIKS-team, including 2 special conference sessions devoted to the KIKS project: one Helsinki and one in Jyväskylä, both at international meetings. KIKS project has been part of the European Researchers’ Night in Finland.
Co-operation on all levels: students and teachers about KIKS
According to interviews made with the Finnish KIKS teachers and informal discussions with the students, the KIKS project has positively inspired most of the participants and opened up new perspectives.
KIKS also offered new methodologies and materials, ideas, and provided new co-operation opportunities for most teachers inside and outside the KIKS schools. Many of the teachers and students were generally satisfied with their experiences and the high level of student and teacher participation.
According to the teachers’ views in the most active schools, the students had the possibility to learn new skills, improve their English, and to develop on fields such as connections between mathematics and art, programming, chemistry on a new, sometimes unexpected way. Participating schools for the first time encountered such innovative digital and hands-on tools, like BBC micro:bit and 4Dframe.
Teachers found very important the experience of co-operation on all levels, including the institutional and personal dimensions. KIKS schools have explored new capacities in the involvement of artists, other specialists, teachers of other schools, university researchers, etc. in the learning process.
The most active KIKS schools’ teachers in Laukaa and in Viitaniemi are determined to bring forward the main components of KIKS, even when the project is finished. Most of the teachers generally seemed to be open to participate in future university-school projects.