The cities of Aveiro, candidate to European Capital of Culture 2027, and Oulu (Finland), European Capital of Culture 2026, are promoting on the 16th an online symposium dedicated to STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), a teaching methodology in which both are pioneers.


The two cities are strongly committed to establishing knowledge leadership in STEAM, which converges the arts and humanities with the sciences, seeding the innovation of the future.  The conviction is that cities that catapult arts and creativity to the heart of their educational offer are the ones that will lead to innovation, productivity and quality of life, which is why it is an educational practice increasingly recognised across Europe and the world as a fundamental model for shaping a balanced, stimulating and productive learning experience.


The aim of the symposium is therefore to bring to the agenda emerging models, new learning and reflections on the future of education, through the contribution of professionals from Aveiro, Oulu and other international geographies, who believe that STEAM methodology can become the norm as the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and simultaneously evolves into a dynamic 'rebirth' of a society that embraces the future.


STEAM approach in Aveiro, Finland, Denmark, Berlin and Brazil


Under the theme "STEAMing into the future", the symposium will start online at 1pm with a welcome address by José Ribau Esteves, Mayor of Aveiro, and Mirja Vehkaperä, Mayor of Oulu, the hosts of this educational event.


The symposium will start with a presentation of practical cases of STEAM methodology, implemented in Aveiro and Berlin, in Finland and Denmark, and also a pilot experience in Brazil.  This exhibition aims to show the best practices in mobilising the STEAM approach in each of these cities, reveal the guiding principles, highlight the distinctive factors of each approach and identify the main challenges of STEAM implementation in the long term. André Costa, manager of the Aveiro Tech City project, Teemu Kivioja, CEO of the Finnish Tecinspire, Hanne Voldborg Andersen, National Coordinator at FabLab@SCHOOLdk, in Silkeborg, Denmark, Saulo Barreto, Director of the Institute for Research in Technology and Innovation in Brazil and Nicole Loeser, Director of the Institute for Art and Innovation, in Berlin, are the facilitators of this session.


The symposium also includes a panel during which four educators will present evidence of STEAM teaching at different educational levels, namely primary, secondary and higher education. From Aveiro, Pedro Pombo, director of Fábrica Centro Ciência Viva, from the University of Aveiro, and Marco Aurélio, professor at Tech Lab Aveiro, will be speakers, as well as Sari Harmoinen, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Oulu, and Heikki Vimpari, STEAM professor from Oulu.


Targeting education policy-makers, educators and researchers, representatives of the Cultural and Creative Economy, teachers and other stakeholders interested in education, the virtual symposium also proposes group sessions, where participants are organised according to the location and interest mentioned on the registration form. Guided by Tom Fleming, expert in arts and cultural strategy and policy in the creative economy and cities, the groups propose to discuss topics such as policy and partnership - how to build a long-term approach to STEAM education, models and practice - innovative approaches to STEAM provision, cultural and creative economy - linking STEAM to long-term economic development and Innovation and impact - how STEAM can shape sustainable development.


After the presentation of the conclusions emerging from the discussions of each group, the symposium ends with the screening of videos of projects of students from Aveiro and Oulu, developed in the classroom.


It is worth remembering that the integrated strategy for the promotion of STEAM competences is already being implemented, together with the University of Aveiro, in all 1st cycle and secondary schools in Aveiro, and has now been extended to 2nd and 3rd cycle schools, which represents total coverage of the school network in the municipality. The initiative is integrated in the political strategy of Aveiro City Hall, which places Education as one of the fundamental pillars for the construction of a knowledge-based municipality, preparing new generations with the necessary skills for their success in the new digital era.


Registrations for the symposium are free and can be made until 15 November, at