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STEM Education Hub

In this fascinating session of the STEM Education Hub’s official launch included three presentations introducing approaches for facilitating collaborative research and scholarship in formal and informal learning. Investigating technology design to promote social changes both in Brazil and in the UK/Dr Lara Piccolo, the hub’s partner at the Open University presented some of her research on energy and information literacy, contrasting both contexts. Lara has worked for almost 10 years in Brazil bridging academia, policymaking and industry in research projects targeting digital inclusion, accessibility and energy literacy. Since 2014, she works at the Open University in the UK investigating the role of technology to engage people and communities with Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change, energy conservation, and access to the digital world. She is an IFIP TC13 representative and member of the Special Committee for HCI at SBC (Brazilian Computing Society).


Professor Cecília Baranaukas, introduced some interdisciplinary research projects in the context of e-inclusion and e-citizenship applying participatory and socially responsible approaches to design technology in Brazil. Cecilia is a Full Professor at the Institute of Computing, UNICAMP, Brazil. Her research interests have focused on human-computer interaction issues, particularly investigating different formalisms (including Organizational Semiotics and Participatory Design) in the analysis, design and evaluation of societal systems. She has leading several incredible projects investigating the use of these formalisms in design contexts of e-Citizenship and e-Inclusion. In 2010 she received the ACM SIGDOC Rigo Award. She is an honorary member of the Brazilian Academy of Educational Technology ( and Member of the Governing board of UNESCO Institute for Information Technology in Education (IITE).

Dr Trevor Collins, the Director of eSTEeM, the OU’s Centre for STEM Pedagogy, and a Senior Research Fellow in the Knowledge Media Institute, finished by giving us an overview of The Open University’s Centre for STEM Pedagogy, including some examples of the practitioner-led scholarship that underpin the STEM faculty’s innovations in distance learning.

Trevor’s interdisciplinary research focuses on the design and use of technologies in teaching and learning. He led the introduction of interactive web broadcasting within the STEM Faculty to provide lab and fieldwork experiences at a distance and pioneered the use of mobile and network technologies to enable students with disabilities to participate in fieldwork.

Please head to the publications page to see Lara, Cecília and Trevor’s presentations from the day.

Recording of the event is also available in case you missed it or would like to watch the event again (in Portuguese).

Lots of Ways to Get Involved.