The new RAISE Careers app and Open Educational Resource Pack by the Erasmus+ Project RAISE
The Erasmus+ Programme provides various opportunities for further innovations and sharing of practices in the fields of education, training and youth. However, the actions under the Key Action 2, with the involvement of various organisations from different participating countries seek to achieve the development, transfer and implementation of innovative practices at organisational, local, regional, national, and European levels.
Raising Awareness and Interest in STEAM Employment (RAISE) is an example of such project. Led by Malta’s Interactive Science Centre, Esplora together with other partners including the United Kingdom, Italy, Slovenia and Luxembourg, this project served as a platform for creating various educational resources which would help motivate more the uptake of STEAM subjects. Through this project, we were able to provide details on the abilities and soft skills needed by workers for STEAM professions in particular, with a focus being given to VET education. The theme which was the idea behind the development of such activities is ‘De-Stereotyping Stereotypes’. The idea behind these activities is to encourage students to target stereotypes frequently observed in the partner countries and the need to promote VET careers free from bias and labels.
This educational resource was developed in a way that can be used in different contexts and environments. Moreover, through the development of innovations such as science communication modules and work-based learning, the project addresses the issue of skills gap and the need to raise more awareness through various media and communication channels.
These activities include storytelling activities, memory games and various links which direct the user to various printable material and activity plans aimed for children between the ages of 8 to 14 years. This pack includes various workshops such as the Science Career Storytime, where one can read about four Maltese STEM professionals including a biologist, a chemist, a teacher, and an engineer. Career guidance teachers, home schoolers and educators can make use of this knowledge to empower children, make STEM subjects more attainable, humanize science and counter stereotypes. This educational resource packs can be accessible for free online via the project website https://raiseprojecteu.com/.
Apart from this educational resource pack, the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) developed a mobile application entitled ‘RAISE Careers’. This application provides guidance and counselling on Vocational Educational Training careers in Europe, with the primary focus being placed on the partners countries and would help to motivate users to take up a career in STEM. This application has a quiz- game format where the user is asked different questions relating to their hobbies and character which would then link these answers to a list of possible STEM professions and subjects which would be suggested according to the answers given. The ‘RAISE Careers’ application can be downloaded for free on smartphone through the Play Store.
Throughout this project which commenced in 2017 and ended in December 2020, students had the chance to engage with numerous STEAM experts such as aviation engineers, VR programmers and marine biologists among others during the National STEM Careers Expo between the 21st and 26th January 2020, use various interactive exhibitions at our science centre and participate in science communication activities that would encourage them take up STEAM subjects and progress in a STEM profession.
Furthermore, through this website one can go through a variety of public events that took place in Luxembourg, Slovenia and Malta.