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CLIL and STEAM: sharing of good practice and experience - CLIL4STEAM: geroji praktika ir patirties pasidalijimas (E2)
Date of the Conference
Place of the Conference
Kaunas, Lithuania

On October 29th 2021, the final conference (Multiplier Event) of the project “CLIL for STEAM”, co-funded by the European Commission under the programme Erasmus+, took place in Lithuania. The conference was organized by Trakų Vytauto Didžiojo gimnazija with support of VšĮ "eMundus" (as associated partner in the project) in Kaunas at KTU Santaka Valley.

The conference brought together teachers, lecturers, external experts, future teachers and educators from different Lithuanian cities and institutions. More than 30 participants were registered for the event (28 from external institutions and non-official partners of the project).

After each speech during the conference there was a questions & answers session about the topics covered.

The first person to intervene during the conference was Vida Drąsutė (who was in charge of project international cooperation and  supported TVMG in management of the project), she presented the CLIL for STEAM project, its innovativeness and its main findings. Vida is an experienced project manager who has worked for formal, informal and non-formal education improvements. During her 15-years-long working experience in project management, she has dealt with the development of critical thinking, e-learning and STEAM systems and methodologies, as well as with the development of analysis on educational opportunities in different fields. Because of her experience and her role within the project she was the one who started the conference and explained the project in detail.

The conference programme was continued by one more member of another associate partner institution. Being a principal of Kaunas Juozas Grušas Art Gymnazium and an experienced teacher of Physics, Undine Diana Tumavičienė was invited at the conference to talk about how the teaching and training system has changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During her presentation, she highlighted the challenges caused by the pandemic, but also the opportunities to discover new teaching methods and tools and to exploit more the digital ones.

After that, Edita Rudminaitė took the floor, explaining her experience within CLIL for STEAM project. She is an engineer and designer who gained experience in developing technological solutions for educational projects. That is why, she participated firsthand in the development of materials to be included into the Video-Library and of other teaching materials. She explained to participants how local schools in Lithuania who were involved as associated partners selected the topics to be covered in each video, what was the process to develop the teaching materials and the videos, the added value of these elements and the main findings that were found out (for example, in terms of: students’ knowledge retention, clarity of the argument explained, ease of these tools, etc.).

Loreta Krinickienė, Biology teacher from Trakai Vytautas Magnus Gymnazium (official project’s partner institution) involved in the project (testing results, content development, collecting feedback from students, participating in the training), shared her experience and point of view on CLIL for STEAM. In particular, she illustrated the paths that led partners to develop some lesson plans and teaching materials. Moreover, she explained how the methodology of the project was used to review some teaching materials that already existed, but that became more effective thanks to the changes/adaptations that partners made and she made some examples. She highlighted how it is possible to adopt CLIL for STEAM results and methodologies also in other schools and with which benefits.

Moving forward, it was time for Judita Sarpiene's speech. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Glasgow and a master's degree in Psychology of Education at the University of Manchester. She has a solid experience as an English teacher and interpreter and, paraphrasing what she said, she moved by an unconditional love for her country of origin, Lithuania. That is whay she decided to take part, together with Tomsa Jankus, in the project "Create for Lithuania" that aims to create 7 interconnected STEAM centers, so as to strengthen the importance of this approach and to uniform thje action of schools in this fileld at national level. "Create for Lithuania" project lasted for one year and was finished in August 2020. In her speech she highlighted the role that STEAM plays in the development of students' and teachers' soft skills (cooperation, problem-solving, creativity, communication, etc.) and in increasing their motivation and engagement, presenting also some statistical data about that.

After the lunch break, representatives of four schools (Kauno Jono ir Petro Vileišių mokykla, Prienų Žiburio gimnazija, Panevėžio Kazimiero Paltaroko Gimnazija, Kauno Juozo Grušo meno gimnazija) that were involved into the CLIL for STEAM project as associated partners talked about their experience within the project, what benefits they experienced, what challenges they faced and what emerged from that. They stressed the importance of the project for their institutions and explained its impact on students and teachers.

Tomas Jankus obtained a bachelor’s degree in Public administration at Alexander Stulginski University and a master’s degree in Regional Development and natural resources management. He was active in the project “Create for Lithuania” together with Judita Šarpienė. He presented the partnership of STEAM centres,  their possible input for STEAM centres development and benefit for target groups.

After that, Loreta Krinickienė took the floor again to illustrate some feedback and testimonials of both teachers and students that participated in the testing phase of CLIL for STEAM results, summarizing the main findings and some trends that emerged from data collected during the evaluation and assessment phase. Moreover, she underlined how the project’s results were adapted according to the feedback received, to make them more responsive to the target groups’ needs.

Finally, Vida Drąsutė summed up what emerged from all the presentations, speeches and questions & answers sessions. After that, she invited all the participants to fill in the Evaluation questionnaire of the event and she thanked all of them for their contribution to the conference.

In conclusion, the event reached its goals in an effective way. Indeed, this conference was not only the occasion in which the project and its results were presented and appreciated by the participants, but it also created an opportunity for meeting and dialogue between experts in the STEAM sector and teachers who shared experiences and information, creating a fruitful dialogue.

Pictures Available