Empowering Girls in STEM: Summer VET Academies Focus on Sustainability Across Europe

The Persistent Gap: Why Women Remain Underrepresented in STEM

Despite significant progress in education, women remain vastly underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. This persistent gender gap has far-reaching consequences, limiting the potential of both women and society as a whole. Let’s delve into the root causes of this issue and explore ways to bridge the divide.

A series of factors have been identified as the roots of the problem, including stereotypes and bias, the lack of role models, several educational pipeline issues, often work-life balance challenges etc. In order to address this persisting issue, numerous efforts are underway, aiming to bridge the gap, ranging from early exposure to STEM, mentorship, and promotion of role models, addressing of bias, and family-friendly policies.

Achieving gender equality in STEM requires a multifaceted approach. By dismantling stereotypes, fostering a culture of inclusivity, and providing the necessary support structures, we can empower more women to embrace these exciting and impactful fields. A more diverse STEM workforce will bring a wealth of new perspectives and lead to groundbreaking innovation for the benefit of all.

A Hands-On approach: SECOVE Summer VET Academies “She Creates”

A unique initiative is launching across Europe, offering 180 girls in secondary education the chance to explore the exciting world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) with a focus on sustainable energy. This summer, nine Summer VET Academies will be held in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, and Spain, empowering young women to consider careers in these vital fields.

Organized by a collaborative partnership of educational institutions across Europe, these two-week academies will provide a stimulating and engaging environment for girls in lower and upper secondary education. The academies will offer participants a unique blend of:

  • Orientation to technical VET study programs: Students will gain valuable insights into various vocational education and training (VET) programs available in their regions, equipping them with knowledge about potential career paths.
  • Hands-on STEM activities: Learning goes beyond theory with interactive and practical activities focused on STEM concepts related to sustainable energy. These activities will allow girls to experiment, problem-solve, and discover the practical applications of STEM in a fun and engaging way.

Each organising institution is going to design a unique program, that allows them to reflect its specific context and available study programs. This will ensure a diverse and enriching experience for participants, catering to the unique educational landscape of each region.

The Road to Success: Organizing the Academies

The collaborative spirit extends beyond the academy experience itself. The success of these programs relies on the dedicated efforts of the partner institutions, who will be responsible for:

  • Developing engaging summer VET academy programs: Each institution will create a curriculum that blends theoretical knowledge with practical activities, ensuring a well-rounded and stimulating learning experience.
  • Open invitation to female students: Reaching out to potential participants is key. Institutions will actively engage with nearby schools and utilize various channels to ensure awareness of the program and encourage female students to apply.
  • Organization and evaluation of the program: From logistics to participant feedback, each partner institution will meticulously organise and evaluate the academy, ensuring a smooth learning journey and valuable takeaways for all involved.

These Summer VET Academies promise to be a catalyst for change, inspiring girls to embrace STEM and explore careers in sustainable energy. By providing a supportive environment and fostering a love for science and technology, these programs have the potential to empower the next generation of female leaders in these critical fields.

Written by idec on .