Institutional message

The Mangualde STEM Academy is the result of an application by the Municipality of Mangualde to a project promoted by Intermunicipal Community of Viseu Dão Lafões, "Promotion of Educational Success Viseu Dão Lafões", to "Support the Educational Contexts and Pedagogical Practices of Success". In this context, Academi@ STEM Mangualde aims to support work in a school context, promoting the use of new ICT tools, encouraging project work, collaborative and interdisciplinary work new learning methodologies. The Academy aims to promote success, inclusion and an improvement in the quality of learning, seeking to develop teaching and learning in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics aimed at the integration of disciplinary knowledge. This Academy has as its premises i) curriculum development, in an articulated way between STEM subjects, with a local context ii) the training of teachers based on in the teaching and learning strategies related to the developed STEM activities iii) the creation of events to disseminate the work carried out and reflect on teaching practices, disseminating/discussing concrete activities, focusing on its different dimensions, iv) integration of the business and cultural fabric of Mangualde, particularly project partners, in the development and promotion of activities in a real context, v) presentation of proposals tfor a new organization of school, namely, the creation of teams that enhance the curriculum development focused on the local context.

The work developed in the Mangualde STEM Academy, by teachers, collaborators and political and pedagogical decision-makers, is also intended to be a reference for the planning of projects with a strong local nature, valuing the development of activities within the curriculum and involving a network of collaborators from different companies, local entities to higher education institutions. It is a work that, in a second part, presents concrete proposals for interdisciplinary activities, from preschool to 9th grade, which is expected to be an incentive for the development of teaching-learning strategies closer to current guidelines and the promotion of of essential skills for the future of students.

Message from the Councilor for Education/Vice-President of the Municipality of Mangualde, Rui Costa

Rui Costa

At a time when the relationship between municipalities and education is intensified through the legal transfer of responsibilities by the national government, which will allow for closer and more concerted action with the various educational agents, it is a great pride to be able to count on a project such as the Mangualde STEM Academy, which, from the very beginning, deserved the full support of the municipality of Mangualde and of several partners who, recognising the relevance of this project, have followed its development and supported its actions.

The creation of this Academy presupposed, from its origins, in April 2018, the hiring of two full-time professionals, one more focused on the didactic-pedagogical dimension (curriculum development, coordination,...) and another focused on supporting the technical dimension that the implementation of the activities require (technological, material,…) and all the communication related to the work developed in the project. Additionally, an external consultant was hired to assist and contribute with information, ideas, reflection and assessment of the work carried out in the Academy.

In order to add another dimension to the project, contextualizing the STEM activities, linking students' work to the municipality's everyday life, several partners were invited to integrate the project, particularly Patinter, CBI and MangualTécnica. In addition to these, a higher education institution, the Portuguese Catholic University in Viseu was invited to contribute to the enrichment of STEM activities, with the possibility of taking our students to their facilities and, in this way, taking advantage of professional laboratory and scientific expertise. Additionally, as it was considered essential that national entities linked to education could monitor, assess the impact of the project and contribute as much as possible, the Directorate-General for Education was also invited as a partner.

The assessment we make at the moment of the project's added value for the municipality could not be better and for this reason we dedicate a continued commitment to the Academy, for example, through the purchase of new materials necessary for practices that are increasingly innovative, ensuring the transport of students whenever field trips or visits are carried out and guaranteeing the continuity of the hired human resources.

We believe that the work developed and here shared can help other municipalities and entities with educational responsibilities to reflect and design sustainable educational proposals and projects with a direct impact on schools, teachers and students, and on the educational community in general.

Message from the Director of the Mangualde Schools' Cluster, Agnelo Figueiredo

Agnelo Figueiredo

Our STEM Academy has been a quality niche for the Mangualde Schools. Combining the typical approach of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, it has provided students with truly significant learning, going beyond the simple understanding of facts and things, to reach the level of relationship, analysis and synthesis of knowledge.

The next step is decisive: the expansion, by contagion of practices, to more and more classes, in the sense of generalizing the methodology to the universe of our students. For this, it is hoped that this site and the publications here shared will be a valuable contribution, not only for the teachers of the Schools' Cluster, but for all those who intend to innovate and work in an articulated way in the aforementioned areas.

Message from the Director of the EduFor Teacher Training Center, José Miguel Sousa

José Miguel Sousa

EduFor's involvement in the process that is documented in this site began in 2016 when the Municipality of Mangualde, through the then councilor for education, sought to invest in areas of strong impact on students' academic success and subject to co-financing by the Intermunicipal Community of Viseu Dão Lafões, within the scope of the Innovative Plan for the Promotion of Educational Success, aimed at students from the Mangualde School Group.

Although the principles of STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) had been known for decades, it was only more recently that research began to recognise the importance of this approach, which had, at the time, little expression in Portuguese schools. This was the scenario when the Municipality of Mangualde, the Mangualde Schools' Cluster (AEM) and the EduFor Training Center started, in April 2018, an innovative and differentiating project - the Mangualde STEM Academy - to promote education in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, in an integrated and aggregating way, with the central goal of improving student learning, with particular emphasis on skills for the 21st century.

By coincidence, or fate, the project was developed, at AEM, at a time parallel to the generalisation of the Decree-Laws no. 54 and 55.

The preamble to the aforementioned Decree-Laws read that “The achievement of significant learning and the development of more complex skills presuppose time for the consolidation and integrated management of knowledge, valuing disciplinary knowledge, but also interdisciplinary work, diversification of procedures and assessment instruments, the promotion of research, relationship, analysis skills, mastery of exposition and argumentation techniques, the ability to work cooperatively and autonomously”. And it is really interesting to see how the framework and organizational structure of the STEM Academy in Mangualde already shared those principles. In fact, what this project distinguished itself in was precisely the integrative way in which it approaches the curriculum, in terms of the subjects involved, and the way in which it appeals to methodologies and pedagogical approaches that facilitate the involvement of students in the construction of their own learning.

The Mangualde STEM Academy has demonstrated, through its practice, that it is possible to operationalise the principles of the Decree-Laws no 54 and 55. with the various institutions of community, from companies to university institutions. It also stood out for the involvement of the teachers who form the pedagogical teams of the project in sustained collaborative practices, namely through the articulated work in face-to-face and online work meetings.

It is now a fact that the Academy implements, promotes and develops with students pedagogical practices that promote the quality of learning, school success and student autonomy, using active learning methodologies. It also contributes, as already mentioned, to the implementation of Curricular Autonomy and Flexibility (AFC), since the pedagogical dynamics are based on “work of an interdisciplinary nature and disciplinary articulation, preferably operated by educational teams that accompany classes or student groups.”

To this extent, methodologies have been privileged that provide significant learning, supported by the involvement of students in the construction of knowledge and facilitators of increasing autonomy: project-based learning; collaborative learning spaces; group work using various sources of research and different tasks with an increasing degree of complexity; curricular and interdisciplinary articulation; “Flipped Classroom” methodologies; use and exploration of Innovative Educational Environments, all of which are strongly supported by educational technologies.

The shared activities in this website are just a sample of what has been produced since April 2018, but that we want enough to dazzle you and attract you to this new world in a new school.

Message from the Directorate-General for Education


Currently, the extraordinary development of science and technology has had a significant impact on people, society, the environment and, inevitably, education. We are constantly confronted with technical-scientific issues with ethical, social, economic and political implications. Many of these issues, when related to the safety of living beings and the environment, assume a particularly sensitive dimension, implying complex political decisions, which cannot fail to involve, from a democratic perspective, all citizens. It is therefore essential to develop a scientific literacy that allows everyone to participate, in a thoughtful and enlightened way, in solving the increasingly pressing issues involving science and technology.

In view of the new challenges to education, current educational policies, mirrored in the principles contained in Decree-Laws no. 54 and 55 contents, in an interdisciplinary perspective, in accordance with what is recommended in the Profile of Students Leaving Compulsory Schooling (PASEO). In other words, the idea that the “school, as an environment conducive to learning and the development of skills, where students acquire the multiple literacies they need to mobilize, has to be reconfigured to respond to the demands of these times of unpredictability and accelerated changes” (PASEO). In this sense, the AP, which constitutes a common and national matrix, promotes the development of investigative skills, summoning, for this purpose, scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity, critical and interventionist spirit, creativity and collaborative work. In fact, it is through the investigative process, in all its phases, that students can understand how science is built, how it has evolved and how it influences and is influenced by society. This is the only way to prepare young people for a truly enlightened and conscious intervention in decisions regarding socio-scientific questions that are increasingly being asked. This is, in fact, the perspective underlying the Essential Learning in the area of ​​science and mathematics.

In this context, it is with the greatest appreciation that the Directorate-General has been following and supporting the Mangualde STEM Academy, on whose work this publication is focused, congratulating itself on the participation and commitment of the school, teachers and students that this project reflects. This initiative represents an important contribution to the promotion of science teaching that is intended to be contextualized and based on the collaborative work of teachers, which implies sharing, collective construction and dissemination, within the local community but also, in a broader context, to a general public. The Academy, by supporting educational contexts and successful pedagogical practices, promoting innovation, using new learning methodologies, using digital tools, encouraging project work, promoting collaborative and interdisciplinary work, significantly promotes the teaching and learning in the STEM areas, defended by the Ministry of Education, in accordance with what is established in the Profile of Students Leaving Compulsory Schooling and in line with Essential Learning in the area of ​​science and mathematics.

The sharing of good practices that this site and the publications in it represent is also to be commended, both in terms of reasoning in terms of perspectives underlying all the work developed, essential for its understanding by readers/teachers, and in terms of the usefulness that a practice textbook of this kind represents.

Initiatives of this nature represent an added value to stimulate the interest and motivation of young people for learning science, developing talents and encouraging the choice of scientific careers, also having positive effects on the work of teachers, by contributing to the encouragement of innovative practices.