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This is not a new observation: Girls are under-represented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields of study. In companies, it is the same thing: women occupy only 22% positions in technology at Apple, 20% at Intel, 18% at Google, 17% at Microsoft and 16% at Facebook.
It is to reverse this trend that Julie Bergevin, a teacher in the Childhood Education department at Collège Laflèche, has devised a creative way to introduce science to young children.
Last fall, the École branchée team met at a congress this passionate teacher who has an innovative project. Today, thanks to the collaboration of many partners and the funding of the NovaScience program (Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation), but above all thanks to Julie's determination, the project has officially taken off .
Make a difference from an early age
Convinced that several elements influence the participation, progression and success of girls and boys in STEM and that child care is an integral part of the solution, Julie developed the ESTIME project.
ESTIMATE for Ewatch out Ssciences, to Technologies, atIengineering and Mathematics from theEchildhood. ESTIMATE also because this project aims to increase the self-esteem of children through STEM and to increase the feeling of competence of future early childhood educators in the different fields of science.
Julie's ultimate goal: to increase girls' interest in science and technology studies programs by putting them in contact with technological tools and female role models and to deconstruct certain prejudices about jobs related to science.
“We know: the child learns through play. While having fun, he will be able to learn that the field of science is stimulating, varied and that it is not accessible only to boys. "
Thanks to a collaboration with the Department of Natural Sciences, the Early Childhood Education students of Laflèche College will have access to the various laboratories (chemistry, physics, biology) as well as to LAB 321 equipped with 3D printers and 'laser cutting. They will thus be able to live experiences and equip themselves in science and technology to then use the concepts learned in the development of educational activities.
A most inspiring collaboration between two fields of study that are not used to working together.
"Science is not just for scientists, but for everyone who is interested in it"
Integrate science and technology in the training ofEarly childhood education
Initially, the ESTIME project aims to equip early childhood educators so that they are able to awaken children to STEM. This approach will be designed and taught within the program itself.Early childhood education, and this throughout the three years of the program. Secondly, the students will be encouraged to apply the concepts learned and the different strategies with the children during their internship and during their careers.
In addition, a website will be designed for the different educational institutions that offer the program. Childhood education. It will contain tools, capsules and references to guide early childhood educators.
"Children who spend several hours a week in the company of their educator who understands the importance of STEM will benefit from a more stimulating learning environment where they will be able to carry out science-related projects while having fun. , without any stress of academic performance ”