Ms. Alice Georgescu, a high school teacher from Romania, talked to the EIT Campus team about how the Girls Go Circular (GGC) programme has helped her and her students. She shed light on how this initiative has equipped her with the right tools to guide students and especially young women towards pursuing careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields within the circular economy context.
Girls Go Circular is an online learning programme that equips 14-19 year old girls with digital and entrepreneurial skills through an online platform on the circular economy – the Circular Learning Space. The programme is 4-9 hours and includes two introductory modules on circular economy and online safety and one thematic module of free choice. Currently, the Circular Learning Space offers +15 thematic modules on topics varying from artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to e-waste, climate change, and sustainable cities, to name a few. At the end of the learning programme, students and teachers are rewarded with a completion certificate attesting to their knowledge and skills gained.
An Engaging and User-Friendly Approach
The experience of Ms. Georgescu parallels that of her students, who found the programme engaging and user-friendly. The emphasis on critical thinking and innovative presentation sets the programme apart, resonating not only with students but also teachers. Beyond the classroom, the programme contributes to social development by advocating circular economy, sustainability, entrepreneurship, and innovation as fundamental knowledge and skills for the curious minds that will drive future innovations.
“The Girls Go Circular programme has sparked behavioural shifts among students," said Ms. Georgescu. From her perspective, they’ve embraced eco-friendly practices and community initiatives, igniting a broader cultural transformation. The programme empowers them to confidently pursue STEM careers, with the focus on “encouraging young women to excel in STEM domains”.
Elevating Professional Proficiency
However, the impact of this initiative extends beyond the participating students.
As Ms. Georgescu puts it, “the well-structured curriculum has broadened my teaching horizons and deepened my commitment to environmental sustainability.” In particular, the programme transformed her teaching approach, highlighting interactivity and practical application of learnings for a greener and more sustainable future.
Ms. Georgescu encourages fellow professionals to “embrace the programme’s inputs and challenges as opportunities for growth”, emphasising that GGC courses not only enhance teaching methods but also foster personal development, making teachers more effective knowledge facilitators.
In summary, she says the programme acts as a catalyst for shifts in mindset and cultivates essential skills, guided by sustainability and innovation to support young people and especially young women on their quest for a career in those fields.