What an amazing experience! Now that I’ve recovered from the jetlag, I am thrilled to report that global collaboration among educators is alive and well. Having just hosted 100+ educators from 11 countries at our Catalyst Summit in New Delhi, I am more energized than ever before that STEM learning and teaching is about to be completely transformed. Let me tell you why…
(image from the side of the Agastya Foundation Mobile Science Lab bus)
The HP Catalyst Initiative is a bold, new approach to STEM education transformation. It is part of our intentional grant-making strategy to encourage collaboration and break the barriers and silos that hamper education reform – especially in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.
The first barrier is the acronym “STEM”. We need to replace it with something like “STEM+”, because the acronym is missing MANY letters (CS computer science, A&C arts and creativity, L&C literacy and communication, etc etc), and the disciplines are not disconnected as the acronym implies.
The second barrier to overcome a narrow, local view of learning. Our students are graduating into a global, flat, competitive world that requires the ability to navigate across timezones, cultures, and languages. Global Collaboration is a critical skill set for all students in the 21st century.
For this reason, the 2011 HP Catalyst Summit gives me reason to be hopeful. Educators from across the world were busy sharing their excitement and finding common ground in their efforts to improve learning and teaching. The HP Catalyst projects are exciting enough (you can download the “poster” book from the summit) – but the interconnections and collaborations are even MORE exciting.
If you’d like to follow the excitement, you can follow the network as they blog and tweet (#hpcatalyst) about their emerging innovations. I will also be sharing specific project innovations here in this blog in the weeks and months ahead.
Jim Vanides, B.S.M.E, M.Ed.
Education Program Manager
HP Office of Global Social Innovation