The STEAM4U project

According to the literature in the field, discrepancies between youths’ own identity and STEAM careers’ identity (male, white and brainy), family “science capital” (science-related qualifications, knowledge about science, etc.) and students’ self-efficacy in STEAM (their believes on their own capacity and competence in the field) are three major causes of students disinterest for STEAM subjects. This situation triggers off serious inequalities because generates an homogeneous profile of those who go on to study STEAM subjects (those who highly identify themselves with the STEAM identity), silencing the voice of diverse actors, like women, working-class groups and other under-represented collectives not only into STEAM fields, but also as full-citizens.

In parallel, we have learned both from experience and the literature that self-efficacy is crucial to explain young people’s disinterest for STEAM subjects: an improvement of self-efficacy in STEAM-related activities has a positive impact on students’ interest on STEAM subjects. This effect is more significant in those under-represented collectives, whose self-efficacy in STEAM has shown to be low (and much lower than their actual performance). Self-efficacy, however, is not that easy to raise, as it has been constructed over years. Possible actions in this direction are providing students with experiences of success in STEAM-related activities from early years and increasing their own knowledge on the concept of self-efficacy to empower them to better assess their capacities.

Objectives of the STEAM4U project

The STEAM4U partnership