The DESIRE toolkit provides models and good practices for (1) planning and implementing the dissemination and exploitation of science education project results, and (2) helping STEM stakeholders contribute to improving STEM education. It is useful in any context and for any project that requires dissemination and exploitation by or to stakeholders (teachers, project managers, advisors to policymakers, science event organizers and science museum professionals).
The toolkit was created within the EU-funded project DESIRE (Disseminating Educational Science, Innovation and Research in Europe), whose main goal was to improve STEM in both formal (schools) and informal (science centres, museums, fairs, events) education environments in Europe.
This user-friendly and adaptable toolkit can be applied to a broad range of activities. Organizational requirements and time frames will depend on the context and on which good practices or models are applied.
There are two main sections, dissemination and exploitation, which provide tools, recommendations and good practices that aid and inspire. Each section also addresses three questions regarding the dissemination of STEM education:
- What content or information should be disseminated?
- How should it be communicated?
- When should it be communicated?
The toolkit is practical and easy-to-use for any type of user. It is well-organized, written in plain language and available in four languages (English, French, Italian and Spanish).
It is important that the results of STEM education projects reach teachers and other stakeholders in a consistent and accessible way. Collaboration between stakeholders can be a real win-win opportunity for improving STEM in both formal and informal education in Europe. Educators, in particular, may not only learn from each other, but also benefit from the communication skills and experiences of project managers and project coordinators.