I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at Konnect2Africa’s Pioneering STEM in Africa Summit at the Royal Society in London (3rd & 4th December, 2015). A range of speakers were able to provide insights concerned with supporting African countries in capitalising on their intrinsic potential through STEM at a time of great opportunity and promise. The event was hugely successful. Speakers tackled a range of topics including women in STEM, entrepreneurship, media and research capital, educational and learning as well as opportunities for embracing and developing advanced technologies in areas such as space exploration and biomimetics. In addition to myself from the University of Glasgow, organisations included a range of HE institutions, STEMettes, UNESCO, Ignite, Guerilla Educators, Lightyear Foundation, TechWomen, Elsevier and NASA.
This was the first event of its kind and it is very much hoped that it will give rise to some innovative ideas, thinking and STEM collaborations that support African countries. You can follow the work of Konnect2Africa here: http://www.k2africa.com/index.php/page/topic/home
My own presentation focused first upon the philosophical characteristics of STEM subjects and the significance of these in conceptualising curricular subjects and the design of interdisciplinary learning. It then explored some of the questions around the teaching and learning challenges of encouraging effective STEM learning and thinking by pupils within classrooms. The slides for this can be viewed below: