The UK is facing a STEAM skills crisis. These skills are important for a range of industries from manufacturing to the arts . The supply of candidates into engineering (and more broadly STEM) occupations is not keeping pace with demand. There are many reasons: poor perceptions and lack of interest in engineering and science jobs, low attainment and progression in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects at school, further and higher education, to young people making career choices outside of engineering occupations. Young people are increasingly disengaged from STEM which manifests itself in reducing enrolments in courses in those STEM subjects which will be critical to the future economic growth.
The use of AR in education can transform the school environment to a more technology-friendly one, with a bigger variety of opportunities of learning for students. According to researchers the use of AR can increase the level of participation, understanding and learning, three key elements of all educational systems’ targets. Since previous information technology tools have already been implemented in the classrooms, the incorporation of AR in education is something that can be accomplished more easily, as students are familiar with handling devices already.
The Augmented Reality for STEAM education (AR-STEAM) project seeks to organize a series of events which would create a common space for teachers, policy makers, and technology providers to meet, exchange knowledge and experience around AR for STEAM education.
Augmented Reality for STEAM education implements a series of events to stimulate wider use of AR in STEAM education. The project lowers the barriers towards the application of these innovative technologies by providing a space for knowledge exchange between researchers, technology providers and educators.
The aim of this project is to set up:
- School visits: Schools participating in the project can invite the PI/CO-PI for a talk to showcase the potential of AR technology for STEAM education to their teachers.
- Conference “AR for education”: A convention with educators, policy makers, publishers, and technology providers focusing on creating and expanding the impact of AR technology on STEAM teaching. The conference will provide a background on how the AR technology can enhance subject learning of STEAM subjects.
- Workshop “Make your AR resource for STEAM in a day”: By application only: a workshop to help implement, within the day, your own AR teaching resource.
- STEAM-AR Exhibition: Participating schools will be invited to visit the final project exhibition and discover the possibilities of AR.
AR-STEAM will run from 1.1. to 31.12.2019.
 Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the future, 2017
 The UK STEM Education Landscape – Royal Academy of Engineering, 2016
 Success through STEM – DfE, 2011
 Kerawalla, Luckin, Seljeflot, & Woolard, 2006
 Nincarean et al., 2013; Karamanoli &Tsinakos, 2016
 Chiu, DeJaegher, & Chao, 2015