Ca’ Foscari International College is one of the 9 main European partners involved in an innovative project concerning innovation in higher education.
STEAM + - Innovating STE(A)M in Higher Education with Transdisciplinary Talent Programs is a 667.000 euro worth project co- funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (logo), one of the Key Action3 Forward-Looking Cooperation projects aiming at promoting innovation to support policy reforms.
17 partners among higher education institutes, research centres from 9 countries (Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Norway and Romania) came together to draw an ambitious three-year plan to use transdisciplinary talent programs as laboratories of innovation in higher education.
This is meant to face grand challenges -such as climate change and energy transition- which often have a STEM (science, technology, engineer and mathematics) subject at their core but need transversal skills and knowledge from A (All other disciplines) to elaborate new solutions.
Three co-creation international workshops where students and teachers will work together at the same level are meant to draw guidelines to produce two main outputs:
STEAM+ Innovation Lab Implementation Path, an instrument on how to establish transdisciplinary talent programs in Higher Education
STEAM+ Menu for Policy Inspiration , an instrument for policy makers in Higher Education, local, regional, national and EU levels to support and recognize (development of) transdisciplinary talent programs
The final goal is to test that innovation coming from transdisciplinary talent programs can be applied to different educational systems and help European societies elaborate new solutions to future grand challenges.
The results will be spread out in partner countries through local meetings and dissemination workshops.
Ca’ Foscari International College hosted the first STEAM+ workshop in Venice from 18th to 23rd July 2021.
Here is the summary of this extraordinary week by one of the participants:
The Venice Innovation Lab took place in real life between 18th and 23rd July on San Servolo island in Venice. Located just 10 minutes away by boat from the main square of San Marco, this small and beautiful island served as a creative oasis for 18 students and teachers from 9 partner countries that are part of the STEAM+ program. The aim was to experience the co-creation process through a multidisciplinary approach based on citizen science and related to the issues of sustainability and human-nature relation.
Day 1 - Welcome: During the first day the participants were introduced to the schedule and overall program of the Lab, followed by a lovely dinner which allowed the participants to know each other a bit more.
Day 2 - Introduction: The whole program was followed by 6 international experts and a facilitator, who did a marvelous job by creating an interactive environment for all participants. On the second day of the Lab, two lectures were given to provide the participants coming from completely different academic backgrounds, with basic information regarding the Venetian lagoon and the concept of citizen science. The knowledge acquired during the first day was the foundation for all further activities.
Day 3 - Site Visit and Presencing: The third day of the Lab, the whole group went to the nature resort of Ca’Roman located on the southern end of the Venetian lagoon. There, we listened to the story of the ecosystem that developed on this island, and how it is dependent on both human activity and natural forces. This was stimulating for the prototypes of the citizen science projects we were supposed to make by the end of the week. For some (of us), one of the most stimulating parts of the trip to Ca’Roman was the swimming in the Adriatic.
Day 4 - Crystalizing: Next day started with people being separated into groups based on their research questions and personal interests, and having the rest of the day to spend brainstorming about the project prototype. I ended in an all-professor group and had a wonderful time exchanging ideas and knowledge, without feeling like there is a barrier between them and me. The island of San Servolo served as a perfect spot for this activity because all of the groups went out and spread across the island, sitting in the shades of the trees.
Day 5 - Prototyping: On the fifth day came the prototyping. This meant that each group created a PowerPoint presentation about their citizen science project that they discussed during the previous
day. In the end, every group received feedback from the experts in the fields of citizen science and sustainability, intending to improve the projects. The whole day ended with each of the groups receiving a special gift (of nature) on a "sacrificial table" in the center of the island. This was followed by a dinner which I deeply enjoyed thanks to the amazing people I met during the Lab, and to the staff of the Collegio Internazionale Ca’Foscari who organized the whole thing.
Day 6 - Harvesting: The last day was dedicated to “harvesting” our impressions and opinions on the project as a whole. Each person had a chance to reflect and share with other participants his or her thoughts on the STEAM+ project, the Venice Innovation Lab, and the co-creative process to which we were subjected during that week in San Servolo. After this, I offered myself as a "local" tour guide around Venice for all the people interested in visiting the San Marco square.
All in all, I had amazing time with different people whom I would not have had the chance to meet if the Lab had not been organized in person!
- Jovan Djordjevic, MA student at Ca' Foscari International College -
Last update: 16/11/2023