While the central region of Salzburg has a wide range of extracurricular STEM education programs, the programs in the district of Tamsweg are more sparse and have little reference to the regional context due to their supraregional orientation. In addition, they are usually designed by experts and can only be shaped to a limited extent by young people. Few offers of the central region are held selectively in Lungau (e.g. in the form of workshops), but this leads to a lack of identification, sustainability and local “ownership”. MINKT Stories Lungau addresses this shortcomings and invites young people of the district to the independent implementation of a sharing platform for the district. Participants do not have to be web developers! A wide range of possible collaborations enables a participation of people with very different educational backgrounds.
In the early phase of the project, young people and interested citizens are involved in the needs assessment for the platform. Thus, a needs-based MINKT offering is already set as a goal in the conception phase. In the application and selection of developers, special emphasis is placed on a focus on women. The platform realization offers different task areas that can be chosen according to interest and previous knowledge. A balanced gender ratio in the support team and a targeted project application for girls are emphasized in order to encourage them to participate in the project. Existing networks for the advancement of women (e.g. ditatct and gendup at the University of Salzburg) are also used for this purpose. The usability of the platform is a central focus of the project. The young developers regularly communicate the progress of the project and present their results to interested regional parties. Care is taken to ensure that the platform is also attractive to young people not involved in the project, in line with the motto “by young people for young people”.
The main goal of this project is the encouragement of young people for STEM topics. Young people act as “Citizen Scientists” and play a key role in shaping the development of a district-wide platform in which regional elements are mapped. The focus is on the district as a regional reference element, through which data on various issues (nature, culture, tourism, etc.) are collected, visualized and discussed.
- Acquisition of MINKT skills: 1.) technical-collaborative citizen science (low-threshold access to research), 2.) digital transformation (recording, locating and visualizing data).
- “Local ownership”: youth better understand their region through the MINKT platform and identify with the project content through the “co-design” process.
- Publicly visible end product: presentation of the data and the platform in the form of a “story map” encourage participation and motivation (making the MINKT activity visible)
- Establishment and sustainability: opening and realization of various follow-up activities (thematic and technical expansion; VWA topics, internships, further workshops and projects)