The partnership of this project, composed of 10 partners, from 6 different countries, involved vet schools, universities, SMEs and Order/association of Engineers.
It addressed a common European need related to the lack of qualified staff within technical and engineering professional areas, especially women. It also intended, indirectly, to increase labour market relevance of VET courses, specially attracting girls into more technical VET areas so that a balance of gender was achieved.
Our project aimed at intervening among 8th and 9th grade students – and female students in particular. By increasing their exposure to technical areas and engineering professions and by promoting the learning of STEM related subjects through creative and innovative teaching practices, to be included in the subjects of Sciences, Maths, Physics and Chemistry, we also contributed, among others, to deconstruct gender stereotypes, promote gender equality within these areas, increase labour market relevance of VET courses and review negative pre-conceived ideas related to VET learning paths.
ENGINE4F supported an “Awareness > Action Plan” methodology in the first two years and the study of the impact in the third year of its application, followed by the development of a set of activities, separated by area, related to STEM subjects and to be implemented in Sciences, Maths, Chemistry and Physics classes, as a way to complement them and to enhance student’s motivation and predisposition for learning.
Activities within this methodology resulted in an e-manual.
The project also comprised the creation of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE – http://www.pragmaeng.it/engine4f/ ), which acted as a portal giving information on career areas, curiosities, examples of career opportunities within each area, possibility to upload or download documents, etc.
At the end of this project it was expected that not only the number of female students and students in general pursuing VET courses focusing on engineering/technical areas increased, but also preconceived negative ideas related to VET courses and engineer career opportunities decreased. A better understanding of employment opportunities related to these areas, along with increased motivation for learning Maths, Physics, Sciences and Chemistry, development of soft-skills leading to decision-making, problem-solving, etc. (through activities implemented also in each school of the partnership), was also expected and achieved.