At the University of Hull, teachers and researchers who are active in the education project GIGS, which aims to increase students' interest in science and technology, gathered in early November.

2016-11-30 11:27

International project to increase girls' interest in science

How can we get more girls interested in science and technology? For three years, the University of Borås with Sandgärds School in Sandared, Sweden will participate in a European collaborative project that aims to increase students' interest in science and technology by including global issues and digital technology.

In addition to increased interest in science and technology, the Erasmus-funded project aims to help subject teachers bring digital technology and an increased global perspective to their teaching. It is also about digital learning in a global context joining with the school's local teaching traditions in science subjects.

"We need to get pupils more interested in developing their skills in engineering, mathematics, and science--especially girls. Many of the global problems we face can be solved by using the right science and technology, and because we know that girls are often interested in global issues and sustainable development, we have chosen to use this type of issue in this project," says Anne -Sofie Mårtensson who is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Borås.

A foot in different worlds

The project involves schools, universities, and research institutes from the UK, Poland, Cyprus, and Sweden. Anne-Sofie Mårtensson and colleague Tobias Ruhtenberg, together with teachers from Sandgärds School, just returned home from a kick-off meeting for the project at the University of Hull in the UK.

"It is exciting to be involved in a development project that has a foot in several different worlds--researchers from the university and we, the teachers in the school, contribute with different perspectives, while students also are involved and actively contribute to the content of the project," says Per Selin, teacher at Sandgärds School.

"For us at the University of Borås, this is an incredibly important and appropriate project on many levels. Working with sustainable development and digital technology are some of the local goals we have set for our teacher preparation programmes. In this project, we are able to develop new ways to tackle these issues while giving us an insight into how to work with them in other countries," continues Lecturer Tobias Ruhtenberg.

UN's sustainable development goals

The project is based on the UN's goals for sustainable development and will run over three years. During the project, a digital resource platform will be developed together with digital learning materials, where students participate and take responsibility for the actual writing. This summer, therefore, Sandgärd School students from grade nine will meet students from the other countries in the project in Warsaw, where they will jointly develop a teaching tool that can be used for teaching in grade six.

"It will be interesting to see how the students themselves formulate a teaching tool in science and if this leads to interest in the subject growing among the other students," concludes Tengblad, a teacher at Sandgärd School.

Text: Helen Rosenberg
Translated by: Eva Medin