Multilingual Voices in STEM Education (Multi-STEM)

In the Netherlands, children with migrant backgrounds do not optimally participate in education and their multilingual voices are insufficiently heard. As instruction is in Dutch, these children face the double challenge of simultaneously learning a language and learning through that language. Knowledge and proficiency in the home language remain unused when learning mathematics or science. Several actors in children’s daily environments could strengthen their participation through enacting multilingual strategies. However, teachers do not know how to use children’s full linguistic repertoire. Educational professionals in science centres strive for inclusion but fail to do so. Migrant parents face obstacles to engage in their children’s education and learning because of language barriers. Even though in their daily lives children move between these formal (school), non-formal (science centres) and informal (home) settings, there is limited interaction between such settings and limited use of multilingualism as a resource to cross boundaries faced within and between settings.

Investigating multilingual strategies at school, science centers and homes, Multi-STEM aims to promote participation in STEM education of children with migrant backgrounds. Multi-STEM is a joint research project of Utrecht University, the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, and the University of Applied Sciences iPabo.

Researchers involved


The following partners are cooperating in this project:

  • Hogeschool Utrecht
  • iPabo Amsterdam
  • CPS onderwijsontwikkeling en advies
  • Expertis, Expertisecentrum Nederlands
  • Malmö University
  • Stichting Leerplanontwikkeling SLO
  • Platform Talent voor Technologie
  • NEMO
  • Museon
  • Teylers Museum
  • Spaarnesant
  • Voila
  • Wereldkidz
  • Zonova
  • Lund University Dept. of Clinical Sciences
  • Taal doet meer
  • It’s my child
  • Al-Amal
  • Joury
  • IOT
  • Vereniging voor Science Centers
  • Lowan
  • SPRONG consortium
  • Wetenschapsknooppunt Universiteit Utrecht
  • Yunus Emre
  • gemeente Den Haag
  • Defence for Children


This project is funded by NWO/NWA-ORC.

More information