A new project to help STEM educators with problem-solving techniques

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Oct 15, 2021

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Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers are encouraged to enrol on a six-week programme designed to help educators learn STEM design thinking methodologies.

The Design Thinking in STEM is a new collaborative project between Siemens Stiftung and Africa's first design thinking school, the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking at the University of Cape Town (d-school).

The programme aims to foster creative problem-solving in STEM classrooms. It is run in a series of multi-day workshops commencing from 23 October to 27 November 2021. STEM educators are subsidised.

Participants will be introduced to the basic principles of design thinking with the aim of capacitating educators to adapt the thinking approach into their STEM classrooms, while tackling the challenges of the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Goals (WEF SEG’s).

Christine Niewöhner, Senior Project Manager of Education at Siemens Stiftung, said the project aims to support schools and educators with a holistic, design-based approach to nurture the creative potential in students while preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century.

“Educators for STEM subjects face the unique challenge of presenting broad and complex subject matter to their students in a way that is accessible and relevant for their everyday lives,” said Niewöhner .

Richard Perez, d-school’s founding director, added the project can help ground abstract and overwhelming topics, making them tangible and engaging. He said it will bring students’ voices and lives into the STEM classroom, unlocking their creative potential in a more impactful and collaborative way.

“This thinking approach helps students break down complex, real-world problems and then discover innovative solutions that address the needs and struggles of specific people. This makes it a flexible tool for the classroom that can be adapted to work in parallel with the STEM curriculum while encouraging thinking across subject streams for both students and teachers,” said Perez.

Benefits for educators:

  • An introduction to and practical training in Design Thinking
  • Experience a student-centered approach to Education for Sustainable Development
  • The opportunity to collaborate with peers
  • A certificate of participation
  • Ideas and templates to use in the classroom
  • Membership in a developing design-led community of practice
  • Catering is provided for all face to face workshops

Register here or email [email protected]

Dates:

  • 23 October 2021 - Face to Face
  • 27 October 2021 - Online
  • 3 November 2021 - Online
  • 10 November 2021 - Online
  • 17 November 2021 - Online
  • 24 November 2021 - Online
  • 27 November 2021 - Face to Face

(Presentations & Certificates)

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