According to the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027, gender-based discrimination still affects many young people, especially women. Equal opportunities and access to rights must be guaranteed for young people of all genders, including binary and LGBTQI+ youth.
The Strategy recognizes that education remains the key to active citizenship and employability, and therefore more focus should be placed on transferable skills, student-centered learning, and non-formal education.
Currently, the issue of combating discrimination through acceptance of diversity is crucial for education to evolve, modernize and build an open-minded society. SEN and SEND students, students who are members of the LGBTQI community, or just students with minor diversity and acceptance issues make up a high percentage of school dynamics, especially in teenagers and preadolescents. Body shaming as a means of self-rejection is also a situation that strongly affects adolescents and preadolescents and leads to severe psychological and behavioral problems and needs to be worked/supported discreetly and in a contemporary way. Currently, in schools, there is much to be done to achieve the desired level of recognition and acceptance, including self-acceptance.
Art can help students to perceive things in an easier, simpler, and more comprehensive way. Art can be used in education, in different contexts, and in transdisciplinary connections with technology, science, and other areas of knowledge. Art is a usual evolving organism that creates emotions and creative thoughts and, when accompanied by games, can activate interest in education and social issues.
The motivation behind this program is to address the issue of diversity in teenagers and preteen schools in an exciting, innovative, and effective way that combines technology, science, art, and gamification. The program brings together schools from different countries that have similar diversity acceptance problems (Greece, Turkey) and gives them the opportunity to increase their scientific and artistic potential while dealing with the issue of diversity. It will also lead to important results that other schools can use for the same purposes: a STEAM about Curriculum Diversity, an app that can help students understand and love Mathematics (MTC), films about diversity, and an app that connects art to decreasing body shaming (ROM). The financing of this project is of extreme importance for the connection and mobility of the participants, for the development and use of technology that is vital for the scientific and technological part, and for the path that will open for future projects.
Innovative digital tools promoting inclusion and diversity in schools are the cornerstone of the Erasmus+ funded project “DIVERSITY IN STEAM (STEAMDIVE)”, which started on December 30th, 2022, and had the first Kick-Off Meeting on 9-10 February 2023. STEAMDIVE is a new pioneering project that through designed workshops, using the “learning by doing” method– and digital tools, will urge students to realize the ground truth of diversity and work on social inclusion.
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