STEM-approach in mathematics: The experience of an American professor

Professor of the Department of Mathematics Guershon Harel from the University of California (the USA) who is a key specialist in the field of STEM learning visited NTU “KhPI”. He delivered a presentation lecture for STEMCamp School participants, students and professors of the University. Guershon Harel became the second foreign lecturer for the attendees of the summer science camp STEMСamp School.

Within the framework of his visit to KhPI American Professor met with Rector Yevgen Sokol, vice-rector Gennadiy Khripunov, director of the Institute of Power Engineering, Electronics and Electromechanics NTU “KhPI” Roman Tomashevskyi and the chief of the International Relations Department Oleksandr Goncharov. The goal  — to discuss the issue of science popularization, implementation of the STEM-approach in training.

“I am glad to welcome you at our University and I highly appreciate your willingness to deliver a lecture for STEMСamp School participants. Physics, mathematics and chemistry are the key sciences at our University. We will be very pleased to continue our cooperation with you, because we believe that it is of great importance to introduce new approaches in teaching of these subjects” — noted the rector of NTU “KhPI”, Professor Yevgen Sokol.

Professor Guershon Harel said that he enjoys contributing to the development of engineering sciences, in particular mathematics. According to him, the problem of a low popularity of math among the youth is peculiar not only for the USA but also for other countries. “Mathematics shouldn’t be learned by heart, but it must be interesting. The quality of teaching must be improved, the way of subject presentation should be changed”, — narrated Guershon Harel.

The participants of the meeting touched upon the issue of the cooperation opportunities between the scientists from KhPI and Prof. Guershon Harel in the field of science, for example, the project development. On that day he gave the presentation lecture for the attendees of STEMCamp School NTU “KhPI”, students and lecturers. The theme: «Intellectual Need: A Guiding Principle for Instructional Design and Implementation».

After the event the students that attended STEMСamp School were awarded the certificates of attendance of the summer science camp.

More pictures of certificate-awarding ceremony are enclosed.


Guershon Harel is the professor of mathematics at the University of California (San Diego, the USA). Sphere of his interests is related to the cognition and epistemology of mathematics and their influence on mathematical academic programs and pedagogical education. This scientist is the coauthor of several books and he is also the author of more than 70 scientific papers devoted to the research in the field of math and its teaching; he is a participant of different conferences and projects.

STEMCamp School NTU “KhPI”  is an intensive summer school for children that started its work on June 4. The attendees were 100 schoolchildren from the city of Kharkov and the region. During ten days they worked with the scientists of the University, developed their own projects. The school finalized its work with the Hands on Science festival held on June 15 where the participants presented their final projects. STEMСamp School was initiated by the public society “Association of Young Scientists of NTU “KhPI” with the support of the US Embassy in Ukraine.

The abbreviation STEM stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”. These subjects make up the basics of this method of education and are studied taken together not separately. Practical implementation of obtained knowledge is of great value. A child does more than familiarize with the subject; he learns how to implement the scrutinized material in practice. The schoolchildren get practical skills that can help them to make their life more comfortable by designing, for example, “a smart home”.