The 2022 Newton Partner Summit takes place in Brussels
Last week, representatives from nine countries joined the annual Newton Partner Summit, which took place in Brussels, Belgium. The key focus of the two-day event was to facilitate an exchange between our international partners around ideas and strategies for ensuring the continued success of the Newton Concept in their respective countries. This was the first time so many of our partners had the opportunity to gather in person since 2018.
The Newton Concept operates in communities of all sizes and is successful due to the value it places on input from various stakeholders within those communities. Each new project that Newton undertakes relies on a strong partnership between education, government, and industry – no matter where it is.
“Since our initial expansion outside of Norway in 2015, the international success of the Newton Concept has continued to exceed our expectations,” says Alysia Tofflemire, Executive Director of Newtonroom gGmbH. “It was incredibly rewarding to come together with so many of our partners to recognize their hard work and progress, and to discuss the future direction of Newton globally.”
An opportunity for sharing knowledge across borders
On the first day of the summit, participants heard from Newton's leadership about key developments and strategies. Afterward, the focus shifted to a knowledge exchange that invited individual partners to share their successes and challenges with deploying the Newton Concept in their respective regions. For example, the Glasgow Science Centre – which has operated a Newton Flight Academy since March 2022 – spoke about how Newton complements the centre’s strategy to engage the public in STEM and how they aim to build even stronger connections with industry in the future. Other partners, such as the town of Ludbreg in Croatia, shared their aspirations about embarking on a new partnership with Newton thanks to a successful application for a European Economic Area (EEA) grant to establish two Newton Rooms in their community.
Sébastien Delannoy and Guillaume De Chazournes represent Federation Léo Lagrange, the national Newton Operating Partner in France.
Science Heroes Association becomes the Newton Operating Partner in Türkiye
An important highlight was the formal announcement of the Science Heroes Association as the official Newton Operating Partner (NOP) in Türkiye. The organisation already operates a Mobile Newton Room, which is set to travel to different locations across the country in the coming years, and they have some exciting projects that will launch very soon.
“We are both proud and excited to be the Newton Operational Partner in Türkiye,” said Aslı Yıkıcı Yurtsever, Secretary General of the Science Heroes Association, who signed the partnership agreement at the Summit. “The Mobile Newton Room, which we launched in April 2022, is a fantastic initiative that has already reached nearly 600 students. Seeing a positive impact on their self-esteem and knowledge of the real world, my team and I are extremely happy with the outcomes of our efforts and we can’t wait to meet more students from all over Türkiye and to deepen our cooperation with FIRST Scandinavia and Boeing.”
Aslı Yıkıcı Yurtsever, General Secretary of the Science Heroes Association in Türkiye, shakes hands with Stian Elstad, Managing Director of FIRST Scandinavia, after officially signing the Newton Operating Partner agreement.
Chocolatiers for an evening
To cap off an insightful day in the conference room, participants took a break to get some hands-on experience in one of Belgium’s major industries. Following in the footsteps of Jean Neuhaus, who invented the praline in Brussels over a century ago, all summit participants became chocolatiers for the evening and had the chance to make their own signature pralines.
Taking a break from regular business, the Newton Network joins a Belgian Chocolate Workshop.
Attending AviAll’s Aviation 4 Girls initiative at EUROCONTROL
On the second day, partners were invited to visit the Mobile Newton Room which was on location at the headquarters of EUROCONTROL, or the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, for two weeks leading up to and including the Aviation 4 Girls day organised by AviAll. In addition to visiting the Mobile Newton Room, the partners had the opportunity to take part in the Aviation 4 Girls event – hearing from, among others, the Director of Network Management at EUROCONTROL, Iacopo Prissinotti, the European Commission’s Director General for Education, Youth and Culture, Themis Christophidou, and five inspiring young women who have already launched exciting careers in the field of aviation.
Themis Christophidou, the European Commission’s Director General for Education, Youth, and Culture speaks to over 100 young participants at AviAll’s annual Aviation 4 Girls event.
A valuable opportunity for the international network
This year’s Newton Partner Summit was an important step in further strengthening our global community of practice. The event created an opportunity for partners to learn, build capacity, share knowledge, and collaborate. These elements are integral to the continued success of Newton on a global scale.
“The Newton Partner Summit was extremely valuable for the work our team does at the Federation Léo Lagrange. Not only did we discover the incredible diversity of the Newton Network, but we also learned a lot from the experiences other partners have had with the concept,” said Guillaume De Chazournes, who represents the Léo Lagrange Federation and the Newton Concept in France. “Most importantly, we met wonderful people, who all share the same desire to give young people a taste for STEM.”
The 2022 Newton Partner Summit kicked off with an interactive round of Newton Bingo.