Creating an ECO online Natural Fit Virtual Programs to Prepare Students for boosting 21st century Skills 4 the Future (UNITY)

The urgent need for digital changes in education has not been adequately realized. Partners from SE, TR, GR, HR, PT, and IT have identified that the current school curriculum does not meet the needs of future generations. Most teachers lack the skills and tools to teach future-oriented skills, and students struggle to adapt to the fast-changing nature of work and learning. Engaged teachers, students, and stakeholders are essential in driving the necessary digital and virtual transition from both bottom-up and top-down approaches. Providing learners with key competencies and skills through dedicated programs in school education can trigger and support this engagement.

UNITY aims to develop students’ future skills by implementing project-based learning in STEAM subjects, including science, technology, engineering, art, and math, within real-world contexts like climate change.

Teaching about climate change is a valuable and challenging topic that benefits communities, schools, teachers, and students alike. It is an interdisciplinary issue that fosters deeper thinking and reinforces learning in social science. Climate change education has been recognized as crucial in creating deep-thinking, engaged, and self-aware students. It offers students an understanding of their role in both the physical and civic environments. At the primary level, STEAM subjects are taught by generalists or specialists, while specialized education is provided at the secondary level.

Insufficient funding for STEAM education in schools has resulted in poor quality and inadequate equipment in primary schools across 26% and 38% of EU countries, respectively. According to a survey of 300 teachers from 98 schools, 87.9% of STEAM teachers in the surveyed regions are unfamiliar with teaching STEAM online, indicating a significant gap. This project aims to bridge the gap by providing online courses to equip primary school teachers with the necessary competencies and facilitating peer education among students. In the long term, the project aims to instill the importance of online cooperation, communication, and teamwork among students, fostering diverse perspectives and opinions that will shape their future fulfillment, smart and sustainable growth, economic resilience, lifelong learning, and digitalization.

Peer-group work and small group activities have a positive impact on students’ careers, increasing their chances in natural science-based “smart jobs.” It influences their choices in vocational education, study, and work environment. They will learn to utilize easily available resources and gain both theoretical and practical knowledge of sustainable technology. Teachers, in turn, will incorporate more digital tools and apps to blend formal, non-formal, STEAM, project-based learning, and online learning. They will guide and stimulate students to have diverse perspectives in their learning.