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Deutscher Naturwerkstein-Verband e.V.

Presentation of the European Education Program WinSTONE

The Association of the German Natural Stone Industry (DNV) established an open webpage together with European Partners and co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, on which the most important basics, statistics and additional documents of the European Education Program WinSTONE – Opening Gates for Women in the Stone Sector are available. On September 16th, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. the DNV invited to an online-conference to present the final results.

Screenshot Online-Seminar WinSTONE 16.09.2021

Screenshot Online-Seminar WinSTONE 16.09.2021

This International Seminar has been used as the presentation of the WinSTONE project to students and professionals of the stone sector international and for Teachers and training companies in the international fields of stonemasonry /stone sculptor/natural stone mechanics and Employees in natural stone specialist companies. Experts of the natural stone industry also attended this event. The seminar was also aimed at the general public as an official presentation of the main objectives and results of the project.

In this conference, training materials and instructions for promoting equality for women in the natural stone industry will be presented, which teachers and trainers can use free of charge.

1. WinSTONE - general overview [DNV]
Mr. Reiner Krug presented the WinSTONE project and the partners of the project.
He said the number of female workers in the stone sector is very low and the project Wintone is opening gates for women in the stone sector and is trying to change this and to show women possibilities in the activities in the stone sector.
He briefly presented the main objectives of the WinSTONE project:
-    Expand on existing educational offerings.
-    Increase peer-networking opportunities by coordinating venues to connect and learn.
-    Develop a system of support and mentorship with other women in the industry.
-    Create opportunities for women to serve on key industry jobs.
-    Recognize emerging & experienced women who excel in the industry.
-    Create awareness of opportunities and career paths available to women considering careers in the stone industry.

He represented every partner of this project.

The coordinator of the project is DNV and their activities are:
- Representing the interests of the German natural stone industries with extraction and processing of natural stone for construction and monuments
- Dissemination of knowledge for building stones among architects, members and clients
- Creation and distribution of technical information, a set of rules for all applications of natural stone in construction
- Development of the official profession Natural Stone Mechanic (vocational education and training)
- Promoter and Partner of several research projects

Another partner in the project is NTUA – National technical university of Athens, School of mining and metallurgical engineering. The University is a big school in Greek with important professions for our project like architectural and civil engineering, mining, and metallurgical engineering etc. The most important part for Winstone is the Laboratory of mining and metallurgical engineering with 70 research projects. Now it has 4 permanent full-time academic staff, 3 post-doc researchers and several Ph.D. and M.Sc. students as research assistants.

One more project partner is IED – Institute of entrepreneurship development from Greek. They are a research organization committed to the promotion of innovation and the enhancement of the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s a Greek non-profit organisation committed to the promotion of innovation and the enhancement of the entrepreneurial spirit. As a state-of-the-art international organization, a certified Center of Excellence and a DIH, iED produces and transfers know-how, boosts entrepreneurial cognitive processes, and supports every entrepreneurial venture across Europe.
They have implemented more than 200 National and European projects under numerous Financial Frameworks and established a wide network of partners and collaborating organizations from Europe and beyond.

One more important partner is CTM – Centro tecnologico del marmol Spain. They are a business association for research marble, natural stone and materials technology centre. Their areas of expertise are testing laboratory, safety in work, geology and geophysics, construction and architecture, R&D and innovation, information and communications technologies, transfer of results of investigations, training.

And the last partner is Klesarska škola from Pučišća, Island Brač, Croatia. It’s a unique specialized stonemason school in the Republic of Croatia. It’s the only school like this in Croatia. It teaches stonemasons (3 years duration) and stonemason technician (4 years duration).

Mr. Reiner Krug show the official website of the project

2. Presentation of the project scope [CTM]
Mr. David Caparrós Perez gave a brief presentation of the objectives and results of the project. He said that project started in 1-10-2019 and end of the project is 30-9-2021. He represented main context of the project and objectives.
WinSTONE will become a resource for women to broaden their perspective (personal) through meaningful strategic connections at any level of their career, so they can reach their full potential and accelerate or enhance their career growth. The objectives of the project will be: expand on existing educational offerings, increase peer-networking opportunities by coordinating venues to connect and learn, develop a system of support and mentorship with other women in the industry, create opportunities for women to serve on key industry jobs, recognize emerging & experienced women who excel in the industry, create awareness of opportunities and career paths available to women considering careers in the stone industry, work with the WinSTONE Board of Directors and other committees and associations to achieve these goals.
Target groups for the project are: Women - VET centres and vocational training teachers - Entrepreneurs of the stone sector.

Mr. Caparros Perez was also representing the main results of the projects and everything that all partners needs to do including videos and handbooks for students in the OER, international seminars and reports for them. He was also representing the Open educational resource centre that is going to be on an offical website of the project and Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with webinars and tutorials. And finally, he said that at the end of the project partners are going to do Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for women in the stone sector and try to implement this project in the future.

3. Open Educational Resource [Klesarska škola]
Tamara Plastić is Principal of Klesarska škola, she has a master's degree from the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Split. She was a professor of physics and computing in Klesarska škola.
As a principal, she tries to increase the number of students, because without that there is no knowledge or development or preservation of the stonemasonry profession.

In her presentation she said the corona pandemic has also prompted us to focus more on digitization in order to make information accessible, that means, at any time and from any place. This should also make the transfer of knowledge easier and faster. This is precisely what we can do in our project. We can make all tasks, communications, learning progress and results transparently accessible to everyone via the Open Educational Resource Platform via the project website

Then she explained the structure of the OER platform with the different access points: DIRECT ACCESS, PRIVATE AREA and MOOC. MOOC is a special part of the platform for die Communication among students and teachers. Since the MOOC platform is not yet fully finished, Tamara explained their MOOC platform at the school of Croatia, called LOOMEN. It was launched by the Croatian government at the beginning of the Corona crisis as a communication platform for online teaching. The WINstone MOOC has been adapted to this croatian variant and will be online shortly.
Through the LOOMEN platform, a survey of teachers at the croatian stonemason’s school was launched on what they think of women in the stone sector. First, the teachers college was interviewed. This was important in order to obtain an up-to-date picture of opinion with the help of the survey results. And it has been confirmed that more young women are important and desirable for the stone industry. The survey also showed that a higher proportion of women creates a better atmosphere in school classes.

In the second step, the handbooks were integrated into the croatian LOOMEN platform in order to improve or expand the teaching content with the help of the project results.
She then explained the structure of the LOOMEN platform and its functions such as the calendar, chats and handbooks.
She also pointed out that since the WINstone project is starting she has four new female students at the school – and thanks to be part of the project. Because the Winstone project is very popular in Croatia. She thanks for being a project partner.

4. Conclusions [DNV]
Reiner Krug finished seminar with final conclusion. He praised the croatian tool and is sure it is a great success. The DNV will also continue to promote the Winstone project.