In this guide: Positive approaches to running STEM Clubs and general tips for running a successful STEM Club.
In this guide: Positive approaches to running STEM Clubs and general tips for running a successful STEM Club.
This guide shows you how to go about the important issue of funding, how to run a STEM Clubs with next to nothing, and the possible sources of finance for your STEM Club
Ways to Fund Your Club
Running a Club on a Shoestring
This guide shows how students can be involved in STEM Clubs, and how STEM Clubs can also benefit from STEM Ambassadors and other volunteers.
Involving External Volunteers
This guide will give you an idea of the impact STEM Clubs have on achievement, some opportunities for staff CPD, and the awards and competitions STEM Clubs can engage in.
Awards and Competitions
This series of films will give you an idea of how to create your club identity, extend the impact of your club, and working with other schools and your local community.
Your Club Identity
Working With Other Schools
Involving the Wider School
Working With Your Local Community
In this guide: STEMNET highlight what you would need to consider when setting up your club, and show a range of different approaches.
The Benefits of setting up a STEM Club
Working across STEM
Who will be your STEM Club members
What to do and how to do it
Six new practical biology activities to engage students in Biology topics, from developing super-strength glue to investigating the decline of conker trees.
The activities are designed to enhance the curriculum, covering areas not supported by existing resources. They were developed with STEM Ambassadors in mind, and include guidance on introducing the topic, how to present the activity, structuring the session, equipment lists and health and safety notes.
The activities explore the following topics, providing STEM Ambassadors and teachers with guidance on introducing the topic, how to present the activity, structuring the session, equipment lists and health and safety notes:
The STEM Directories are an online resource to help teachers find Enhancement & Enrichment activities across the UK to support their teaching. It contains information about activities delivered in-school as well as trips that schools can make and challenges, competitions and summer schools. STEM Directories have over 300 schemes live on the site, but are keen to make the resource as comprehensive and useful to teachers as possible. As an added bonus, we provide 30 grants a year of £500 to teachers in English state schools, and more £500 grants for Maths teachers UK-wide who select a scheme listed on the STEM Directories site. If you’re not already listed, it’s an easy process and you will become eligible for teachers to apply to spend £500 on your scheme. The closing dates for these rounds of grants are 20 March 2013 and 22 March 2013.
To register, visit www.stemdirectories.org.uk/login/?action=register
And for more information about the grants, go to www.stemdirectories.org.uk/teacher-faqs
The STEM Directories provide information about ways to support and extend your science, engineering, design and mathematics teaching. Some schemes bring exciting activities into your school, others can provide a memorable day out for your students or a nationwide competition to help motivate your science club. They might involve bringing a real scientist, engineer or mathematician into the classroom, give your students access to equipment not readily available or simulate real-life applications of science and technology. Many schemes can provide supporting teaching materials to help get the most of the activity.
STEM Directories also offer grants of up to £500 available for you to have a STEM Enrichment activity take place at your school in 2013. The closing dates for these rounds of grants are the are 20 March 2013 and 22 March 2013.
For more information about the grants, and to apply, please visit
The British Science Association has published a new guide for teachers about STEM project work. It’s likely to be of most interest to secondary teachers of STEM subjects who use (or would like to use) student-led project work as a way of teaching or doing extra-curricular activities. It’s been written by Linda Scott, an experienced CREST Coordinator and teacher educator at the University of Worcester, and supported by Intel.
Get a copy here:
STEM Projects toolkit 1 to 6
Also available as a downloadable pdf from the Downloads Hub of the CREST area of the British Science Association website:
Hosted by the National STEM Centre’s e-library:
Each March thousands of secondary schools take part in National Science & Engineering Week to stimulate pupils’ interest in STEM subjects, encourage them to consider STEM careers and to raise the profile of their school. The free downloadable resources below make taking part easy and can also provide an engaging way for you to work with scientists and engineers. To access these and more register here.
Get set, demonstrate competition
National Science & Engineering Week are on the hunt for the very best demonstration ideas for science teachers and technicians. The new Get set, demonstrate competition is now open for nominations. Just use the easy online form to submit a video that you think shows an amazing demonstration.
Free packs full of science and engineering hands-on activities and projects are produced each year for National Science & Engineering Week, and are available to download all year round.
4 packs are exclusively for secondary schools:
Secondary school case studies provide accounts of some of the best events and activities that have taken part during National Science & Engineering Week since 2009 and will give event and activities ideas for organisers.
Ideal for first-time organisers, these guides present step-by-step instructions in how to arrange publicity, how to organise an NSEW event or activity and where to find funding.
To access these and more register here. It only takes a few minutes to get started.
Eligible schools can apply for £200 funding to run activities for (National Science and Engineering Week) NSEW 2013. Free resources and support are available to help make your school’s activities straight forward and spectacular.
The British Science Association’s Kick-Start Fund is designed to help schools in challenging circumstances create a buzz around science, inspire staff, pupils and parents and make NSEW the best week of the year!
Is my school eligible?
To be eligible for a grant schools must fit into at least one of the following criteria:
have a high proportion (30% or more) of pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds
have a high proportion (30% or more) of pupils eligible for free school meals
be a small school based in a remote and rural location
How do I apply?
All you need is an idea for an event or activity to run during the Week. For help with activity ideas, visit the grant activity page here.
Wednesday 11 July 2012
St Thomas More School, in North Tyneside, is offering a select number of schools the opportunity to be involved in a fantastic day. This is for four Year 9 students from your school that may be interested in pursuing a career in civil, mechanical, design engineering or maths industry.
Teams of four will be competing against 19 other local schools using expert advice from industry specialists. An accompanying teacher (from a Maths, Science or Technology background) is also invited to attend a STEM Club CPD session to learn about and test the type of activities you could run with a small group of students in your school. You will be involved with the Athlete or Machine training, a session informing you about free STEMNET resources that are available and you will have the opportunity to be involved with a STEM Ambassador activity.
Lunch will be provided for teachers, please ask student to bring a packed lunch. Please email Jonathan Powell (JPowell@stmschool.org.uk) with subject heading CHALLENGE DAY to book your place.
The Royal Academy of Engineering offers support to new STEM Clubs. They have £200 grant and free engineering based CPD to the club leader to support them setting up and running their STEM club. On their website they also offer some free resources to download. Check the link:
For more information please contact Engineering Engagement Project (EEnP) Team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The key messages are:
The evidence gathered during the evaluation activities demonstrates that STEMNET’s services are of a high quality, and that they are leading to a range of positive outcomes for both teachers and pupils. Notably, involvement in STEM Clubs and/or interactions with STEM Ambassadors is increasing pupils’ interest in STEM, as well as developing their knowledge of the subjects, practical skills and generic transferable skills (e.g. team-working, problem-solving) which are of key importance to their future employability. There is also some evidence that involvement in STEM Clubs and interaction with STEM Ambassadors can increase progression to STEM subjects. In relation to STEM Ambassadors, the evaluation suggests that more ongoing and sustained contact with STEM Ambassadors could lead to even greater impacts for pupils.
Source: Summary of the NfER evaluation of STEMNET’s services on pupils and teachers, July 2010, p. 1
To read the full Summary please visit: STEMNET’s website
Wednesday 15th December 2010 at 19:00 (refreshments from 18:30)
Presented by R L Warrender - Senior Lecturer, University of Sunderland
The University of Sunderland Cluster Computer (USCC) is an example of what can be built using commodity components for the creation of a high performance computer cluster. Built just over three years ago, the USCC uses 160 Intel ‘Woodcrest’ Cores running in 40 compute nodes and can be booted into either Windows or Linux operating systems.
The talk will focus on three key areas:
a) The system architecture and construction – size really matters!
b) Examples of recent uses being made of the system – how effective is the USCC?
c) The development of teaching resources for use by staff and students interested in applications to be run on the USCC.
In addition to the talk, attendees will also get the chance to visit the facility and see a variety of visual applications running on the cluster.
The talk will be given by R L Warrender, who is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computing at the University of Sunderland. As well as teaching within the Computing Department, he is also studying for his Professional Doctorate developing a Framework for Efficient Cluster Computing Services in a Collaborative University Environment.
The tour of the USCC facility and demonstration will be given by Professor John Tindle who designed the USCC system.
The meeting will be held in room 007, Prospect Building. This is building 41 on the map of the St. Peter’s campus.
If driving do not forgot to print the Car Park Notice to receive free car parking at the University.
For more information please contact Adam Moss at ADAM.MOSS@CHILDMAINTENANCE.GSI.GOV.UK
Electric car racing event – Wednesday 6 July 2011 at Croft Circuit, Darlington
Your school is invited to participate in this exciting Greenpower electric car racing event. Your school still has time to get involved, to design, build and race an electric car.
Greenpower is dedicated to promoting engineering and technology as a career option to students aged 9 to 25 in any form of full or part-time education. This is achieved through unique hands on projects to design, build and race an electric car, with the support of an engineering ambassador.
By taking part in the competition, all participants are given an insight into the real, tangible world of science and engineering. The competition is very popular, which stands as a testament to its unique approach to engineering and its ability to bring together and excite young people from a variety of different areas and backgrounds.
Not only does Greenpower approach the idea of science and engineering from a less mainstream direction than normal lessons or after school clubs, it also encourages creativity and most importantly enthusiasm and cooperation in problem solving invaluable skills for any young person. For the school getting involved will bring the following:
- A project which can be used to enhance the engineering diploma or CREST award or other STEM activities.
- Links with Mechanical, Electrical and Design engineers as mentors.
- National and regional recognition.
- A visit to North east school that has already taken part to share experience.
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is delighted to offer continued support to Greenpower. Participation in this exciting challenge requires teamwork, engineering skills, commitment and enthusiasm.
If you are willing to give your students a brilliant opportunity to get involved in a project like this and would like to receive more information about how to enter this Websites:
Institution of Mechanical Engineers – http://imeche.org/ Greenpower
Tel: 01243 552305
If you would like to enter the competition then please contact Julie Harrison on 07899 050767 or email email@example.com.
Please note: pupils will also be able to attend that are not participating in the actual design and build programme. Further details about this will be sent to schools nearer to the time.
NORTH EAST REGION In partnership with IMechE North East
Congratulations are in order for 10 projects from schools in the North East who competed in the regional Big Bang fair in July. They are going forward to compete in the National Science and Engineering competition at the Big Bang fair held at London’s ExceL on 10th – 12th March 2011. Shows including ‘Brainiac Live’, ‘Bang Goes the Theory’ and activities like ‘Amoeba to Zebra’, ‘The Ever Wondered Why Roadshow’, ‘Grow Your Own Body Parts’ and ‘Hydraulics for Frolics’ will be taking place at the event.
For more information on The Big Bang fair, to register your attendance and book tickets please visit www.thebigbangfair.co.uk.
Congratulations and the best of luck to the following schools and their projects:
Central Newcastle High School
Electronic Musical Keyboard
|Electronic Safety Device for Bike Users to Wear|
Newminster Middle School
Which Tattoos Last the Longest
Queen Elizabeth High School
Gun Barrel Movement on a Challenger Tank
Sacred Heart High School
St Bede’s RC School
Safety First Warning Lights
STEM Outreach would also like to congratulate and wish the best of luck to Corylus Learning’s Colin Wilkinson and Sarah McLusky at Sparks Education who will be co-ordinating the Big Bang North East at New College Durham on 12th July 2011. For more information on next year’s regional Big Bang fair feel free to contact Colin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sarah at email@example.com or visit www.thebigbangfair.co.uk/northeast/
It prepares students for the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge, a multi-disciplinary contest in which teams of students use computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacture (CAM) software to design, analyse, manufacture, test and then race miniature balsa wood racing cars powered by compressed gas.
Intended to develop students’ interest in, and knowledge of, engineering and design, the ‘F1 in Schools Curriculum Resource’ enables schools to run a cross-curricular project. It is an excellent way to move STEM work from after-school clubs to timetabled classroom activities, and thereby give STEM more prominence in school life.
The resource is provided online, and an annual subscription costs just £295+VAT per school. Discounts are available if several schools purchase together; please contact us for further details. You can also encourage schools in your area to subscribe by sending them the following link to an information site, which is at: http://www.parsonpublishing.co.uk/fscr/
To view a brief demonstration of the ‘F1 in Schools Curriculum Resource’ (Bloodhound SSC), enter the user name ‘demo’ and the password ‘password’ at: http://fscr.pearson.co.uk
To subscribe, a school should print out, complete and return the order form provided at: http://www.pearsonpublishing.co.uk/fscr/subscribe
This edition of the ‘F1 in Schools Curriculum Resource’ is for the 9-14 age group and Bloodhound SSC level of the challenge; subsequent editions for the F1 Class level will be available shortly.
To express your interest in editions for the 11-14 or 15-19 age group at the F1 Class level of the challenge, or for any other queries about the ‘F1 in Schools Curriculum Resource’, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 350555.
Tel 01223 350555
Fax 01223 356484
Careers fair Wednesday, 1st December 2010
Lindisfarne Room, Main Campus, Newcastle University
You and your students (Year 10 – 13) ar invited to the Oceans of Opportunity Careers fair on Wednesday, 1st December 2010 at the Lindisfarne Room, Newcastle University.
The event is an opportunity for pupils to participate in a suite of stimulating interactive activities that bring science and technology learning to life. A wide range of high profile STEM companies and employers will be represented at the event with many challenging and exciting careers showcased. While all careers represented are in science and engineering, many also have a focus on the marine sector, a field that a lot of young people will have not considered.
Schools can book a choice of two free activities from a choice of 4, participate in an engaging debate, have the opportunity to win prizes and resources, and find out more about the fantastic careers and courses on offer.
There are a number of different options available to your school/college:
The options are:
Please contact Annie Cunningham at email@example.com or Tel: 0191 222 3066 to register your attendance. See also this link http://www.ncl.ac.uk/marine/learning/inspiringoceans/.
The Oceans of Opportunity event is being held on Wednesday 1st December 2010 at Newcastle University. It will be attended by an estimated 600-700 pupils aged 15-18yrs, from schools and colleges around the NE region and further afield.
Schools can sign up to a range of stimulating, interactive activities that bring science learning to life, participate in an engaging debate, and find out more about the fantastic careers and courses on offer. A wide range of high profile companies and employers will be represented at the event with many challenging and exciting careers showcased.
There are a number of different options available to your school/college, as there are different elements that make up the event.
The options are:
As part of your session, students will get the opportunity to participate in two activities out of a choice of four.
||Show off or blend in: What is the best strategy? The role of colour, light and shape in adaptations to the challenges of the marine environment.|
||Environmentally Friendly Oil Slick The oil disaster challenge!|
||Sink or Swim? Ship design and PropulsionGet stuck into marine technology in the laboratory.|
||Marine Biology in Action!An introduction to life in our seas.|
To ensure your school/college’s participation in the Oceans of Opportunity event, please complete the form below by 4pm on the Tuesday, 2nd November 2010 and return it to Annie Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org or post to Annie Cunningham, Dove Marine Laboratory, School of Marine Science and Technology, Newcastle University, Cullercoats, North Shields, NE30 4PZ.
Please complete the following details to register:
|Best time to phone:|
|No. of places required in total:||No. of KS4 pupils:||No. of Post-16 pupils:|
Please number the options below in order of preference, put a cross against any options you cannot attend.
|Session||1- 4 or X|
|Morning full session 10am-1pm|
|Afternoon full session 12-3pm|
|Morning Careers Exhibition 10am-12pm|
|Afternoon Careers Exhibition 1-3pm|
If you are attending a full morning or afternoon session, please specify your activity preferences below and we will do our best to accommodate your top choices.
If you have any questions or queries please contact Annie Cunningham on the above email address.
Do you teach some young scientists or engineers who deserve recognition? If they are 11-18 with a great project or invention…enter the National Science & Engineering Competition today. There is over £50,000 of prizes, including cash awards and trips abroad – plus the prestige of winning a high profile competition for your school or college and the teachers involved.
The lucky finalists will be invited to showcase their work to around 24,000 students, teachers, journalists and VIPs visiting The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair in London in March 2011. Here your students can mix and compete with the country’s best – and gather tips and advice from working scientists and engineers from all fields in business and research. With plenty of individual and team prizes up for grabs, there are lots of opportunities for all students, and the two winning individuals in the senior category will be crowned the UK Young Scientist of the Year and UK Young Engineer of the Year.
Closing date: 31 October 2010.
Here’s what Young Engineers have lined up for you in 2010/11:
Clubs – download our NEW Be Engineous activities (age 9-14)
A new activity programme, ‘Be ENGineous’, has been launched in time for the start of the Young Engineers Club year!
‘Be ENGineous’ has been designed to follow on from the ‘Get Them Going’ introductory programme and gives Young Engineers club leaders a ready-made programme to develop the engineering skills of club members that have already had an introduction to engineering. ‘Be ENGineous’ enables club members to progress further by working on more complex scenarios.
The programme provides an exciting mix of activities relating to different branches of engineering. Each activity has been split into 3 stages; the stages are indications of the difficulty levels of the activity:
* Stage 1 – Basic level; step by step instructions to complete the activity.
* Stage 2 – Intermediate level; follows on from stage 1 where students are required to build upon the completed stage 1 activity, not necessarily with instructions.
* Stage 3 – Higher level; students are required to research and develop the final stage of the activity, without instructions.
The activities included in the programme are:
• Hovercraft – General Engineering
• Bath Bombs – Chemical Engineering
• FM Radios – Electrical Engineering
• Water Purification – Civil Engineering
• Putt Putt Boats – Marine Engineering
• Cranes – Mechanical Engineering
• Rambling Robots – Robotic Engineering.
The whole booklet can be downloaded from our Complete Activity programme webpage. The individual activities are also available on the activity bank, and are suitable for using as standalone activities.
Young Engineers is grateful to Tomorrow’s Engineers for supporting the development of this programme.
D&T Show – club members needed! (age 12-14)
Following the success of last year, Young Engineers is again asking its club members (age 12 to14) to join us at the Design & Technology Show at the NEC in Birmingham for one of the days between 18th and 20th November. We are currently confirming the line up of activities we will be offering this year’s club members, but it will be along similar lines to last year’s event which included: trialling a brand new Rapid electronics project, making rocket cars on the Technology Enhancement Programme stand and showcasing their own club activities and taking part in one of our home grown engineering challenges on the Young Engineers stand. Register your interest stating which day you’d like to attend and we’ll send you the programme once its confirmed. Email us to reserve your place.
Showcase your club at national level! (age 12-18)
We are looking for 24 ‘STEM’ clubs who cater for secondary-school level to display their various projects and take part in The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists’ and Engineers’ Fair that is being held 10-12 March 2011 at ICC London ExCeL. This is an opportunity for Young Engineers Clubs who do purely engineering activities or a mix of STEM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
Not only is this a great way to promote your club members’ talents but you will also have the opportunity to meet lots of celebrities, scientists and engineers. You will also be able to interact with some of the most cutting-edge companies in the UK and to showcase your projects to the UK media. There will also be plenty of opportunity for teacher CPD and networking amongst peers. The fair is a huge event, attracting 22,500 visitors last year. It will be a mass of displays, demonstrations, workshops and floor shows – a truly inspiring occasion for your club members to experience.
Apply by telling us about your club and the fantastic, interesting, unusual and creative projects that you have undertaken and explain why you feel your club will benefit from showcasing your efforts at the Big Bang. Closing date: 31st October 2010.
Application form link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BigBangFairClubShowcaseApplicationForm
The 24 selected clubs will be invited to bring up to 4 students and 1 accompanying adult to exhibit for the full three days of The Big Bang and will receive significant subsidies for travel, accommodation and catering.
You can find out more information about The Big Bang Fair by visiting: http://www.thebigbangfair.co.uk
STEM Challenge Days (age 7-16)
“A great day was had by the students and teachers. It went very smoothly and we will recommend it to other schools.” Adrian Stannard, Kelmscott School. It has proved extremely popular in its first year, with over 4000 students experiencing one of our interactive challenge days. We have included some feedback from teachers to help you get a feel for what a STEM Challenge day is really about. 75% teachers gave their day an ‘excellent’ rating, with the other 25% considering it ‘above average’!
Our dedicated team have also included some new challenges for both primary and secondary school students. http://www.youngeng.org/index.asp?page=1260
Meet the Public
This project enables practising engineers to work alongside Young Engineers to engage the general public in inspiring bite-size engineering activities at local Science Festivals, County Shows and other public events across the UK.
Look out for Young Engineers at the next event in Manchester at Manchester Science Festival 19-20 October 2010.
Young Engineer for Britain (age 12-19)
Any student working on their own innovative, creative or novel inventions in either club time, part of the curriculum or as a hobby can gain important recognition for their project as they compete for some absolutely fantastic prizes and awards.
National Science and Engineering Competition (12-19)
The National Science & Engineering Competition is open to 11-18 year olds in the UK who have completed a project or activity in any field of science, technology, engineering or maths. If you or your team have done an amazing project or invented something new then you should enter!
The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust Engineering Experience (age 16-19)
Selected students take part in a 3-4 day intensive engineering, social and cultural experience visiting international industrial facilities in October 2011. The selection process is simple and is good university/job application practice. The six finalists are selected by telephone/video interview.
The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust Teacher’s Award
Details are still being finalised, but there will be a Teacher’s Award at the Big Bang Fair 2011. We will be informing all once we have details of the nomination process.
For all other Young Engineers Competitions, please keep checking our website for updates when latest competitions will be available.
Available to Club Network members : (Membership is free – sign up now)
Activity Bank – need inspiration for your next club project? Search this ever growing resource. 11 new activities were added over the Summer between them catering for ages 8 to 16 – thanks to club leaders Caroline Alliston from Blue Coat Technology Club for adding “Bottle Rockets” and “Catapult to Fire a Water Bomb”, Paul Thomas from New Hall School for adding “Nuclear Engineering” and Andrew Bennett from St. Andrew’s Science Club for adding “24hr Clock”.
Don’t forget – we need Club Leaders’ help to keep this amazing resource growing! If you have run an activity which really worked well in your club, please do add it to the Activity Bank so that other clubs can try it also!
Go to Activity Bank
Submit an activity
Club Grant – £50 to £100 available each year
Exclusively available to Club Network members: (Membership is free – sign up now)
Don’t forget we’re keen to get our hands on information for our sponsors on what your club got up to last year. To help us, fill in our 10 minute Club Report – and collect your £50-£100 Club Grant to help you run the club this year! (New clubs can also apply for a Club Grant by telling us what they are planning for the coming year).
Local Support Group Grant – £50 to £500 available each year
Exclusively available to Club Network members: (Membership is free – sign up now)
Funding is available to assist clubs who want to work with each other locally – purchasing of shared club resources, local events involving several clubs and joint club industrial visits are all eligible for support. Tell us who you want to work with, or ask us to put you in touch with clubs in your area.
Club Leadership Awards
Exclusively available to Club Network members: Is there an adult helper, company contact, or even student mentor whom you’d like to thank for their club support?
Club Registration for 2010/11
Club Network members take note: Our club member numbers have been zeroed ready for you to enter this year’s figures, so please update your Club Profile with the number of students attending your club this year. Maintaining up to date membership information is an important element of keeping our sponsors up to date! In the coming months we will running a series of lucky dips and will be handing out more club merchandise as prizes, so get your club member numbers updated early so you will be put into each and every draw this year!
http://www.youngeng.org/index.asp?page=100 (Email us if you have problems)
The Big Bang Fair – date for your diary (age 9-18)
Taking place in Manchester on 10-12 March, this high profile and free event promises to: Wow students with experiments, explosions, simulators and shows. Give them the opportunity to quiz scientists and engineers about their jobs and discover a dream career. Meet students from around the country and find out about the amazing projects they have brought to display.See cutting edge technology from many leading companies and get some great teaching ideas. We are also helping to plan a series of STEM related Teacher CPD opportunities which will be publicised once we have the full details.
Regional Big Bang Fairs
A number of organisations are bidding to host regional Big Bang Fairs in June/July 2011 and once the selection process is complete, we will let you know who has the lead in your region so that you can start planning to attend.
Remember, get all our news first on www.youngeng.org! Other recent news items:
* Be Engineous is launched!
* We have won e-Legacy Awards
* Showcase your club at national level!
* SmartPlanet joins the Support Pages
* Square Eyed Engineering
*Calling for Entries in to the National Science & Engineering Competition
We hope you’ll find something amongst all of this lot to keep your gang amused. Club Network members remember there is loads more information on other competitions and sources of activity ideas and tips on how to get your club running smoothly in the members’ pages of our website. (Contact us if you have forgotten your log in details)
The Young Engineers Team
STEM Challenges are a series of competitions which link the curriculum to the inspiring Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Each challenge incorporates a range of activities for schools and once in a lifetime prizes can be won!
“The STEM Challenge students feel privileged to be a part of the competition. This is the best extra-curricular activity I’ve ever been involved with!” ~ Pam Large, Sacred Heart High School.
The STEM Challenges are ten activities designed for KS3 (or equivalent) students and inspired by London 2012. Each Challenge is a competition focusing on a different aspect of either the preparations for London 2012, or the event itself. The Challenges provide a cross-curricular approach to the STEM subjects, which benefits students in their academic work, whilst allowing them to develop skills and values that are essential outside the classroom. The activities have been designed for use in a club environment (e.g. a STEM Club) or during lessons.
The STEM Challenges are managed by STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) in association with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), and are funded by the Department for Education.
New Challenges are introduced each term and last approximately 6 to 8 weeks. They provide an opportunity for students aged 11-14 to explore, experiment and innovate! Each team is set a task related to London 2010, which gives students the chance to experience a combination of hands-on testing and research.
STEM Ambassadors are a free resource available to support your students and clubs in the Challenges. STEM Ambassadors volunteer their time to help excite young people about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. They have proven to be a vital resource for schools and colleges:
“The pupils valued the comments they received from STEM Ambassadors. It was great for them to have experts who really knew what they were talking about. Pupils were encouraged to discuss their ideas more as they were keen to improve their designs and complete the task to the best of their abilities.” ~ Lucy Rowe, St Mary’s Middle School, Puddletown, Dorset.
“STEMNET, you have solved my problem! We have no budget to pay Science speakers for our school and I’m so pleased to have made contact with you.” ~ Mrs Gaur, Shirley High School, Croydon, London.
STEM Challenges aim to support children and young people across the UK in the development of their leadership, personal, thinking and life skills. In each Challenge, a team of students work together to develop and achieve the seven core values of the Olympic and Paralympic games, these are: excellence, friendship, respect, courage, determination, inspiration and equality. Team work and enthusiasm are essential!
It’s easy to get involved- simply register on the website www.stemchallenges.net The sign-up process is quick and simple- and you can go back to enter as many teams as you like from your school. What’s more, if your school is part of the STEM Clubs Network and you are a club leader- then it’s even easier. Just select your name from the list and you’re done!
We will send you a newsletter with regular updates on the Challenges, including information on forthcoming Challenge launch-dates and deadlines.
“Thank you so much for all your help! I have been really impressed by STEMNET’s advice and your organisation of our Scientists who were first rate and ideal for our purposes.” ~ Rebecca Jones, Science Co-ordinator, The Pointer School, London.
Challenge: Design an Eco-friendly National Handball Centre.
Winners: Appleton Academy from Wyke, West Yorkshire.
Prize: Trip to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The first STEM Challenge required students to design a National Handball Arena for the 2012 Olympics. The STEM Club at Appleton Academy began the Challenge by testing out different surfaces for the floor of the Handball court. In groups, the members of the STEM Club completed experiments on types of laminate flooring they had constructed and analysed how recorded balls behaved on different surfaces around school.
The successful team, from year nine, then designed a stadium based on a segmented orange. They worked with STEM Ambassador Phil Spencer, a building surveyor and the technology department to prepare scale diagrams and models to show the layout of the main arena.
The winning features of the design include the segmental structure of the sphere-shaped dome, which would allow natural light and ventilation into the arena. The team incorporated the use of eco friendly solar panels to achieve the environmental objective of the challenge. At the presentation event, the judges commended the team for their work and leadership skills.
“Winning the STEM Challenge, a national competition, is the result of a great deal of hard work and commitment by our students, and their excitement and enjoyment of science created by their teachers and the STEM Club.” ~ Dwayne Saxton, Academy Principal.
“It is fantastic that the hard work and skills of our pupils has been recognized nationally. This project has been completed in our after-school club – the pupils’ enthusiasm and willingness to invest their own time reflects the interest they have developed in their lessons.” ~ Barbara Hey, Advanced Specialist Teacher in Science at the Academy and STEM club co-coordinator.
Challenge: adidas asked students to design a new glove for Olympic and Paralympic Canoeing, Rowing or Sailing.
Winners: Heolddu Comprehensive School, Bargoed.
Prizes: £3,000 worth of STEM Club equipment and the latest in adidas sports clothing.
The second STEM Challenge required students to design a new glove for adidas (Official Sportswear Partner to London 2012) to be used by top Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Canoeing, Rowing or Sailing events. The Challenge was launched by double Olympic Gold medalist James Cracknell.
Students at Heolddu Comprehensive School decided to design a new glove for rowers, who don’t tend to wear gloves as they can cause their hands to sweat, impeding the action of rowing. The pupils relished the opportunity to produce a specially designed glove, which, made with the right materials could allow breathability and make a major contribution to the sport.
Once the team had decided on the most important properties to include in the design of their glove, they used a range of tests, activities and factsheets provided by STEMNET in order to research their design.
Heolddu beat stiff competition from seven other teams from around the country that made it through to the final, where they faced a Dragon’s Den style interview and grilling from the judges, including Olympic gold medallist rower, Tom James.
The students’ design is so inventive it is now being commercially developed by adidas. According to the company, the design was so innovative that it could give our Olympians the winning edge!
“We were thrilled and honoured to win such a prestigious competition!” ~ Owen Griffiths, Science Teacher, Heolddu Comprehensive School.
Last chance to win £3000 in equipment and an exclusive visit to the Science Museum!
Would you like £3000 worth of STEM Club equipment? Would you like the opportunity to take a team of pupils on an exclusive visit to the Science Museum in London? You will have your very own curator-led tour of the museum, a private viewing of the “Who am I?” exhibition, a behind-the-scenes tour of the IMAX theatre and time in the Launchpad gallery.
What’s more, we’ll cover the expenses for up to six pupils and two adults, including transport, accommodation and meals.
This is the top prize of the Anti-Doping Challenge, brought to you by STEMNET as part of the STEM Challenges series.
We’re challenging pupils to prove to GlaxoSmithKline and King’s College London that they have the skills to perform some of the anti-doping laboratory techniques. From laboratory accreditation and quantitative analysis to security and ensuring the chain of custody of samples, this challenge really does give you an insight into what an anti-doping laboratory does.
Register your team by 17 June 2010 here http://www.stemchallenges.net/school-register.html – it only takes a few minutes! You then have until 6 July to prepare your entry for judging.
Find out more information about the challenge here http://www.stemchallenges.net/explore-the-challenges/challenge-3/
The third STEM Challenge for schools, inspired by London 2012, is well underway. This fantastic series of competitions, managed by STEMNET, has already had students up and down the country designing a national handball arena and coming up with creative solutions for a canoeing, sailing or rowing glove.
The current challenge asks pupils to prove to GlaxoSmithKline and King’s College London that they have the skills to perform certain anti-doping laboratory techniques. From laboratory accreditation and quantitative analysis to security and ensuring the chain of custody of samples, this challenge really does give pupils an insight into what an anti-doping laboratory does.
Due to the popularity of the STEM Challenges, we are looking for more volunteers to help with the judging on 6th July. Judging will take place in schools and is done by STEM Ambassadors. It will involve meeting a team in a school, listening to their presentation, asking questions and then reporting back to STEMNET on the outcomes. Full written guidance will be provided to enable you to make informed decisions about the team(s) you visit.
This is a perfect opportunity to get involved in a project that has been inspired by London 2012. Several judges have told us that they’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet enthusiastic teams and creative individuals.
If you are interested and would like to be considered for judging on 6th July, then please reply no later than Wednesday 16th June. The actual judging takes about 30 minutes per team and we will make every effort to minimise the distance that you have to travel.
More information on the STEM Challenges can be found at www.stemchallenges.net.
CREST Awards (11-19 year olds)
• CREST is Britain’s largest national award scheme for project work in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). It gives young people aged 11-19 opportunities to explore real world projects in an exciting way. CREST links closely to the curriculum and is a great way to make STEM creative and engaging – both in and out of the class.
• CREST was established over 23 years ago. Since then, over 300,000 young people have achieved CREST Awards. In the last year alone over 25,000 CREST Awards have been undertaken.
• For students, CREST Awards are a tangible recognition of success. They can be included in personal records of achievement – and used to enhance applications to universities, colleges and potential employers.
• CREST Awards are extremely flexible – they can link into work experience placements, after-schools clubs or several linked schemes. Some projects might be done in one day – others over several months. Students can investigate or design and make, research a subject, or design a science communication project.
CREST awards are available at three levels:
• 10 hours of project work
• Typically completed by 11-14 year olds
• £4 per student
• 30 hours of project work
• Typically completed by 14-16 year olds
• £8 per student
• 100 hours of project work
• Typically completed by 16+ year olds
• £15 per student
The levels are progressive but can be awarded separately at any stage. The differentiated levels enable youngsters of all abilities to experience positive achievement in Science, Engineering, Technology and Maths (STEM) and cover many of the required key skills in the process.
Essentials at any level
1. A CREST activity must offer students the opportunity to:
• practise existing scientific and technological skills and experience and develop new ones
• follow a science/technological process
• demonstrate individualised and independent learning
• apply their work to a ‘real world’ context
• research and make use of material and human resource
• demonstrate some creativity or innovation in their work
• communicate their work to audiences, both expert and non expert
• consider the broader implications of the work of scientists and technologists
2. All students monitor their progress with the aid of a Profile Form. Profile forms are available at each level for science and technology projects.
Registration forms can be found at: CREST Registration Form 2009
Please find the CREST award criteria at: New CREST award criteria