INSTEM – AN INTRODUCTION
INSTEM was a Comenius network (2012 – 2015), which brought together the experience and learning of a wide range of projects in European Science and Mathematics education. INSTEM linked research, practice and policy in a unique way. Its main goal was to promote inquiry based teaching, to gather innovative teaching methods and to raise students' interest in science as well as offering them careers information in STEM subjects, in order to respond to global challenges in teaching and gender imbalances in STEM education.
The INSTEM project was developed from the idea that projects in STEM education should talk to each other and share their ideas. It grew out of the informal group ProCoNet (Project Coordinators‘ Network), which was formed in 2011. INSTEM and ProCoNet worked closely together and provided a single channel to communicate with European Union directorates and other policymaking organisations. INSTEM also acted as an integrated provider of STEM education materials and techniques, based on the work of previous projects. It worked with national teams on the implementation of good science and mathematics teaching, using inquiry as a starting point whilst being open to all innovative and effective approaches.
INSTEM developed accessible synthesis reports and briefings and provided regular updates on progress in STEM education, based on state of the art information from researchers, practitioners and policymakers in the field. It went beyond previous ‘clearing-house‘ activities by taking a critical, reflective and inclusive approach to the various strands of practice and development work carried out in projects across Europe.