About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1585-1592
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1343

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

APRÈN AMB PITAVOLA: A CONTEMPORARY AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR AWAKENING STEM SKILLS

A. Dorca, C. Yáñez de Aldecoa, N. Macià, V. Llorente

Universitat d'Andorra (ANDORRA)
Over the last few years, the scope of the university, traditionally focused on young adults has been revisited; universities have started an opening process towards today’s information-driven society to contribute to the transformation of our education system. Since 2007, Universitat d’Andorra (UdA) has embraced this new era by implementing multiple initiatives in the framework of the UNESCO Chair Information Technologies: Training and solidary development. The case of small states. Among these initiatives, “Aprèn amb Pitavola” stands out as a contemporary approach to instill technology-related knowledge into primary schoolers.

The main goal of this non-profit initiative is to bridge the gap between children’s inherent ability to use technology and the actual interest in becoming more than mere users. These users should become tomorrow's inventors. In this regard, UdA is trying to revert the generalized steadily decline in Computer Science and tech-related vocations by inspiring students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers.

Adopting technology in the classroom—which is still an ongoing task—has significantly changed how contents are taught and learnt. This is currently overlapping with the need for integrating innovation and technology into the curriculum. Thus, the education field is facing a second revolution unleashed again by the digital era. The widespread adoption of such contents is challenging due to the rapid and evolving nature of technology. The UdA has taken this challenge up and explored how to implement a program that helps transitioning from tech-based extracurricular activities to subjects designed to both introduce and hone computational skills at school. To this end, a multidisciplinary team has examined and evaluated a diverse set of existing programs, platforms, and activities, and designed a pilot that fits the Andorran needs.

The pilot launched in September, 2016 with 40 students—ages ranging from 9 to 12—from two primary schools of different educational systems (Andorran and French). During the academic year, students met weekly for one hour and half at the university to learn how to code. The curriculum focused on teaching the basics of coding such as variables, conditionals, loops, algorithm construction, logical reasoning, decomposition, and patterns. Using Code Studio helped provide a fun environment where students practiced new concepts while playing with computer games and puzzles.

The purpose of this contribution is threefold:
1) describe this new program,
2) share the observations and conclusions obtained from the experience, and
3) discuss further steps for next year, which may entail promoting a wider movement.

This will lead to insightful discussions on how to successfully scale the program nationwide.
@InProceedings{DORCA2017APR,
author = {Dorca, A. and Y{\'{a}}{\~n}ez de Aldecoa, C. and Macià, N. and Llorente, V.},
title = {APR{\`{E}}N AMB PITAVOLA: A CONTEMPORARY AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR AWAKENING STEM SKILLS},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1343},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1343},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1585-1592}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Dorca AU - C. Yáñez de Aldecoa AU - N. Macià AU - V. Llorente
TI - APRÈN AMB PITAVOLA: A CONTEMPORARY AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR AWAKENING STEM SKILLS
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1343
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 1585
EP - 1592
ER -
A. Dorca, C. Yáñez de Aldecoa, N. Macià, V. Llorente (2017) APRÈN AMB PITAVOLA: A CONTEMPORARY AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR AWAKENING STEM SKILLS, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 1585-1592.
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