The portal contains comprehensive presentations of selected topics and challenges from major STEM disciplines: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Engineering, Medicine and Citizen Science, a concept developed within the EU Horizon 2020 STEM4youth project (www.stem4youth.eu ). In the future, the portal will also host user-generated content.
Each discipline involves a series of challenges (lessons) which, in the authors’ opinions, are essential to better understand a given scientific area, its impact on our lives and on the current and future labour market and economy.
The portal’s materials are primarily dedicated to secondary and high-school teachers as sources of ideas for their extra-curricular lessons, as well as to those students wishing to expand their knowledge, have a more holistic view on STEM and get more information about which career opportunities are accessible thanks to a STEM education.
The portal is open so everyone can upload their own materials, which are made publicly accessible after a technical verification by the system administrator.
All materials uploaded onto OLCMS are published under a certain Creative Common 4.0 or higher license, which means that, provided that files are in an editable format, everyone can modify their existing content and if necessary adopt it to their needs, then share it again on the platform. The Help section includes more information on content update and modification.
The lessons uploaded by the STEM4youth consortium partners utilise a wide range of learning methodologies and tools which are briefly described in the Innovative Educational Tools section.
The Engineering Design Process (EDP) section presents an approach applied to the Engineering challenges. While this process, with small modifications, can be also used in other areas, Engineering is a particularly relevant domain for EDP.
The Citizen Science Toolkit for Teacher section introduces the concept of Citizen Science (CS), a complex multistep activity primarily aimed at increasing citizen engagement and motivation towards community affairs (in our case, the students' engagement and motivation towards STEM learning) and collecting research data on human behavioural traits. More information on CS and detailed instructions on how to organize CS experiments at schools can be found in the OLCMS platform under CS materials.
The OLCMS Framework section describes the high-level methodology used to develop most of the modules. The section may be useful both to users studying the existing content only, and especially to those who are going to develop and upload their own content, in order to make it coherent with the existing materials.
The Help section refers to the user manual which specifically describes how to upload new content.