HOW TO ENGAGE PARENTS IN STEM
1 Moves Center for Gender and Diversity (AUSTRIA)
2 Donau-Universität Krems (AUSTRIA)
3 OTELOeGen (AUSTRIA)
4 ovos play (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Parents, even more than pedagogues, are regarded to be the most essential gatekeepers for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) – a frequently cited term, as it stands for the competences which influence how individual participation in current and future technological innovation is shaped. Parental values establish the importance children give to these fields already at a very early stage. Though, parents frequently are not aware of their essential role and/or often do not have the necessary knowledge, experience or information to support their children. Moreover, there are hardly any projects or initiatives focusing on them - they are only considered to a minimal extent in research and development.
The “E-MINT"-project (www.e-mint.at) starts here and focusses on engaging and empowering parents to effectively take over their roles as coaches for their children in STEM. Framed by the recently developed “Science Capital” approach, the project develops a digital application intended to enable parents to encourage digital curiosity from their children.
This approach, developed by Louise Archer and colleagues to measure and specifically promote a person's scientific capital, builds on Pierre Bourdieu's cultural theory in which everyday life can be compared to a game where each person has different, transformable potentials which can be used and can interact with each other. These potentials arise from the different forms of capital, the rules for transformations are determined by the environment. The Science Capital approach thus translates Bourdieu's cultural theory for the demands of science learning in the 21st century, underlining the importance of 1) the existing private or even professional network - "who you know", 2) own activities and activities of educators with content or practical relevance - "what you do", 3) attitudes and commitment - "how you think", 4) the self-efficacy of a person - "what you think" in the scientific context.
Based on an extensive needs analysis involving parents and experts from research, stakeholders, and policy makers, we differentiated the contents of these four areas and adapted them to the needs and requirements of the very diverse group of parents. The main issues that emerged for area 4 are knowledge about demographic data, gender stereotypes, education paths, current and future career opportunities as well as technological developments. The participants will be offered the opportunity to become aware of their networks and to make use of them (area 1), attitudes (area 3) will be worked on with a variety of stories on (gendered) career choices their children might have, and we take up the practical relevance by offering parents the possibility to practically experience online supported 3D printing in their homes (area 2).
The presentation will give insights into how this content was designed and implemented along a digital card game in a motivating and gender-sensitive way in the E-MINT application.
"E-MINT" – Parents as Gatekeepers for their Children in STEM is funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology in the 5th Call for Proposals of the "FEMtech Research Projects" programme.
Keywords: Science Capital, STEM, Parents, Serious Games, Diversity.