O objetivo do projecto “Boats4Schools: An Educational Challenge“ é desenvolver uma metodologia lúdica e educacional que capte a atenção dos jovens para a importância das oportunidades educacionais STEM como um caminho possível para as suas futuras carreiras.
The methodology to be developed in the project is oriented as a youth challenge for young students (12-17 years old), that can be replicable anywhere in the world. The methodology is based on a challenge where student´s (working in teams) will have to build a small Boat (miniature) under a set of rules like powered by a sustainable energy source or building the boat from a specific material, and, by doing that they will have to get in contact with several technologies like 3D design, Additive Manufacturing, Cloud Manufacturing, Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools, Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools, High performance computing (HPC), Math, Physics, Innovative thinking, creativity and so many other skills. At the same time that students are building their Boat and preparing the Boat for the Challenge they are learning relevant contents related to STEM+A (Art/Creativity), with the help of a tutor (teacher) that will guide them towards the creation of the best Boat that will compete in the Challenges (Regional School Challenges, National and International Challenges). Further to the STEM+A (meaning STEAM) related contents, each team of students will be asked to work other competences like marketing their boats and get sponsors, working leadership and presentation in front of a jury, self-employment and entrepreneur techniques among other transversal skills. This empowerment as a team, will be an important asset to promote social inclusion among youngsters.
The methodology that the project expects to create is based on an extracurricular activity following a contemporary educational approach – learn by doing – with the power to stimulate pupils attention and given them the opportunity to promote the self-learning , active participation and independent (self) development in educational fields that are not often easy to engage the students.
With Boat4Schools, the partners expect to create a friendly way to engage young students to be more positive about STEM career paths and encourage them to choose STEM studies.