About the project
Mind over Matter (MoM) is an Erasmus+ strategic partnership involving organizations from five countries. The goal of the project is to increase the motivation of young people to get involved in education programs in the STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). We believe that STEM has the ability to change the world for the better, therefore, in cooperation with our partners, we are working on creating innovative educational programs in which we will expand the field of STEM and inject a bit of art and creativity into it – STEAM (eng. Arts). This way, we want to raise interest of all young people to explore mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry and all other natural science subjects in a creative way.
The name of the project is Mind over Matter…
…was chosen because it emphasizes the power of the mind in solving everyday challenges and puzzles in English.
We distinguish the two approaches as follows: STEM is a scientific field, and by inserting art and creativity (that is, the “A” in STEM) the emphasis is placed on the learning process – an interdisciplinary approach is created in which knowledge from a wide range of different scientific domains is used, which, despite our need for division, in reality cannot be separated. We believe that by choosing the STEAM approach, we can enable young people, who at first do not recognize themselves as candidates for STEM careers, to gain a positive experience of these sciences. We can achieve this through activities that emphasize creative thinking in finding answers, as opposed to those that strictly follow a scientific structure to the answer. The goal is to show young people how the STEM scientific field implies expressing creativity, exploring the unknown, and having an open mind to discover new solutions to the things and phenomena that surround us every day.
Through the MoM project, we want to accentuate the importance of STEAM approach in the education of young people, which will break prejudices against science and technical subjects and increase the number of young people who continue further education in STEM fields. We believe that this is a crucial moment that will result in an increase in the interest of young people in choosing a STEM career.
Therefore, experts from partner organizations of the MoM project will develop an innovative approach to learning that is more focused on the solution, thereby increasing the confidence of young people to continue exploring the STEM field. The project partners will explore examples of good practice of STEAM education at the European level and define ways in which they can be further improved to be applied in the project. Through the analysis, they will develop a new methodology, i.e. a learning approach that will be used in education and organization of activities for young people who are not interested in STEM. The methodology will be based on an interactive environment in which young people will have to use skills from different domains to solve a given problem in an innovative way with the help of a mentor who will not offer traditionally prescribed solutions.
In order to test and confirm the success of the methodology, we will develop 40 STEAM pilot activities in which 500 young people will participate in online and offline environments. The target group is young people aged 13 to 18. The topics of the pilot activity will be related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and therefore related to the goal of STEM to create a sustainable and better world through it. In order to popularize the STEM field among young people and involve them in STEAM educational activities, we will conduct a one-year promotional campaign.
We will share the methodology we will develop with experts from the educational sector for the duration of the project, encouraging them to include it in their regular educational activities. By creating recommendations, which will present the methodology, its testing and the results of evaluations by external experts, we will try to influence decision-makers in the field of education and youth in such a way that they recognize the innovative STEAM methodology as an example of good practice and include it in their recommendations, plans and strategies.
Partners participating in the project with us are: AIN – Industry Association of Navarra (Spain), CRHACK LAB FOLIGNO 4D (Italy), Music Tech Fest (Sweden) and Siauliai Youth Technical Center (Lithuania). This project was co-financed by the European Union from the Erasmus+ program.