Every year in November Charles Thorp Comprehensive School (formerly Ryton School) in Gateshead organises a Numeracy Week for Key Stage 3 students. They invite people who can talk about Maths in an interesting way, share their passion for the subject and show how Maths can be applied in real life scenarios. This year on the 16th November 2011 a STEM Ambassador Sandra Hardwick went to visit the school.
Here is Sandra’s reflection on the event: I went to the school at a pre-arranged time and met with a member of the maths teaching staff who took me to the first classroom. I delivered a 45 minute presentation to 15 year old students using a powerpoint presentation that I had prepared. The subject was roughly “how is numeracy that you learn at school relevant to my job”. I gave a half a dozen examples including trigonometry, measuring, accuracy, graphs, databases and charts.
After coffee break I went to deliver a more focussed presentation to lower sixth form students studying A level Mechanics and talked them through a real life project I am involved with relating the photos, drawings and diagrams to what they are studying.
I really enjoyed visiting the school and meeting the young students. I looked forward to doing it and the experience didn’t disappoint. The staff met me and took me through the school and the IT equipment worked in the first session but we had problems in the second session which did make the delivery much more difficult.
They students were (mostly) attentive and some even asked relevant questions. Of course some of them were too “cool” to take notice but this doesn’t bother me at all! I can vaguely remember my school days and might well have acted in the same way except no-one ever came to talk to us back then!
In the future, before I deliver similar events, I would email my presentations to the school ahead of the session to allow them to put them on the IT equipment before hand.
I would also build in exercises for the students to take part in.
I think the STEM outreach is essential to inspire young people to think more carefully about what they actually want to do after they leave school. I used to work in the university sector teaching undergrads and many of them “arrived” on enrolment day without a clue as to WHY they were there and WHY they’d chosen the course they were about to spend 4 years studying!
Sandra Hardwick is a Chartered Building Surveyor who specialises in energy assessment calculations of all types of buildings. She acts as a self-employed consultant to many Architects and property developers regarding how they can design and build construction projects in an environmentally conscious way. She also worked as a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University for many years. Sandra is a member of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a STEM Ambassador.
Once a week we send to our STEM Ambassadors 5 new ideas for STEM activities. Today we would like to introduce you to the world of Maths (NRICH and Bowling Maths), Food (Food for Life), Space (ESERO) and Technology (Connected Earth). Please check more details below. And enjoy planning your new activities!
The NRICH Project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. Their website offers thousands of our free mathematics enrichment materials (problems, articles and games) for teachers and learners from ages 5 to 19 years. All the resources are designed to develop subject knowledge, problem-solving and mathematical thinking skills.
ESERO-UK aims to promote the use of space to enhance and support the teaching and learning of STEM in schools in the UK. The project is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Department for Education. Their website offers teaching resources and activities.
Bowland Maths makes maths fun and absorbing for pupils aged 11-14. The aim is to help change pupils’ views of maths by increasing their motivation and enjoyment, which should help increase their confidence and their competence. A second aim is to help teach maths in a different way.
STEM Ambassador Adam Lord from Siemens recently helped with the Wind Turbine Challenge organised for local schools in York by Siemens and the Smallpeice Trust.
The goal of the day was to build a wind turbine out of paper, nuts and bolts, blu tack, straws, tape, corrugated plastic, cogs and a generator. The winning team would be the one that produces the best cost/voltage ratio.
After the event Adam said: “My role was to facilitate and provide advice where necessary. I think the kids really enjoyed it.”
The Royal Society of Chemistry is offering 2 grant-schemes to schools:
Chemistry at Work events are careers-based for Year 11s and under, which can also include Primary. Outside speakers who use chemistry in their working life give hands-on presentations to groups of students and during the day, the students move round until they’ve visited everyone. Smaller events (150-ish students) tend to be run over one day and you can bid for funding up to £800 per day. Larger events, where more schools are involved can last up to 3 days and the daily rate is the same (£800 x 3 = £2400). Chemistry at Work events can be run in a school where if possible other schools are invited, in industry, at a University or anywhere you think it would work. You don’t just have to run one event but if you are thinking of running a few, please bear in mind the time it will take to organise and also put in a separate form for each event.
The expression of interest forms for Chemistry at Work events need to be sent to email@example.com 1st December 2011.
ChemNet events are for 16-19 year old chemists and are much smaller and tend to last a few hours rather than the full day. Ideally, they’d be 20-30 students per event and as with the Chemistry at Work events, speakers would give hands on sessions. You can bid for up to £500 per event with one form submitted per event.
The Engineering in STEM Clubs CPD will be taking place on Thursday 8th December 4.00pm-6.00pm at Science Learning Centre North East. If you would like to attend please click the following link to register. http://stemcpdframwellgate.eventbrite.com/ Places are limited so please register asap.
Please note that all schools who attend the CPD will receive a free resource, ‘Engineering in a Box’ that contains hard copies of the resources produced by the Royal Academy of Engineering, and a selection of specialist resources worth over £75 to support the delivery of engineering in your STEM Club.
A STEM Ambassador who is an engineer that has worked in industry and now works with young people will be involved in the session.
Engineering in STEM Club Course Details
This free course is intended for anyone who is currently running or is considering running a STEM or STEM-related club (e.g. a science club, maths club etc.) and would like to include more Engineering into their programme of activities.
The session looks at creating positive images of engineering, and breaking down negative stereotypes to highlight the diverse and creative elements of engineering. It also offers a selection of activity ideas and access to support resources. The session has been developed with the specialist and non specialist in mind.
Come along, network with club leaders, get plenty of activity ideas and develop your club.
Light refreshments will be provided.
This course is offered free of charge through the Engineering Engagement Project from the Royal Academy of Engineering. By applying and accepting a place on this course your school will be automatically be signed up to the Engineering Engagement project mailing list. For more information visit www.raeng.org.uk/eenp
After some fantastic placements last summer we are now looking for project hosts for Summer 2012. Could you host one of the region’s bright, enthusiastic and capable young scientists and engineers?
Nuffield Bursaries offer aspiring young scientists the opportunity to explore their chosen field of science, technology, engineering or maths during a 4 to 6 week summer placement. North East placements are offered by leading local and national businesses, scientific industrial research institutes and all of our excellent local universities.
STEMNET and the Paralympic Torch Relay Team are challenging 11-14 year olds to create a spark to light the Paralympic Flame by the energy of human endeavour.
The Challenge is to design a spectacular human-powered invention for creating the spark which lights the Paralympic Flame. For the Challenge entries, pupils must produce a design for their device and present to a panel of judges. Pupils will need to provide enough evidence to convince the judges that their invention will work.
Once a week we are emailing our STEM Ambassadors links to 5 new websites where they can find some inspiration and information which will hopefully help them in planning STEM activities for schools. Websites very often include career path info, images which might be used in presentations or lesson plans. This week we are focusing on careers… Future Morph is about Maths, NHS careers about variety of jobs in health sector and STEM careers videos show some STEM Ambassadors in action in schools. Enjoy!
This website is designed to show you just some of the amazing and unexpected places that studying science, technology, engineering and maths can take you. Think of this as your basecamp, your launchpad, the door is open come on in and explore.
STEM Outreach is recruiting! We are looking for 1 person to join our Newcastle College STEM Outreach team. People with some interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) are invited to apply.