• This education-focused conference will bring together some of the most successful international and local projects promoting learning in science and technology with a humanistic approach. It will take place at UPC’s Diagonal Nord Campus
• This year marks a turning point for STEAMConf Barcelona, with a new agreement signed by the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) and STEAM SokoTech from the Fundació Ciència en Societat. The agreement will strengthen collaborations between the learning community and cutting-edge science and technology
From October 13-15, STEAMConf Barcelona 2022, an international education conference, returns to Barcelona. The event, which will take place in the Vèrtex building at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – BarcelonaTech (UPC), has become an annual must-attend conference for the educational community. It is a space where local and international experimentation with new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) learning environments is fostered and accelerated.
STEAMConf Barcelona 2022 is organised by STEAM SokoTech from the Fundació Ciència en Societat, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), in collaboration with the Barcelona City Council -through Barcelona Ciència i Universitats-, and the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Department of Education.
In its eighth edition this year, the conference will focus on project-based and problem-based learning connected to real research through enquiry, experimentation, reasoning, and cooperation. This set of methodologies makes learning meaningful and motivating. The aim is for students to become active co-creating citizens of the human-scientific-technological sphere, and of its objectives, strategies, and values.
Mariona Cíller, founder and director of STEAMConf Barcelona, adds that “Young people face an uncertain future with complex challenges as a result of the legacy left behind by current generations. If we are able to build learning environments now that motivate them to seek out solutions to these challenges, and to ask themselves informed and critical questions using science and technology, then they will have the tools needed in the future.”
STEAM skills and competencies for an uncertain future
Many future occupations will be related, to a greater or lesser extent, to STEAM disciplines. This is why institutions in Catalonia and elsewhere are working to promote interest in these disciplines among students, focusing especially on girls and young women, with the aim of closing this sector-specific gender gap.
Fatiha Nejjari, vice-rector of Teaching and Students at the UPC, states that “the lack of women in STEAM-related sectors means a great loss of talent for society. The UPC as a public university that assumes the responsibility and commitment of building a fair and equal society, promotes different strategies and projects to take advantage of women’s talent and break gender stereotypes. One of these projects, the programme ‘Aquí STEAM’, addressed to girls and boys between 9 and 14 years old, has as its main objective the attraction of talented women in Technology, Engineering, Architecture, and Science studies.”
Sarah Alexander, director of the Cabaret Mechanica Theater, and her unsettling automatons, will open STEAMConf Barcelona 2022. The conference programme includes WORKSHOPS to explore, design, and practice STEAM learning experiences, resources, and environments; LOCAL EXPERIENCES, featuring some of the most significant STEAM projects created in Barcelona and Catalonia; a PERFORMANCE by all participants; and CONVERSATIONS with international and local experts that promote multidisciplinarity, critical and strategic thinking, construction rather than depiction, and problem-solving through trial and error to question and explore new solutions to challenges.
Núria Bayó Puxan, director of programmes at BIST and member of the STEAMConf 2022 steering committee, gives an example of the programme: “Meirav Bass, director of pedagogical resources at the Institute of Science Education-Weizmann Institute in Tel Aviv, will talk about the iScientist programme, which brings scientists into the classroom and prepares teachers to encourage curiosity and questioning. BIST has just signed an agreement with this prestigious institution to adapt iScientist to our context and to bring it to schools in Catalonia“.
Registration for STEAMConf is open now at https://steam.soko.tech/en/steamconf22-en/ where you will find the full programme.