Innovative STEM Learning Program, Europe


Verizon Foundation



There is a growing awareness on the part of education policy makers in Europe that student performance in many European countries in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects is on the decline and needs considerable attention to both methodology and content in order to better prepare youth for STEM careers.

With assistance from the Verizon Foundation, World Education, and the International Education Business Partnership Network (IPN) worked to strengthen STEM teaching in four European countries—the Netherlands, UK (Scotland), France and Germany—by building a community of practice of STEM educators. The educators made use of inquiry-based learning and hand-held learning technologies and used space exploration as the ‘hook’ for engaging youth to study STEM subjects.

Verizon Innovative STEM Learning Program, Europe recruited teachers from secondary schools in each country and facilitated their involvement in a series of teacher professional development activities that enhanced their teaching capacity and contributed to the development of a network of STEM subject teachers in Europe. These teachers then served as the core teachers in cascading the scientific and technical information provided through the project to other teachers and to youth. Half of the core teachers selected were women and included teachers who work in urban and rural areas and whose students represent varying socio-economic levels.

Core teachers engaged in professional development opportunities that focused on new content for STEM subject teachers as well as increased use of ICT and hand-held technologies for use in teachers’ practices in their classrooms.

Verizon Innovative STEM Learning Program, Europe also revised and adapted a special curriculum that promotes greater female participation in STEM subjects. The project facilitated the development of a virtual network of project teachers as a means of promoting an exchange between teachers participating in the project to share their experiences with their peers in implementing changes in teaching and learning in their STEM classes.

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