What is BRIDGES?

BRIDGES has developed a number of resources, including a cMOOC (collaborative MOOC) that will help you and/or your organisation to become WISE, an acronym which means: Women In Stem Empowered.

Who are the project partners?

What are the key resources produced by the project?

  • Open STEM Scenarios: Initially developed to take into account the issue of Gender Equality in pedagogical scenarios, BRIDGES also developed “meta-scenarios” to guide Gender Equality actions beyond the didactics of a STEM subject.
  • Open STEM InfrastructureThe Open STEM infrastructure provides a “safe space” where WISE people can meet and share practices and resources supporting Gender Equality in STEM.
  • Open STEM Ecosystem: The Open STEM Ecosystems are the environments where the individuals and communities meet to initiate and share practices on Gender Equality in STEM.
  • Open STEM cMOOC: The cMOOC is a collaborative MOOC where WISE people can find resources to improve Gender Equality in STEM.
  • Open STEM Guidelines: the Guidelines provide a guidance on how to implement practices and policies supporting Gender Equality in STEM. One of the key element for guidance is the “Gender Equality Maturity Matrix” which is the organising principle of all the work done during and beyond the duration of the project.: 

About Open STEM Scenarios

Initially developed to take into account the issue of Gender Equality in pedagogical scenarios, BRIDGES also developed “meta-scenarios” to guide Gender Equality actions beyond the didactics of a STEM subject.

Open STEM Scenarios
Design Principles and meta-scenarios


STEP 01 : Falling Up the Stairs
STEP 02: Looking for References
STEP  03: Backpacking Theories
STEP 04: Mapping the Ecosystem
STEP 05: Badging Pathways

Sustainable social change goes through four phases:
1. Development of awareness: of the problem, of its appearances, of your role in it
2. Exploring new social practices and experimenting with your and other one’s roles in it
3. Integration of new practices in existing systems and rituals (changing policies and rules)
4. Transformation: sustainable integration of new policies and rules, evaluation of success

Four levels of acting are involved:
1. The individual level: your personal perceptions and behaviours
2. The group level: your personal perceptions and behaviours in interaction with others
3. The organizational level: formal perceptions and behaviours of institutes
4. The societal level: perceptions and behaviours on regional and national scale


Open STEM Scenarios
Design Principles and meta-scenarios - FR


ÉTAPE 01 : Tomber dans les escaliers

ÉTAPE 02 : À la recherche de références

ÉTAPE 03 : Les théories du sac à dos

ÉTAPE 04 : Cartographier l’écosystème

ÉTAPE 05 : Parcours de badge

Le changement social durable passe par quatre phases :

1. Développement de la conscience : du problème, de ses apparences, de votre rôle dans celui-ci

2. Exploration de nouvelles pratiques sociales et expérimentation de votre rôle et de celui des autres dans ce domaine

3. Intégration des nouvelles pratiques dans les systèmes et rituels existants (changement de politiques et de règles)

4. Transformation : intégration durable des nouvelles politiques et règles, évaluation du succès

Quatre niveaux d’action sont concernés :

1. Le niveau individuel : vos perceptions et comportements personnels

2. Le niveau du groupe : vos perceptions et comportements personnels en interaction avec d’autres personnes

3. Le niveau organisationnel : les perceptions et comportements formels des instituts

4. Le niveau sociétal : perceptions et comportements à l’échelle régionale et nationale

[…]Le changement social durable passe par quatre phases :

Quatre niveaux d’action sont concernés :

Open STEM Scenarios
Report on activities and outcomes


Emerging insights from the conversations and sources analyses

Insight 1: Falling down the stairs

From the analyses it appeared that girls and women have many options to climb the stairs of science and technology careers in theory, but in practice they fall down those stairs at every transition from primary to secondary school, from lower to upper secondary school, from secondary school to vocational or higher education and with taking career steps to for instance phd positions and further. The gap between what is theoretically possible and what actually happens in practice impacts the awareness of the gender inequity problem: because it is possible, people tend to think there is no problem anymore. The insight was translated in aiming scenarios at raising awareness of the problem and at showing the contradiction between theory and practice.


Open STEM Scenarios
University of Cyprus

University of Cyprus has delivered three different scenarios all based on peer assessment: (1) Citizen science;

(2) Kitchen garden; (3) Swallows. Our focus on peer assessment wished to take advantage of the empowerment dimension implicated in peer assessment, for instance: fostering recognition of peers as capable, valid and reliable assessors of their work; fostering tolerance towards critical comments; promoting self-efficacy; facilitating revision and improvement of one’s learning products (artefacts created by students while undertaking learning activities). All these aspects have been noted as decisive for female engagement in STEM/STEAM (see Zacharia et al., 2020).

All these UCY scenarios also aim to bridge formal and non-formal learning environments, being perfectly suited for engaging an array of stakeholders around peer assessment for fostering female engagement in STEM/STEAM.

To elaborate on the terminology employed in the frame of BRIDGES and discuss several aspects to address within IOs of BRIDGES, we developed two entrance and peer assessment examples (gardening; swallows). 


Open STEM Scenarios
Discussing with Students How to get from Awarness to Action


Outcome 1: Broadening the problem definition

The Bridges project has evolved around the topic of gender inequity in science and technology. The problem of gender inequity definition was presented to the students in terms of its history (where do we come from and what is the current situation in many countries today), and in light of different perspectives (why is it a problem from a scientific perspective (a need for social diversity in science), an economic perspective, a citizenship perspective, and a societal problem-solving perspective). From the conversation that followed between the students it shows that young people perceive and define the problem differently. They state that more generally diversity and social safety for everybody is the goal, not equity for specifically nominated groups. Interventions concerned with social safety and inclusion of a diversity of people strive for awareness of and respect for diversity by not putting people into boxes, but exploring people in a safe environment. One aspect of social safety is being gender neutral, and this not only concerns girls/women, but aims for inclusion of all individuals who in some way actively seek their gender identities.


Open STEM Scenarios
Workshops in Netherlands

#elementor-toc__heading-anchor-7 […] Emerging insight 1: the paradox of awareness The workshops started with informing participants about the gender (in)equity in science and technology, showing the currency of the issue and exploring and discussing with them if and how they recognize the gender (in)equity issue in their own practices. The knowledge and figures presented were recognized by the participants, their awareness of the issue was raised by this information and they found the issue of importance to be changed. However, in the second part of the workshops we translated the issue to ways of exploring one’s own role in changing practices and frequently the participants changed their view on the changeability of practices and especially their on roles in it. Contrary to their expressed recognition, they often declared that (1) they found it no problem since everybody has a free choice, or (2) they did not consider their position as a possibility for change. We called this turning around ‘the paradox of awareness’: people are often aware of the general problem, but not aware of their own position in it and potential to contribute to change. In the workshops, we started using the paradox to raise awareness about the contradiction. […]

About Open STEM Infrastructure

The Open STEM infrastructure provides a “safe space” where WISE people can meet and share practices and resources supporting Gender Equality in STEM.

Open STEM Infrastructure
Open Knowledge Belgium

Hack Your Future 

Hack  Your  Future  (HYF)  is  a  9-month  training  program  aimed  at  refugees.  Hosted  at  Epitech (Brussels)  every  Sunday,  during  the  week,  students  are  supported  online  in  their  self-study,  homework  and  peer  learning.  The  last  module  is  a  6-weeks  intensive  Final  Project  where  students work on a real project with a real partner. 

Hack Your Future and BRIDGES In the course of the project, BRIDGES has developed a framework based on a “maturity model”  in an attempt to identify the tools and practices that would help organisations, communities and individuals to move: 

●from ignorance to awareness; 

●From awareness to experimenting (doing/trying things improving gender equality) 

●From experimenting to integrating (e.g. institutionalised practice) 

●From integrating to transforming


Open STEM Infrastructure
WISE Badges
BRIDGES at OSoC 2020


WiseBadges is the result of great teamwork during osoc20, fits perfectly within the vision of Bridges and made possible by the funding of the Erasmus + programme. It makes giving and receiving recognition for women in STEM careers and education easier and less time-intensive.

The team created an attractive website which immediately invites people to select WiseBadges, select the receiver, add a unique and personal message and the badge is ready to be received. The process of sending WiseBadges takes less than a minute but means a ton for the receiver. It is an appreciation of what the receiver has done, achieved, and or meant for the sender.

The message behind WiseBadges is clear; it is all about empowering and supporting women in STEM. However targeting women, everyone is more than welcome to send and receive WiseBadges.

Let’s spread the word.


Open STEM Infrastructure
The BRIDGES Partners Badges

University of Cyprus: Open STEM Badges Design

Espace Mendès France & Reconnaître: WISE Badges

University of Cyprus used the Open Badge Factory (https://openbadgefactory.com/en/) to create, issue and manage Open Badges (for more details on the whole intervention, see Vakkou et al., under review). We created three different badges:

1. Expert badge: It was issued to postgraduate students at the Department of Education, University of Cyprus, who had developed educational robotics material using the GINOBOT (https://www.engino.com/w/index.php/products/innolabs-robotics/ginobot). The criteria to issue this badge to users were: (1) the lesson plans that they had developed should have been based on the Cypriot curriculum; (2) these lesson plans should have concentrated on integrated STEM/STEAM education (see Tasiopoulou et al., 2020); (3) these lesson plans should have followed good practice for engaging both male and female students in STEM/STEAM learning activities.


About Open STEM cMOOC

The cMOOC is a collaborative MOOC where WISE people can find resources to improve Gender Equality in STEM.

WISE cMOOC Guide - English

 All the contents can be found in the spaces

▶️ Each space is like a small website with its own navigation

▶️ The CMOOC is divided into 8 spaces

▶️ I consult the spaces in which I am registered

When you create your account, you are automatically registered in the following areas

▶️ The Guide space (you are currently viewing it) explains how the cMOOC works

▶️ The General space is an introduction to the cMOOC and allows you to introduce yourself to other participants

▶️ The Discover space is dedicated to raising awareness of gender inequalities in STEM jobs and careers

▶️ The Experiment space focuses on identifying individual and collective practices that reduce gender inequalities

▶️ The Transform and Integrate spaces are dedicated to in-depth practices, research and policies that aim to transform organisations and communities to achieve the goal of gender equality in STEM.

    Open STEM cMOOC
    WISE cMOOC Guide en français

     Tout le contenu peut être trouvé dans les espaces

    ▶️ Chaque espace est comme un petit site web avec sa propre navigation

    ▶️ Le CMOOC est divisé en 8 espaces

    ▶️ Je consulte les espaces dans lesquels je suis inscrit

    Lorsque vous créez votre compte, vous êtes automatiquement inscrit dans les zones suivantes

    ▶️ L’espace Guide (vous êtes en train de le consulter) explique comment fonctionne le cMOOC

    ▶️ L’espace GENERAL est une introduction au cMOOC et vous permet de vous présenter aux autres participants.

    ▶️ L’espace DISCOVER est dédié à la sensibilisation aux inégalités de genre dans les emplois et carrières STEM

    ▶️ L’espace EXPERIMENT se concentre sur l’identification des pratiques individuelles et collectives qui réduisent les inégalités de genre

    ▶️ Les espaces TRANSFORM et INTEGRATE sont consacrés aux pratiques, recherches et politiques approfondies qui visent à transformer les organisations et les communautés pour atteindre l’objectif de l’égalité des genres dans les STEM.

      Open STEM cMOOC
      Contribution of the University of Cyprus

      UCY contribution WISE cMOOC

      Pre-service teachers at the Department of Education, University of Cyprus, took part in a procedure of developing pedagogical scenarios for educational robotics (integrated STEM) and inquiry learning (for more details on the whole intervention, see Vakkou et al., under review). The sample included 25 pre-service teachers, 20 females and 5 males. Each participant would deliver one pedagogical scenario using the robot GINOBOT for creating learning activities for primary students (https://www.engino.com/w/index.php/products/innolabs-robotics/ginobot). Pedagogical scenarios should address the following criteria: Criterion 1: The scenario refers explicitly to the STEM subjects involved; Criterion 2: The scenario describes a real-world problem to be solved through thinking critically and creatively; Criterion 3: The scenario includes problem-solving activities with the GINOBOT robot; Criterion 4: The scenario seeks to engage girls as much as boys. Our objective was to investigate how well students could address each criterion and if female engagement was more of less difficult to tackle as compared to other criteria. All participants posted their deliverables in a shared space that we created on HumHub.

      About Open STEM Ecosystems

      The Open STEM Ecosystems are the environments where the individuals and communities meet to initiate and share practices on Gender Equality in STEM.

      Open STEM Ecosystems
      BRIDGES in action
      Version française


      Au lancement du projet BRIDGES, les représentants de l’Espace Mendès France, en tant que membres porteurs du projet, ont souhaité établir un lien concret entre les actions déployées sur le terrain et les opportunités du projet européen. A partir des retours fournis par les personnes en charge d’une opération de promotion de la place des femmes dans les sciences à Poitiers, nous avons établi un protocole exploratoire qui découle lui-même de deux dimensions du projet BRIDGES : la reconnaissance et le passage à l’action des personnes sensibilisées au sujet des femmes dans les sciences et techniques.

      L’objectif de cette collaboration est d’observer un projet local à une nouvelle échelle qui prend en compte l’impact social réel et potentiel de ce type d’opération. A partir de la notion d’écosystème d’acteurs et de reconnaissance (des personnes, des actions, des engagements et des volontés), nous avons procédé à de nombreuses rencontres et ateliers d’avril 2020 à juin 2022.

      Ce document rend compte du travail effectué. Il présente l’évolution d’une réflexion engagée sur plus de deux ans entre les porteurs de Bridges, les professionnels de terrain, les enseignants, les étudiants et les élèves de collège.


      Open STEM Ecosystems
      Comparing expert and peer assessment of pedagogical design in integrated STEAM education

      Peer assessment aims to actively involve peers in employing their knowledge and skills to assess peer work (Cestoneetal., 2008; Van Gennipetal.,2010).This may include providing peers with quantitative feedback, for instance, scores across assessment criteria, and/or qualitative feedback, with any justification of scores as well as recommendations for improving peer work (Hovardas et al., 2014; Tsivitanidou et al., 2011).The Later would be decisive for letting peer assessees benefit from peer feedback. In education, a quite effective peer assessment for mat has been the formative/reciprocal one (Tsivitanidouetal.,2011), which engages students in both the roles of peer assessor and peer assessee. Usually This starts with all students undertaking the same set of learning activities to deliver a set of learning products to be assessed.Learning Products are any physical or virtual are any physical or virtual are any physical or virtual artefacts created by students themselves as they go through a learning activity sequence (Hovardas, 2016; Hovardas et al., 2018). Having created the learning products to be assessed later on, the formative/reciprocal peer assessment


      About Open STEM Guidelines

      The Guidelines provide a guidance on how to implement practices and policies supporting Gender Equality in STEM. One of the key element for guidance is the “Gender Equality Maturity Matrix” which is the organising principle of all the work done during and beyond the duration of the project.

      Open STEM Guidelines
      The WISE Pathway to Gender Equality in STEM education and careers

      According to the findings of the European Commission’s She Report, which has been monitoring the level of progress towards gender equality in research and innovation in the European Union since 2003, women represent only about a third of researchers (33%) and a quarter of full professors (26%). They are also under-represented among independent professionals in the fields of science and engineering and ICT (25%).

      While there are a number of initiatives addressing gender inequality in STEM, most of them tend to be confined to raising awareness, something useful but insufficient to address fully a systemic problem: the main challenge for awareness raising programmes is to provide the instruments capable of transforming awareness into action. Without those tools, raising awareness would be akin to “spray and pray”—spray the good word and pray that something will happen from that.

      Systemic problems need systemic approaches and it is the objective of these guidelines, and the other resources developed by BRIDGES, to provide a systemic framework to design the tools and practices that will mobilise stakeholders to explore, design and implement a range of solutions to the issue of gender (in)equality in STEM education and careers.

      Open STEM Guidelines
      La voie WISE vers l'égalité des genres dans l'éducation et les carrières STEM

      Les Guidelines WISE1 ont été conçues par les partenaires de BRIDGES, un projet Erasmus+ visant à soutenir les personnes et les initiatives qui s’attaquent à l'(in)égalité des sexes dans l’éducation et les carrières STEM .

      Selon les conclusions du rapport She de la Commission européenne. Rapport She qui surveille depuis 2003 les progrès accomplis en matière d’égalité des sexes dans la recherche et l’innovation dans l’Union européenne, les femmes ne représentent qu’un tiers des chercheurs (33 %) et un quart des professeurs titulaires (26 %). Elles sont également sous-représentées parmi les professionnels indépendants dans les domaines des sciences et de l’ingénierie et des TIC (25 %).

      S’il existe un certain nombre d’initiatives visant à lutter contre l’inégalité entre les sexes dans les STEM, la plupart d’entre elles tendent à se limiter à la sensibilisation, ce qui est utile mais insuffisant pour s’attaquer pleinement à un problème systémique : le principal défi des programmes de sensibilisation est de fournir les instruments capables de transformer la sensibilisation en action. 


      Open STEM Guidelines
      Path to Gender Equality in STEM Companies

      BRIDGES is an initiative that supports gender equity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – STEM. There is substantial literature and data pointing at the complex set of factors that contribute to the unequal participation of men and women in STEM:

      from gender stereotypes that children are exposed to at home in their early years, to school environments riddled with bias, to discriminating policies in the workplace and in society at large.

      Yet another layer of complexity is added when we take a comparative perspective and discover how, even within the European Union, countries are faced with very different challenges related to gender equity. For instance, girls’ PISA test scores in science are higher than those of boys in Cyprus and Romania, while in France, the Netherlands and Belgium boys outperform girls (with a difference of over 10 points in Belgium) (UNESCO p.29). At the same time, compared to Romania, Belgium has a much higher percentage of students that are taught by female teachers specialized in science and mathematics in secondary education (roughly 14% compared to 24%) 


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