SteamCity - STEAM citizen experimentation towards the deployment of learning cities and territories
The SteamCity project aims to develop and offer a set of interdependent experimentation services dedicated to implementing inquiries in secondary education, to approach the themes of smart and learning territories. The project has the ambition of promoting schools as incubators for citizen science empowering the students to mobilise their interdisciplinary knowledge in the frame of social, societal, and environmental challenges.
SteamCity started on the first of September 2022 under the coordination of the Laboratoire d’Aix-périmentation et de Bidouille, Fablab of Aix-en-Provence (France). It has been funded by the Erasmus + programme as part of the call KA220-SCH - Cooperation partnerships in school education. It will last 3 years, with a dedicated budget of 400 000 EUR.
Developing challenging and engaging science learning experiences
STEAM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) education is an essential component of a continuum of learning for all and enables the development of active citizenship practices. Thanks to the scientific approach, human beings have the intellectual tools to become more conscious and responsible actors in their relationship with the world and in the transformation of societies. SteamCity's ambition is to help schools, teachers and students to adopt an inquiry-based approach to science education. This encourages the development of stimulating learning experiences, aimed at developing critical thinking, and increasing motivation and interest in STEAM subjects. In concrete terms, SteamCity is an experimentation toolkit designed for secondary school teachers to implement these investigations in their subject area. Thus, these experiments will enable students to act as informed citizens by addressing societal and environmental issues related to their territory.
Learn more about what is STEAM education by clicking here.
Investigate the world and promote schools as incubators of societal innovations
The development of science and technology allows us to act on our immediate environment and experimentation is a crucial step in understanding these issues. Through SteamCity, students will be able to question their interactions with the territories and understand the different challenges at stake by using their analytical, critical and logical reasoning skills. The experiments carried out by the citizen students will collect and analyse data of scientific value, which distinguishes citizen science from awareness raising. Promoting genuine scientific inquiry in society is a challenge as it requires the recognition of complex scientific concepts. SteamCity combines the understanding of these concepts, as developed in the secondary school curriculum, with the investigation approach. While the project focuses on understanding sustainable practices, the aim is not only to raise awareness of these issues but also to enable teachers to address the associated scientific topics behind in an engaging way without obliterating the complex and transdisciplinary nature of the subject.
Providing inclusive STEAM experiences
Developing better learning experiences for students also means promoting inclusion. The challenge of equality in STEM education is crucial, as science fields still carry persistent gender stereotypes, not to mention unequal access to the resources needed to promote innovative learning practices. Contributing to the emergence of more inclusive educational models and environments is therefore a goal of SteamCity. Providing students with interdisciplinary experiences related to the societal challenges behind science topics can increase the willingness to learn while enhancing the sense of achievement in science. In addition, SteamCity is committed to providing low-cost technologies for schools and promoting partnerships between school stakeholders and the outreach community to create more flexibility in accessing digital technologies.
The project will result in tools and resources that can be directly applied in the classroom, providing teachers and students with access to inspiring and challenging learning practices. Specifically, these tools will include:
The creation of the SteamCity inquiry set, including the definition of a pedagogical framework and associated inquiry tools and resources promoting interdisciplinarity. They will be instantiated in 7 fields: governance and citizenship, environment and well-being, mobility, climate, biodiversity, energy savings, AI and technologies.
The creation of an experimentation service, enabling to tool teachers to transform schools in fields of experimentation thanks to several practices including programming, data collection and the use of sensors.
The development of a data display platform, that will enable gathering in one area all the results from experimentations handled all over Europe.
The implementation of these tools will enable learners to understand the impact they can have on their environment through the development of their analytical skills, including creative problem-solving and computational thinking, key skills in preparing them for higher education.
Sébastien NEDJAR - L.A.B
From 01/09/2022 to 31/08/2025