The ever-increasing use of technology in all aspects of modern life has made the youth to be dependent on online activities while interest in offline learning activities is lost. For students to engage in school subjects and develop related competencies, educators should provide them primary with the proper stimuli and secondary with supporting knowledge and skills. Considering how the whole education procedure was forced into distance learning due to COVID-19, it is certain that skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking and teamwork, are slowly being neglected, while subjects that require a hands-on approach are becoming less attractive. As a result, distance teaching is becoming less engaging and motivating, while thought-provoking experiential learning is becoming obsolete and antiquated.
The project SCRAPY has as primary objective to strengthen educators’ competencies for distance STEM learning by offering a state-of-the-art solution of custom-made hardware and software in order to teach young students physical computing, programming and DIY electronics development.
In terms of specific objectives, we can identify the following:
– Providing educators with a hands-on experiential approach to physical computing and programming which is engaging for
young children without necessarily increasing screen time.
– Developing an effective educational package that integrates STEM subjects and can be utilised in either a classroom environment or through distance learning.
– Strengthening educators’ capacity to offer engaging and stimulating lessons to their students by using digital tools and technologies.
– Incorporating gamification and experiential learning in the teaching procedure of STEM-related and other subjects.
– Creating a community of practice for educators and learners, through a virtual academy, which ensures continuity and further development of project outcomes, as well as promotes collaboration and constructive discussions.
– Creating evidence-based policy and research recommendations for the use of hands-on educational play in primary and secondary education curricula.
– Reinforcing the ability of educational institutions to provide high-quality, inclusive digital education.