The widespread pandemic of COVID-19 has significantly interrupted the traditional training and education, as well as VET education, throughout Europe and the whole world. The current situation is forcing European educators to adapt in a short time interval towards digitising their classroom. However, the pandemic has already placed the education system to the test. The circumstances became worse by the fact that apprenticeships and learning by working, which reflects the practical training in VET has been discontinued in almost all Member States, according to the European Centre for Vocational Training report. Digitalisation and industry 4.0 are perhaps the most important drivers behind the profound transformation of the labour market, the way people work and the new digital skills required to meet the needs of the digitalised market.Drone technology stands out as fun and practical equipment for the contemporary classrooms, experiments, and exploration. Drone technology is a fascinating way to introduce students to STEM related professions, equip them with relevant skills and thus cover the gaps reported in the labour market to meet the new job creation arising. At the same time, it blends together all STEM fields such as maths and physics, electrical and mechanical engineering and computer science. It promotes other employability skills needed in the 21st century such as problem-solving, group work, leadership, creativity and initiative.
The DRONES@STEAM project proposal addresses three main priorities of the Erasmus+ Programme:
– Addressing digital transformation through development of digital readiness, resilience and capacity.
– Inclusion and diversity in all fields of education, training, youth and sport.
– Contributing to innovation in vocational education and training Based on the above, the DRONES@STEAM project will support VET trainers and educators in an attempt to strengthen their profiles with the acquisition of new skills, the development of targeted material, the collection of tools and resources, while at the same
time it will create opportunities for linking VET schools with the labour market building on synergies and partnerships with established organizations.
The key competences to be promoted as part of the project are:
– high digital skills which appear to be missing from VET curricula and are currently needed to enter the labour market and be included in VET job profiles
– targeted ‘wide and deep’ digital competences and the use of technologies leading to the 4.0 industry.
– job-specific VET related skills for various fields and sectors which are not offered as work-based learning opportunities or include danger or hazards for the workers.