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  5. “STEAM Library Ver.1” to be Released as Platform for Fostering Leading Players for Shaping Future Society

“STEAM Library Ver.1” to be Released as Platform for Fostering Leading Players for Shaping Future Society

Online forums under the "Learning Innovation" demonstration project to be held on March 12 (Fri.) and 13 (Sat.), 2021, for explanations on the platform

March 1, 2021

The term “STEAM,” an acronym for “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, is a world-common keyword to educational reforms as a learning approach characterized by “interdisciplinary integrated, exploratory and project-based learning.” In FY2022, high schools across Japan, and other countries, will start teaching new subjects in “comprehensive exploratory learning,” “exploratory learning on science and mathematics” and “the public and the community,” while elementary and junior high schools will also focus on explanatory learning.

Taking this opportunity, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will release “STEAM Library Ver.1,” on March 1, 2021, a platform developed under the “Learning Innovation” demonstration project. Aiming to provide children with opportunities to grow into “people who play leading roles in shaping future societies,” this platform provides digital educational materials that are useful not only for learning in schools but also for individual exploratory learning, and is expected to stimulate users to start exploratory learning and broaden understanding of points of issue. In addition, METI will also fully renovate its Learning Innovation website to make it more user-friendly in schools in line with contents provided on websites such as “EdTch Library” and “School BPR.” In addition, METI will open a call for partner schools and partner teachers that are willing to cooperate in efforts to improve the first version and help development the second version as well. Additionally, METI will hold Learning Innovation forums on March 12 (Fri.) and 13 (Sat.), 2021, online, bringing together content developers. These forums will provide discussions on such developers’ passions for content development and potential for future utilization and expansion thereof.

1. Opening of the STEAM Library Ver.1 under the Learning Innovation project

In June 2019, METI compiled the visions for the “Learning Innovation” project (*1) and presented the “STEAM-based learning approach,” i.e., an approach to realizing a learning cycle of “knowledge” and “creation” which derives from a sense of excitement of students, which contributed to developing the “GIGA School Program,” an initiative that the government has been taking full effort to advance. Following this, in August 2020, the Working Group (WG) on Discussing STEAM under the “Learning Innovation” project formulated an interim report (*2). Based on the policies presented in the report, METI developed an online library called the “STEAM Library Ver.1” and will release it to the public on March 1, 2021. This platform is accessible free of charge.

This is the platform’s first version that provides educational materials covering over 50 themes developed in FY2020. The respective contents focus on comprehensive, interdisciplinary social challenges which do not fall under any conventional categories of subjects as well as on challenges in people’s daily lives which are familiar to students, and they are linked to the 17 subjects based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) upheld by the United Nations. Users are able to access the platform free of charge and teachers are not only able to make use of the platform in classrooms but also to excerpt and process provided materials for the purpose of using them as online educational materials for students’ learning. Prior to using such materials, please confirm the related copyright rules for contents.

In FY2021, METI will improve upon STEAM Library Ver.1 in order to develop the second version while taking into consideration responses from teachers and students in an open innovation style. To this end, it will open a call for “partner teachers” and “partner schools” which are willing to strongly cooperate in this effort.

If you, a teacher or school, are interested in this effort, confirm the information provided on the Learning Innovation portal website and contact the secretariat.


2. Renovation of the portal website for the Learning Innovation project

METI fully renovated the portal website for the Learning Innovation project based on the accumulated practical case examples derived from the demonstration tests and demands of teachers and schools for addressing changes in the educational field. While keeping the conventional functions, it reorganized the major functions into the following four groups and will strive to enhance conveyance of a variety of information.

A. STEAM Library

As shown in this press release, the website provides a variety of contents to promote the STEAM-based learning approach.

B. EdTech Library

This website provides explanations for EdTech services for schools, which were used in the Future Innovation demonstration project. It presents a variety of functions in an easy-to-understand manner, placing eyes on future introduction of the functions into schools, and also explains case examples of leading schools and other educational organizations that have introduced them in order to convey referential information to other schools and municipalities that are considering the introduction of such services.

C. School BPR website

METI developed a website for explaining the School BPR initiatives (the term “BPR” is an acronym for “Business Process Re-engineering,” an approach that private companies take for a working style reform).

The website aims to promote the working style reform for teachers and schools, which is an element for carrying out innovative learning, and fundamentally review the conventional details of works, work flows and other duties

D. Innovative Learning Correspondence

This website features newsletters to convey outstanding efforts under the Innovative Learning demonstration project and excellent case examples of leading businesses taking advantage of the Subsidies for Introducing EdTech. It conveys role models of “new learning approaches” which teachers and students across Japan develop by making use of EdTech. The newsletters will be distributed as email newsletters to people who have completed prior registration.

3. Announcement of online forums under the Innovative Learning project

METI will hold online forums to hold briefings on the results of the FY2020 Innovative Learning project. In these two-day forums, it will hold briefings on practical case examples of leading schools and provide a panel discussion on the FY2020 project, including the STEAM Library. Admission is free. METI hopes that many of you will attend them.

Date and time

Day 1: March 12 (Fri.), 2021; from 18:00 to 21:00 (online distribution)
Day 2: March 13 (Sat.), 2021; from 14:00 to 17:00 (online distribution)
Note: For an overview of the forums and how to access them, see the Appendix.

Related material

Division in Charge

Educational Industry Office, Service Affairs Policy Division, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group

Related website