Track on improving STEAM-ED is presented by Ede Tamkivi, CEO of non-profit Eesti 2.0 and Taavet Hinrikus, Co-founder and Chairman of TransferWise. Over the last 9 months, Tartu University carried out research on behalf of TransferWise to find out what is being done in Estonian schools to motivate youngsters to study IT and encourage them to see their future in IT, and how to help them to make an informed choice.
Previous studies have shown that the dropout rate for first-year university students in IT specialities in Estonia is 30% (compared to the EU average of 19%). The latest study by Tartu University had 740 students (grades 9 and 12) and 27 teachers from 19 schools participating in the survey, followed by 26 personal interviews. We came across some interesting results, for example less than half of the schools (40%) are integrating different subjects in order to teach STEM skills. Also, teachers are not able to keep up with the development of technology, tech is seldom integrated to study classes. IT teachers (76% of whom were self-taught) found that schools lack both IT-related study materials and IT teachers.
What could be done to improve the situation? Perhaps earlier intervention, as most of the activities to encourage studying tech takes place in high school. Is it too late then? How about inspiring site visits and meetings with role models and providing inspiration? Or encouraging gaming and independent experiments and more playful methods in learning IT? Which initiatives and/or extra-curricular activities can fill the gap and provide extra opportunities to learn more dynamically?
The keynote speakers of this track include Sanna Reponen, CTO of Mechanic and Saku Tuominen, Founder of HundeED from Finland as well as Natalia Simonenko, Founder Camp; CEO of Oyster from Russia. They will showcase stimulating examples of how to get the next generation up to speed to face the challenges of the future digital society.
Meet us at the Blue stage on Thu, 16 May at 14:00. Q&A to follow at TransferWise ‘Ask Me Anything’ area.