STEAM+ newsletter: transdisciplinarity and talent development

STEAM+ Newsletter June 2022

Innovating STE(A)M in Higher Education with Transdisciplinary Talent Programs (STEAM+) is a large-scale innovative project with a holistic approach, aiming to provide educational policy makers with instruments to prepare new generations for handling the challenges of our time. The STEAM+ team proudly presents the latest project news and updates.

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In this newsletter:

  • STEAM+ Innovation Lab 3 in Linz, Austria 
  • STEAM+ Policy meet up in Linz, Austria
  • Partner student finalist at Geneva Health Forum
  • Join us in Leuven 8 September 2022
  • STEAM+ presented in conferences
  • Call for papers Journal European Honors Counciled.
STEAM+ Innovation Lab 3 – Linz Austria: Fun Solutions for Societal Challenges
Group picture Linz

Our third Innovation Lab took place on 9th-13th of May 2022, and was organized and hosted by the Johannes Kepler University- our Austrian partner in Linz. Participants included policy makers, students at different stage of their studies (from BA to PhD), and lecturers from the nine STEAM+ EU project partner countries, as well as invited experts and guest participants from Czech Republic and Sweden.

The lab kicked off on 9th of May 2022 with welcome speeches, and a set of exploratory interactive discussions to help lab participants to define their societal challenges from different perspectives. It continued with lectures about STEAM projects at JKU. The lab enhanced the knowledge and experience of the participants about using technology in education by conducting hands on workshops by German and Danish experts. Participants also had a chance to visit the ARS Electronica Centre in Linz. The Centre has a vast inner expanse showcasing a real mixed bag of exhibitions to allow visitors to experience how new technologies, especially artificial intelligence works.

People working in lab

After all the inspirational workshops, excursion and lectures, students, and teachers from different disciplines and countries were divided into five groups to work on finding a fun solution for their selected societal challenge and then to present it in an infographic format to the rest of the participants. All solutions were presented on the final day to an audience that also included the policy makers who had been working in parallel sessions.

The week was not without its mix of social events outside of the working lab. Gatherings of all participants took place each evening for dinner and drinks, networking and exchanging ideas.

Social meeting
STEAM+ Policy Meet-Up

The international policy meeting took place at Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria on 11th -13th May 2022, and ran in parallel with the Innovation Lab 3 (see above).

This event brought together policy and national educational representatives from the nine STEAM+ Partner EU countries as well as university professors, honours students and the Steering Committee of the STEAM+ project. The key element of their discussion was focused on the STEAM + ‘Menu for Policy Inspiration’, and to also exchange experiences about transdisciplinary education and gain inspiration from each other. The program was inspirational and allowed for discussions, increased awareness and experience exchange concerning challenges and opportunities in implementing STEAM+ programs at University and policy level.

People in a meeting

Although policy meet-up participants and those from the Innovation Lab had already met during social events, they formally came together on Friday 13th May for the final presentation of students’ solutions for societal challenges and to provide comments and feedback. This proved to be a highly positive and emotionally charged point on the agenda.

people speech
Partner student nominated at Geneva Health Forum (3-5 May 2022)

Jan Peter Sandler, an honors student from our partner at Leuven University, Belgium, was among the finalists nominated at the Geneva Health Forum ‘Science Speedtalk’ competition. Over the past two years, he has been a member of two different student teams within the transdisciplinary insights honors program and the professional learning team at the Institute for the Future. In the Forum competition, he presented on ‘Transdisciplinary Research on Pandemic Preparedness’. Each finalist had one minute to introduce themselves and three minutes to present their research. Jan-Peter Sandlers’ video presentation and the other presentations are available on YouTube

STEAM+ presented in conferences

The Higher Education Summit 2022 will take place at the campus of Hasselt University, Belgium from 6-8 September 2022.

Over these three days, the Summit will provide a comprehensive agenda including keynote speakers, parallel workshops and excursions. Under the theme “Daring to transform learning for a future-proof economy”, the Summit aims to bring together those with an interest in transforming higher education, for the benefit of a "safe and just space for humanity" (Raworth, 2017): people who study, teach, research, and contribute to governance at higher education institutions, and representatives of the business world, government, and civil society.

Our Belgian partner (KU Leuven) will be organising a session on the first day of the conference - Sept. 6 - from (14:30-15:30) with the focus on STEAM education and transdisciplinary education. We invite you to join us to rethink the traditional educational system, share your experiences and get inspired by what we have done in our STEAM+ project. The program also includes a student-led transdisciplinary exercise and a live interview with two pioneers in transdisciplinary education

Join us in Leuven 8 September 2022

For more information and registering for the conference, visit the website.  

Call for papers Journal European Honors Council

Journal of the European Honors Council invites contributions for a special issue on the topic of addressing complex problems in talent programs in higher education – Especially transdisciplinary approaches.

The grand challenges of our time are so complex and/or multifaceted that they can best be addressed using innovative approaches, such as interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary approaches. Such approaches require crossing boundaries between perspectives and science domains. Talent programs in higher education (i.e. programs aimed at assisting talented students in accelerating their growth) can provide particularly fruitful environments for students to prepare themselves for handling complex challenges through familiarizing themselves with inter-/transdisciplinary problem-solving.

The Council is looking for research papers of up to 5,000 words and edited notes of up to 2,500 words. Research papers should focus on presenting findings of a completed research project. Edited notes can contain a brief summary of (preliminary) findings or good practices.

More information about the Journal of the European Honors Council

Thank you for reading our newsletter of STEAM+ Innovating STE(A)M in Higher Education with Transdisciplinary Talent Programs!

Visit our web page to find out more the STEAM+ project and its partners and read blogs.

Project Coordinator: Prof. Marca Wolfensberger, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands.

STEAM+ newsletter editor: University of Oslo, Norway


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