Vilnius University (VU), one of the oldest higher schools in the Central and East Europe, persistently embodies the integrity of education and research. VU has 12 faculties, 7 institutes, 4 study and research centers, the most modern library, etc. with 3750 academic staff and over 21 000 students (Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD degrees). With its large scientific potential in STEM-related disciplines, VU is purposefully seeking and expanding collaboration with the country’s educational system through implementing research and innovative teaching and learning methods in schools, e.g. problem-solving, learning by doing, IBL, RRI, technology enrich learning. VU actively collaborates with the Ministry of Education, Science, and Sport, its satellite centers for teacher training and for IT implementation into schools, municipalities, etc. in terms of performing scientific research on STEM-related topics. VU is a leading institution of the national network of STEM education by establishing 8-labs STEM center for schools – high education students. The activities in the center include the multidisciplinary design of the teaching methodology and instructional aids in the field of STEM as well as research-based evaluation of its effectiveness. VU joined the ICSE, the International Centre for STEM Education.
Valentina Dagiene has been working on informatics (computing) education for many years with focus is on education software engineering, interactive tasks for teaching informatics, promoting coding to young students, and gamification. The group conducts international conferences and workshops on informatics and computational thinking education. In 2004, the “Bebras” model on informatics education was designed, which is successfully implemented in over 60 countries to this date. Both ESI and DMSTI have a close cooperation: maintain the established network of schools, organize conferences and workshops, support teachers’ professional development, and implement projects. ESI and DMSTI contribute to various innovative projects and activities, development of informatics curricula and textbooks for schools, maintenance of innovative STEM labs.
Vladimiras Dolgopolovas currently works at the Education Systems Group at Vilnius University. Vladimiras does research in Informatics Education, Programming Languages, Software Engineering and Scientific Computing, Natural Science. Their current project is ‘Computational Thinking’.