About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7629-7634
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0368

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain


For a set of nations in world or even for a single nation, it is a challenging goal to foster STEM education due to both dimension and context. Dimension includes the region area and the quantity of children to be reached. Context includes the specificities of that region, for instance language and culture. In this way, it is needed a range of programs to be able to deal with the cause of STEM promotion. A program entitled “Women in STEM” was designed in a partnership between an Engineering school and a health-care company. For almost three years, we are working on initiatives to spark the STEM interest in girls, and also to develop women already in STEM careers. Since knowledge and practice are not stable, it is needed to review periodically the program in order to make it dynamic and responsive to changing demands. Moreover, it is desired to going-to-scale approach aiming to increase the coverage of the program.

There are two main approaches to replicate or scale social programs: universal or contextual. In the universal approach, proponents share a belief in universal principles, which can be applicable to a very wide band of practices and situations. In the contextual approach, the emphasis is on local practice, local initiative, spontaneity, mutual learning and problem solving. Considering the goal of our program, the contextual approach is more suitable. The contextual approach considers that a recognized model is not required, success is measured in terms of adaptation and sensitivity to each unique local context, and the communication flow is a two-way process of convergence where participants create and share information.

Supported by the contextual approach, we started to study possible scaling-up strategies based on knowledge transfer and dissemination of our initiatives. Previous research state directives and learned lessons regarding scaling-up strategies, for instance it is important to consider cultural diversity and local needs. One relevant learned lesson is that the current program needs to offer evidence that it has a positive effect on the target group and should, therefore, be supported or emulated. Another way of disseminating good practice is networking of networks, comprising autonomous subsystems where participants have the capacity to act and learn in a voluntary and collective action. Moreover, knowledge should be not imposed, but owned or internalized by users. In this way, it is more effective to present users a range of options and possibilities, rather than promoting one particular model, which in turn would allow them to make comparisons and to select and combine elements to suit their particular environment.

In order to provide a baseline to our program diffusion, we firstly focused on structuring our materials and developing a platform to make them available online. The structuring includes the definition of layout to our lectures’ presentations, and the definition of a standard document to describe our workshops. We then designed six strategies, as follows: to promote visibility for the program in society; to identify and keep volunteers; to identify and maintain partnerships; to participate in debates to disseminate the program; to offer a practical activity to support the reasoning about new programs; and to participate in scientific congresses related to the area. In this paper, we will detail each strategy, discussing their goal, implementation and initial results.
author = {Oliveira, N.M.F. and Resende, A.T. and Ferreira, G.R. and Machado, A.F. and Bezerra, J.M. and Silva, M.M. and Piani, R.C. and Santos, L.R. and Martins, C.A. and Teles, L.K.},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0368},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0368},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {7629-7634}}
AU - N.M.F. Oliveira AU - A.T. Resende AU - G.R. Ferreira AU - A.F. Machado AU - J.M. Bezerra AU - M.M. Silva AU - R.C. Piani AU - L.R. Santos AU - C.A. Martins AU - L.K. Teles
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0368
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 7629
EP - 7634
ER -
N.M.F. Oliveira, A.T. Resende, G.R. Ferreira, A.F. Machado, J.M. Bezerra, M.M. Silva, R.C. Piani, L.R. Santos, C.A. Martins, L.K. Teles (2018) STRATEGIES FOR SCALING A STEM EDUCATION PROGRAM, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 7629-7634.