Biennial international STEM conference at Tallinn Secondary School of Science
In September 2015 the first STEM conference in our school was held in memory of our late long-time Head Teacher Gunnar Polma. The conference was organised in cooperation with Estonian Research Council with the aim to create a space where teachers, school heads and students who appreciate STEM subjects from all over Estonia can regularly get together to exchange good methods, learn from foreign experience and also network.
The conference lasts for two days and usually has three main focal points. The first day focuses on lectures on general educational matters, latest trends in educational policy and advances in STEM fields. The second day is for hands-on activities with over 20 parallel seminars and workshops taking place where participants can broaden their horizons in their own field of expertise.
With each time the conference has become more international, with the latest conference seeing 19 educators from seven countries. Some of them are old friends and partners of our school and the conference while each year some brand new faces are introduced to our community.
Social impact is another important aspect of the conference – in 2019 we held the first networking evening where we brought together teachers, entrepreneurs and public figures in an informal atmosphere for them to share valuable ideas and discuss possible collaborations. The 2019 conference also saw an open letter signed by almost 200 teachers, school heads and students addressed to the Estonian parliament in opposition to the abolishing of national examinations at the end of primary school. The petition ultimately provoked a heated public discussion in society.