Until May 12, more than 100 STEM authors, young engineers, technicians, and scientists from 35 different chemical and pharmaceutical companies will deliver nearly 150 guest lectures. This is happening in Flanders schools to inspire more girls and boys to science and technology, in short STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
On April 21, 2023, some 200 Don Bosco Haacht students witnessed an interactive STEM day with guest lessons from eight STEM supporters. They did a chemistry show with Technopolis and a look at the innovations of the future in climate, energy, environment and health.
Studies show that still very few girls and boys choose a technical or scientific field of study. STEM advocates want to change that. Because a sustainable future requires more groundbreaking technologies, digital crackers, math gestures, and science heroes.
By speaking passionately about their studies and how they use STEM skills in their jobs today, they are trying to get more young people excited about chemistry, science, engineering, and technology.
Of the eight STEM supporters, all under the age of 35 are engineers and lab workers from chemical and pharmaceutical companies. Such as Jonas Caes (BASF), Yannick Engelmann (Evonik), Roeben Floren (BASF), Pieter Mampuys (Covestro), Joris Panis (Novartis), Tim Truyens (Celanese), Maja Vanhalle (Borealis) and Sari Walscharts (INEOS Inovyn). Emile Dehoere, former student of Don Bosco Haacht and science vlogger at Technopolis, the Flemish Center for Science and Technology in Mechelen, created the stunning effect with a dazzling chemistry show full of amazing experiments.
Essencia and Vlajo working together at STEMfluencers. Anne Wurman, Director of essenscia Vlaanderen: “With our STEM influencers, we want to convince young people that STEM is the future. They can really make a difference with that science knowledge and technical skills to help create and produce sustainable innovations for the future. You don’t just choose STEM. You can do this to make a positive impact on climate, environment and health in your next job. It’s great that so many chemical and pharmaceutical companies are sending passionate STEM influencers to get thousands of young people excited.”
Peter Koenen, Director Flago: “Science and technology are key to the enormous challenges facing our society. A new generation of boys and girls has the power to find solutions. As role models, STEM influencers bring their passion for STEM to students in a live guest lecture, and from their daily practices. To demonstrate that you can aspire with confidence into the future with STEM skills and that you can contribute to a better and sustainable world.”
Don Bosco Hasht
David Vanreusel, Principal of Don Bosco Haacht Middle School: “STEM is not a buzzword for our school, but a sign of quality. Our team of passionate educators has launched a high-quality STEM offering in a short time. As a result: 161 followed A first year STEM talent unit and 178 second years chose STEM-Technieken, STEM-Sciences, or Modern Languages-Sciences. This means that half of the students in our middle school follow the STEM trend. A positive development because our society draws on more STEM talent.”
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Sari Walcharts, STEM author and Process Architect at INEOS Inovyn: “Being a STEM influencer is so cool. I’m allowed to share my practical experience and knowledge with young people. This way I can show that sometimes boring formulas in textbooks Very useful for making new inventions or making better materials later in your job.I’m doing this for the second year in a row because I think it’s important to inspire boys, especially girls, for science and technology.Because it’s the generation that’s in school today that will help provide solutions for more sustainability tomorrow. “
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