Today I just returned from a high-level conference entitled “The future of Europe is Science” hosted by the European Commission. It was a really interesting and a prolific conference. Besides classical speeches there were also some debate panels. I was invited by the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso to take place in a such debate panel. I talked about some issues that I had seen in the Romanian educational system and to bold the idea that although Europe has been the world’s greatest place for sciences, arts, education and innovation for the past centuries, now we have a big problem with education. Less and less young people are interested in studying STEM.
I just write briefly some ideas I remember spoke in the panel :
- Most teenagers are not focused on STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Most of them just was to become the next Britain got talent winner.
- No great role models for teenagers. Most youngsters believe that the TV starts they see on the TV or on the internet are successful persons in life and they become their role models in life.
- Instead of spending millions or billions of euros to modernize the school, in my humble opinion I believe that the European Union should promote a system which motivates youngsters to do a chemistry project, a small robot using Arduino or a software project,…
- There is no continuity in schools. Most of the students spend a lot of time(years) to learn some subjects but after they graduate the high school they just go to study furthermore a different major. For instance my classmates from my high school, they spent more than 6-7 years learning Mathematics and Computer Science intensively but most of them headed to study medicine, to become doctors and two of them want to become priests.
I believe that the conference was prolific, and the European Commission will take in account the ideas spoken at the conference “The future of Europe is Science”. Next week I will attend the conference WIRED 2014 hosted by WIRED magazine where I am a speaker.