AUA Hosts STEMGen Active Learning Conference3 min read
YEREVAN, Armenia — On March 7, 2022, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted the STEMGen Active Learning Conference and Extended STEMGen(eration) workshop. Opening remarks were delivered by the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, HE Lynne Tracy, RA Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Janna Andreasyan, and AUA President Dr. Karin Markides.
“As a professor of chemistry and developmental leader of higher education, it gives me great honor to see so many teachers, instructors, and students in our auditorium. I would like to thank the U.S. Embassy and the RA Government for partnering with us on this very important initiative. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Arthur Khalatyan for leading the STEMGen program and his team for realizing impressive results,” noted Dr. Markides.
The conference was organized within the framework of a three-year “STEM Education for Armenian Youth” (publicly known as STEMGen) program, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Armenia and implemented by AUA.
During the conference, the STEMGen program launched a new instructional design platform that would make STEM teaching and learning resources accessible to all Armenian STEM teachers through a collaborative space that also leverages the teachers’ creativity.
The two-day conference and STEMGen workshops attracted over 300 teachers, who had the benefit of observing lessons taught using STEMGen resources. They also participated in a module explaining the use of the STEMGen platform. In addition, they took part in panel discussions with the National Center for Development and Innovation, industry leaders, and high school students, who shared their experiences of learning with STEMGen resources.
The overarching goal of the program is to improve teaching and learning practices in STEM subjects through teacher workshops and design of new educational resources to guide teachers in using active learning approaches and methodologies in their practice.
Since its launch in October 2019, the program has collaborated with more than 400 teachers to design and test STEM lesson plans and various scenarios that would guide teachers at any level of knowledge and experience in applying modern pedagogical concepts and developing subject content to deliver engaging and effective lessons. Around 2,500 seventh to twelfth grade students participated in STEMGen summer camps, simulation classes, and offline testing sessions. By the end of September 2022, the program will have fully completed the design and testing of 1,800 lessons in five STEM subjects.
This year, the STEMGen program was successful in engaging a number of experts from the National Center for Development and Innovation in Education to attend the teacher workshops and collaborate with teachers in designing STEMGen educational resources.
Surveys conducted over the previous two years of the program indicate that 75% of the students who have participated in STEMGen lessons have changed their perceptions of STEM subjects. Also, 45% of the students who took the survey indicated that they will consider STEM careers. Additionally, nearly all STEM subject teachers who have actually tested the STEMGen resources indicated that they would use those everyday in their teaching practice and would be willing to contribute to further improving the quality of those resources.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.
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