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29 June 2021

International Dialogue Kick-off: The First Peer Meeting

The "International Dialogue on STEM Education" (IDoS), launched in 2017, continues with a first get-together of its new peer members.

A Zoom conference with eleven peer members
© Stiftung Kinder forschen
In June 2021, the newly established Peer Dialogue between members of three leading educational organisations from Germany and the US took place for the first time.

Main Topics and Results

In their inaugural virtual meeting, the new peer members of the "International Dialogue on STEM Education" (IDoS) have shared insights on their organisation's educational work around the globe. They discussed topics they would like to address in the next peer meetings to come and to share their expertise on. An understanding was created about how the three peer organisations – and others to join them – are planning to work together in the future, following their common goal to promote high quality early STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering/Computer Science, and Mathematics) for Sustainable Development.

Three Peer Organisations: Working Towards a More Sustainable Future

The kick-off meeting of the International Peer Dialogue on STEM Education brought together nine representatives of three peer organisations, developing the field of STEM Education in their respective regions: the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) in Washington, Siemens Stiftung in Munich, and the "Haus der kleinen Forscher" Foundation in Berlin. The peers are the first three members of the newly formed IDoS- Peer Initiative, each peer organisation working as part of and promoting a wider network, motivated to learn from and with the best players in the field of early STEM Education for Sustainable Development. All Peers share a common ground regarding their mission and approach of empowering people and communities, engaging educational institutions in STEM Education, enhancing children's educational chances, and contributing to sustainability in education and society.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center is an organisation of the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to transforming "K-12" education (from kindergarten up to the twelfth grade) through science, in collaboration with communities across the globe. Using a transdisciplinary approach, they want students to understand but also explore and engage with STEM-related topics more deeply to develop a sustainable mind set.

As a non-profit corporate foundation, Siemens Stiftung promotes sustainable social development, which is crucially dependent on access to basic services, high-quality education, and an understanding of culture. To this effect, the Foundation's project work supports people in taking the initiative to responsibly address current challenges.

The non-profit Stiftung Kinder forschen (previously "Haus der kleinen Forscher" Foundation) is Germany's largest early childhood education initiative in the domains of science, technology, engineering/computer science, and mathematics (STEM Education). With an accompanying focus on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the aim of the programme is to strengthen children for the future, provide them with important skills, and enable them to act in a sustainable way.

Read also about the Partners of the International Dialogue.

Peer Dialogue: Structuring the International Dialogue on STEM Education

Crucial to the structuring of the International Dialogue was a discussion of the roles of each member organisation and the definition of topics most relevant for the dialogue. All Peers are prepared and eager to actively join the Peer Dialogue on the collectively selected topics, thus deepening and broadening their knowledge in the field of Early STEM Education (for Sustainable Development) and scaling the impact of their own work in their respective country. Complementary, the "Haus der kleinen Forscher" Foundation, supported by Siemens Stiftung, serves in a coordinating role facilitating the dialogue meetings.

The next peer meeting is planned for the end of September 2021, focusing on the organisations' network structures.

In the meantime, find out more about our International Peer Dialogue.