Primary Connections features at international conference on children's STEM education

December 10, 2019
Australians at the conference included (from left) Project Director of Little Scientists in Australia, Sibylle Seidler; Academy Education Director Claudette Bateup; Associate Professor Coral Campbell from Deakin University; and Academy Fellow Emeritus Professor Hans Bachor.

Two education experts from the Academy promoted the Primary Connections program at an important international conference on children’s STEM education in Berlin recently.

The Academy’s Secretary Education and Public Awareness Emeritus Professor Hans Bachor, and Director Education Claudette Bateup, represented the Academy at the International Dialogue on STEM Education 2019, the second in a series of biennial conferences on early STEM education. Professor Bachor was co-chair of the event program committee.

The event on 5 and 6 December brought together 100 scientists, representatives of leading STEM initiatives, and decision-makers in politics, economics, civil society and culture, all focusing on early childhood STEM education for sustainable development.

According to the conference organisers, global developments such as digitisation, climate change, increasing social inequality and migration will impact the lives of people still in pre-school today. The aim of early education should be to help children become self-determined adults who can help shape global challenges.

Primary Connections was one of seven education programs from six continents—and the only Australian one—specifically selected as highlights of the conference. Ms Bateup presented a workshop on ‘Not just numbers—how can we make the most of monitoring and measurement to drive change and improvement in STEM education for sustainable development?’ 

“Our hope is that the young generation, starting at just a few years old, will be better informed and develop a healthy critical but constructive and positive attitude to our rapidly changing world,” Emeritus Professor Bachor said.

“At the conference we discussed how this can be achieved across the world. We showcased and compared examples with great impact, including Primary Connections from Australia.”

The International Dialogue on STEM Education 2019 was a joint conference of the Haus de kleinen Forscher Foundation and Siemens Stiftung. It took place under the auspices of the German Commission for UNESCO.

© 2020 Australian Academy of Science

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