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Teaching community has presented new standards for delivering gender-sensitive STEM lessons in schools

19 December 2019

Kyiv, December 16 - The All-Ukrainian Conference for the teaching community “Best Gender-Sensitive STEM Lessons: How to Teach” was held. 20 STEM teachers presented the best teaching methods in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, technology, astronomy, geography, biology, and foreign languages in schools. The event took place as part of the All-Ukrainian Contest “The Best STEM Lesson”. Organizers: CSR Ukraine, CSR Development Center expert organization, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

The All-Ukrainian Competition “Best STEM Lesson” took place from September to December 2019 to help teachers promote STEM education and motivate girls to study STEM subjects on equal terms with boys.

“For the second year in a row, together with UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, we have organized the All-Ukrainian Contest “Best STEM Lesson”. This is a fabulous initiative allowing the teaching community not only to change their teaching approach, but to share their experience and knowledge with others. We strive to ensure that designed lessons develop the 21st Century skills among children. STEM is not only physics and mathematics, it is an integration of disciplines that develop creativity, research skills, teamwork, and encourage to study science and technology”, says Maryna Saprykina, Head of CSR Development Center.

The teaching communities from different regions of Ukraine submitted 245 individual and team lessons to participate in the contest. The authors of the top 20 gender-sensitive STEM lessons presented their projects during the final part and competed for a cash prize of 5,000 hryvnias. The teachers’ initiatives presented are as follows: integrated STEM lessons on foreign languages and natural sciences using VR and AR technologies, modeling of LEGO construction sets, development of a lap-book on chemistry, environmental and astronomical research lessons on the solar system, STEM-project "Making geysers for bath", etc.

The expert jury evaluated the presented lessons according to several criteria: relevance of the chosen topic, creativity, innovativeness, use of equipment and gender sensitivity. The importance of gender sensitivity in school education was emphasized by Nataliia Koshovska, Program Analyst at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA): “Unfortunately, the modern world is far from the ideal of equal rights and opportunities for women. In Ukraine, only 20% of women are represented in the Parliament, roughly the same number of girls work in the IT sphere. Using initiatives such as the Best STEM Lesson contest, the Hackathons for the teaching community and various training activities, we want to provide girls with the opportunity to prove themselves and be more economically secure”.

Consequently, the authors of the 5 best STEM lessons were selected, and each of them received a money award of 5,000 hryvnias. Winners: Olena Shapovalova and Olena Kovaliova (Kramatorsk) with a project of an integrated STEM-lesson on mathematics and computer science called "Skyscrapers of the World". The aim is to present to the students the practical orientation of mathematical knowledge and to promote the elimination of gender stereotypes in the field of architecture, scientific and technical professions; Yurii Pakhomov (Ivano-Frankivsk), Lap-book "Mysteries of Water", augmented reality technology; Zoya Kyianets (Kyiv), STEM-classes "KITCHEN SCIENCE": an English language lesson integrated with biology and chemistry, aimed at overcoming the stereotype that woman’s place is in the kitchen and involving girls as well as boys in the performance of tasks; Iryna Petriv (Ternopil): an experimental STEM lesson “Human visual sensory system” developing students' critical thinking, environmental literacy, ability to work in a team and analyze results; Nataliia Naidion and Liudmyla Bezperstova (Poltava region): STEM lesson “Creation and research of the sun tracking system”, which aims to interest girls in STEM specialties, namely in energy.

During the conference, teachers took part in a master class on teacher's rights by Maxim Stepanov’s Foundation, presentation of booklets on mining professions by Metinvest company and saw the results of this year's Hackathons. Projects developed during the Hackathons are available on the website.

The record of the final conference online broadcast can be viewed at the link. The best gender-sensitive STEM lessons 2019 are Available on the online platform https://stem-lesson.info/krashhi-stem-uroki-2018-i-2019/ for all teachers to share the best examples of STEM lessons.