Industry stakeholders discussed MST education
European Schoolnet organised 6 December 2007 a maths, science and technology (MST) education meeting with high-level participants from the industry. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange knowledge about industrial cooperation with education in the field of MST. In their statements representatives of companies like IBM, Microsoft, Volvo and Siveco agreed that more cooperation is needed between industry and MST education.
The success and continuity of industry depends strongly on the supply of graduates from universities. To ensure that interest in science education remains high, it is essential to bring out how science is taught at schools.
Participants outlined in their statement, how industrial stakeholders could be used in MST education. Industry could
- support teachers in the education in subjects of MST;
- support teachers’ training in the field of MST;
- give information about the interesting career possibilities via MST studies, and
- provide role models to attract children in the world of MST.
Industry could also help to polish the image of science in media and in society in general, and to improve the access and awareness of companies’ programmes for science education. It is also needed to
- create framework for cooperation across stakeholders;
- create long-term collaborative initiatives, and
- inform policy makers at EU and country level to increase the value of companies’ contributions to MST education.
Marc Durando from the European Schoolnet outlined a scheme for cooperation between the education sector and industry, to meet the needs of both teachers and pupils. The cooperation activities could be based on three main axes:
- Promotion of industrial initiatives and programmes at pan EU level; exchange of experience
- Deploying pedagogical communications campaigns to raise interest in MST and MST careers (including events bringing scientists and students together)
- Provision of MST resources via a learning resource exchange
The meeting took place as part of European Schoolnet’s annual EMINENT conference.