Without special attention to STEM – the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics - there will be no good future for the Polish, European and the Global Education .
The first conference of the series events dedicated to "Lean in STEM" - with the leading theme "How to support women in science and technology?" was held in Warsaw on the 30th of June 2015.
Distinguished guests from around the world, dozens of prominent panelists, the final of the first ranking of the STEM high schools – this is how we can briefly summarize the first Polish STEM conference - the initiative of "Perspectywy" Educational Foundation held at the Copernicus Science Centre. Its participants (more than three hundreds of them) pointed out that the event launches revolutionary changes both in the way of teaching science and in relation to the role of women in science, technology and innovation in Poland.
The inaugural lecture was delivered by Andrea Jones, responsible for projects related to the popularization of STEM in the American Space Agency NASA. Her performance - under the title: America Goes STEM: How Does NASA Support Girls and Women in Science? - About US policy in the field of support of STEM (with special emphasis on the needs of girls) and for popularizing initiatives, which was a great introduction to discussions and presentations during the whole conference. The ambition of the organizers was to raise awareness among both the conference participants and authorities, organizations, education system and the higher education officials, how important this area of knowledge and action is for the future of us all.
Another breakthrough was the announcement of the first ranking of the best schools in science subjects - the first “Ranking of the STEM high schools – Perspectywy 2015”.
The winner of the Ranking was: XIVSecondary school named after Stanislaw Staszic in Warsaw.
One of the key partners of the STEM Ranking was AGH University of Science and Technology: We gladly accepted the invitation as this initiative fits our needs and expectations in the field of STEM perfectly, - said prof. Tadeusz Slomka, AGH Rector and the Chair of the Ranking Chapter.
During the conference there was officially launched the Women's Mentoring Lean In High Tech Program – the initiative aimed at supporting female students and graduates of technical universities in planning and building a career in the technology industry (for subject-matter engineering and management skills). The program united 10 outstanding women-mentors involved in the technology industry – from both Poland and the USA, each of them will guide one of the girls selected for the mentorship program.
During the conference, there was a total of five plenary sessions and two workshops, the events took place in eight separate rooms. This division was meant for the topic differentiation - the ideas presented during the STEM conference were addressed to different audiences, including children. And it really worked!
The next step of “Perspektywy” Education Foundation is the National Campaign “Girls as Engineers!” (original name in Polish: "Dziewczyny na politechniki!") meant to encourage girls to take interest in the STEM fields.
On the April 7, 2016 the best 20 Polish technical universities will invite high school female students to take part in the "Nationwide Open Day: For Girls Only"