An innovation afternoon will be held to showcase the opportunities of Science and Innovation centers in the STEM field - EEZ un Norvēģijas finanšu instrumenti
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Research and Education

An innovation afternoon will be held to showcase the opportunities of Science and Innovation centers in the STEM field

The State Education Development Agency (VIAA) invites to the online innovation afternoon “Science and Innovation Centers – STEM home in Latvia”, which will be held on April 10th from 14.00 to 16.00. During the event, teachers, career counselors, representatives of municipal educational institutions and other specialists related to the education sector will be able to learn about the educational programs and cooperation opportunities offered by the four science and innovation centers (IC), which are aimed at developing the knowledge of students, teachers and other interested parties in the field of STEM.

At the event, the Science and Education Innovation Center of the Liepāja Education Board, the Ventspils Science Center VIZIUM, the Daugavpils Innovation Center and the Space Cognition Center in Cēsis will present their offers in the STEM field. IC representatives will present the existing interactive installations and expositions, creative classes and workshops, science shows, as well as available educational programs for students and educators and possible ways of cooperation. During the event, participants will also be able to get acquainted with the experience and impressions of educational institutions that have already visited IC or studied the offered educational programs. The innovation afternoon will be opened by the Minister of Education and Science A. Čakša, Director of VIAA D. Traidās and Norwegian partner of IC.

“I am pleased that Cēsu County Municipality, Daugavpils City Municipality, Liepāja City Municipality and Ventspils City Municipality, in cooperation with Latvian universities and Norwegian science centers, have contributed to the growth of Latvia by promoting interest and curiosity among Latvian students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and further education of teachers. I invite schools, students and teachers to use the opportunities offered by the centers and to apply for participation in educational programs and creative master classes, so that students will continue to be encouraged in their curiosity and career choice in STEM fields,” invites Minister of Education and Science Anda Čakša.

VIAA director Dita Traidās also emphasizes that purposeful, motivated and knowledgeable young people make the future of our country’s economy. “In today’s world, technology goes hand in hand with innovation and curiosity, so it is critical that our young people also have hands-on opportunities to learn about industries that are especially important to economic growth and educational career decisions, and that is the STEM field. The support provided by the European Economic Area and the Norwegian grant program has been invaluable, creating the opportunity to create innovation and science centers in Latvia – a place where everyone, and especially students, can discover the exciting world of STEM and diverse professional opportunities it offers,” says D. Traidās .

Each innovation center specializes in its own thematic area: Space Cognition Center in Cēsis – in the field of space, Daugavpils Innovation Center – in the field of entrepreneurship and career development in the STEM field, Science and Education Innovation Center of the Liepāja City Education Board – in the field of environmental sciences, while Ventspils Science Center VIZIUM – in the field of natural sciences and information and communication technologies.

The online conference is organized by VIAA in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science and science and innovation centers. During the event, the media will be able to ask their questions to IC representatives.

The creation and development of innovation centers in Liepāja, Daugavpils, Cēsis and Ventspils is supported by the European Economic Area and the Norwegian Grants (EEA/NFI) program with the aim of promoting young people’s knowledge development and career choice in STEM fields. In total, more than 7 million euros have been invested in the implementation of innovation center projects, of which 85% is co-financed from the European Economic Area financial instrument and the Norwegian financial instrument, while 15% is co-financed by the Latvian State budget.

Within the projects, innovation centers have successfully ensured the development and implementation of educational programs for learners and teachers for the acquisition and development of knowledge in the field of STEM, organized practical workshops, off-center events, scientific camps and other events, provided the necessary mobile equipment and materials, the creation of co-creation spaces and co-creation laboratories and ensured free access for students and teachers, covering transportation expenses to ensure access of Latvian students and teachers to the educational interactive activities, demonstrations, exhibitions and other educational events.

The online conference is the final event of the activity “Innovation Centers”. The activity “Innovation Centers” is one of the components of the “Research and Education” program, which is financially supported by the EEA and the Norwegian grant program. The program in Latvia is implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science and the State Education Development Agency. The purpose of the activity is to improve the development of knowledge in STEM fields, as well as to promote career development by developing new educational and training programs for teachers, students and pupils in STEM fields.

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