Every day should be National Women in Engineering day – because it is!

1999

By Yvonne Baker

Tuesday 23 June was the second National Women in Engineering Day and, by all accounts, a resounding success – as long as, that is, you knew it was taking place in the first instance. OK – a world record for a gathering of female engineers was broken in Horseguards Parade, and Women’s Hour featured it, but as I announced it to a roomful of committed Heads of science from secondary schools across the UK attending a conference in Cambridge, I was met with a sea of blank faces. What an opportunity missed!

Hats off to WES for introducing and organising a National Women in Engineering Day, and the lack of awareness among those I was speaking with should in no way deflect from their achievements. However, if we are to make inroads into the knotty problem of attracting more girls and women into engineering in the UK, it will take more than an annual day; it will take a step change in our culture and society – not just piling more pressure on an already overburdened education system under which, except when it comes to this crucial area, our girls tend to thrive.

The facts are there for everyone to see: even in 2015 only 7% of chartered engineers are female, a figure which has increased by a phenomenal whole percentage point since 2010, which still compares badly against so many other nations including most of our closest neighbours and competitors. Indeed, the ratio of female to male students on most engineering courses has shifted remarkably little from those days back in the – erm – early 1980s when I began my degree. Despite the efforts of WISE, WES and many others, the UK still has an identity problem when it comes to women and engineering – seeing it as something somewhat alien and ‘difficult’, despite the wonderfully positive experiences that many of us had and still have.

So, what’s the solution? Well, let’s face it – if I knew that I wouldn’t be writing this, but would be sitting on a private island having solved most of the other woes of the world. But, for what it’s worth, and as a female engineer who has been around long enough now, albeit in consultancy and education as well as manufacturing environments, to be able to say it ‘as it is’, here are some thoughts.

Engineering is a great profession

  • Through an apprentice, technical or graduate route – for anyone, and those women who pursue it are great at it too. The problem is that too often the debate on engineering is monopolised by the ‘skills shortage’ issue (i.e. your country needs you) or for women, the ‘well, it’s difficult but we’ll help’ approach (i.e. you will need additional support). I’m still to be convinced that either of these is the way you would try to sell any other product, proposition or service on the planet (if you wanted to do it successfully), so why do we do it here? Firstly, I can honestly say that at 14, 16, 18 or 21, I’m pretty convinced I didn’t take the country’s skills needs into account when making subject or study choices, and I’m not convinced many people (if any) do now. Secondly, of course, as a woman in a traditionally male environment, engineering can be tough and a bit of a shock to the system – it certainly was in chemical plants in 1984! However, it was also a matchless formative experience, where I met an amazing array of people, all of whom added to my experience of life in one way or another, and a springboard to a wonderful varied career. And that is an experience shared by the many, not just the few – so isn’t it about time we started highlighting the positives, not (inadvertently) trying to put people off?

Engineering changes lives

  •  Many engineers will impact more lives in a single project or working week than most other people will change in a lifetime. There seems to be a notion that in order to help people, improve quality of life or ‘make a difference’ the key routes for young people, and dare I say particularly girls, are medicine, teaching or perhaps even law. Whilst these areas of work are vital and, we all know from TV or personal experience what they look like and what we could expect, this misses a simple but incontrovertible truth: that without engineers we wouldn’t have the hospitals, schools, court rooms, transport or homes upon which and all these things rely. Every day engineers save lives through activities from food manufacture, to ensuring the safety of buildings or bridges, to maintaining the telecommunications infrastructure that enables us to call on help when we need it.

Engineering is a fantastic springboard

  • For me, the reason we want more young people, including girls, to pursue engineering studies and engineering careers, is that it gives you so many options. Through my studies and early work experience, I developed problem solving, team working and project management skills which have been the very things that have enabled me to move first into consultancy and then into education support. You only have to look at the CBI Education and Skills reports to see how many organisations value engineering skills, whatever their sector, and that doesn’t even begin to take into account the many engineers who have started their own businesses and are successful entrepreneurs. Indeed, a great friend of mine, the inimitable Michelle Dow, began her working life as a British Gas apprentice, becoming a gas engineer and a service manager. She then became a business owner, and now spends her life inspiring young people in STEM throughout the North West (before moving on to taking over the world!). Too often in the engineering debate, people talk about the ‘leaky pipeline’ of engineers moving out of engineering-related activities to other things. Whilst I see the point where people are moving on for negative reasons, it is often the case that this ‘leakage’ just shows how flexible and valuable an engineering education really is.

Engineers come in all shapes and sizes

  • There is something for everyone. Engineering is a subject which encompasses all of our lives, from the water that comes out of our taps in the morning, the trains or cars in which we travel, the medical treatments that we sometimes need, to the research going on into materials and technologies which will shape our lives in fifty years time. There is probably not a day when you don’t come across an engineer of some sort – you may just not realise it. For years there has been an on-going debate around whether we should try and protect the title ‘engineer’ to denote those who have pursued engineering through a more academic route. Some think this will help raise its status in the UK, but personally I am as proud to be called an engineer alongside the man or woman who ensures my boiler is safe, as those engineers doing academic research (boy, that will get a reaction I suspect!). And when it comes to female engineers, we are a mixed bunch too. We range from glamorous fashionistas, to those of us who would like to be glamorous but have never quite managed it (guess which one I am!). One female engineer has the largest collection of Jimmy Choos and designer handbags of anyone I know. We also come from the widest range of backgrounds and routes you can imagine – apprenticeships, returners to work, career changers, graduates, late developers, the lot! What we do have in common is a desire to do something creative, which makes a difference and which gives us options and possibilities (oh, and often pays well too).

When it comes to celebrating women in engineering, let’s do it continuously, loudly and always with positive messages that might actually make people want to do it – not frighten them off before they have even started! Let’s make every day a ‘women in engineering’ day and indeed, an ‘engineering is for everyone’ day.

 

Related resources:

Women into Engineering

Investigation into Why the UK Has the Lowest Proportion of Female Engineers in the EU

London Engineering Project: Girls into Engineering

Tomorrow’s Engineers

Top five tips for teaching primary science

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Primary School Science

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Helen Spring

Are you about to start your first year as a primary school teacher?  I’m sure you are currently both excited and terrified at the same time!  Many NQTs are daunted by the prospect of teaching practical science lessons.  Primary science needn’t be a scary concept; in fact, it can be one of the most enjoyable lessons to teach.

Here are some top tips to help with teaching practical science lessons:

Top tip number one

Keep it simple.  Don’t try to do too much in one lesson.  Pick one or two objectives and think carefully about how you are going to ensure that your children can meet those objectives.  It is usual to ensure that you cover one objective from Working Scientifically and one objective linked to subject knowledge.  Make sure that you start from the objectives and choose your activities to suit these, rather than thinking of a really cool activity and basing your lesson around that. It sounds like common sense but it is quite an easy mistake for even experienced teachers.  Keep the success criteria clear in your mind.  What do you expect most children to know or be able to do by the end of the lesson?

Top tip number two

Plan properly.  Take the time to think about the logistics of the lesson. Chances are that you are going to want children to be moving around the room.   You need to decide how to manage this.  Do you want to spread resources out so that children don’t all run for the same cupboard at the same time?  Do you want to set the experiment up for the children?  This isn’t ideal as promoting independence is an important part of child development.  It also takes an awful lot of time if you have to set up every lesson.

Keep thinking, do you have all the equipment you need?  Does your activity work?  Do you know what results to expect?

Top tip number three

Make sure that every child understands your expectations.  To that end, know what your expectations are.  Depending on your individual style of teaching, this may be something that you want to agree with the children in advance.  You may wish to have an agreed set of rules.  You may wish to allocate the children with role cards.  Remember that your expectations for behaviour in science shouldn’t need to differ massively from your expectations during the rest of the curriculum.

Top tip number four

Make assessment easy for yourself.  There is an excellent book which I would recommend to any teacher – The Lazy teacher’s Handbook, by Jim Smith.  There are some brilliant tips in this book.  Think back to your objective(s).  What do you want the children to know or do?  How will you know that children have achieved this?  Make sure that this is the only thing which you are assessing.  Do you really need to mark diagrams and methods if your lesson objective focused on writing predictions?  Remember you are assessing their science, not their English skills.  Can the children assess themselves?  Train them!

You are a good teacher.  You need to know which children can do XYZ at the end of the lesson so that you can decide what needs to be focused on in the next lesson.  You don’t need to cover every piece of written work with red pen (or green or pink or purple!).  In fact, this is a science lesson – do the children need to write anything at all?!

If they’re not writing, can you assess everyone by asking a particular question?  By observing?  Could you use an app such as Plickers to assess the children’s subject knowledge?  Could you record comments?  Could the children record their own comments?

Make sure you plan how you are going to know that your children have met your objectives.

Top tip number five

Get the children to ask the questions.  What do they want to find out?  Can they design their own investigations?  Set a problem (my pet rabbit gets too cold at night; how can I keep it warm?).  Ask the children to design their own investigation to solve the problem.

And finally

Don’t worry if it all went wrong!  Science is about enquiry.  Have the children thought of questions that they want to know the answers to?  Have they started to try and find things out for themselves?  Then you are starting to create little scientists!

 

Here are some resources that might get you started:

Differentiated Primary Science

Encouraging Primary Science

Ideas for the Primary Science Curriculum

Practical Primary Science

Teaching courses that are related:

Working scientifically in the new primary curriculum

Primary science conference

Teaching key areas of primary science for Y6 teachers

Triple science teaching support

By James de Winter

Whilst many of you will have been teaching triple science for a number of years, you may not know that there is a whole wealth of free support and resources on the National STEM Centre site designed support your teaching with ideas and suggestions.Triple Science groups home page

The main triple science homepage provides an overview of all that is available in terms of resources and CPD, but if you want ideas, suggestions and resources then the best place to start is the Triple Science Community Groups. There are four community groups, one for each of the science subjects and one called Triple Science Eye which is designed to support more general cross subject issues including management and curriculum design. They are all free to access once you are registered with the National STEM centre site.

I’ve put some direct links and highlights below to help you navigate through the resources;

Community Groups

Across the four groups there are hundreds of posts, many containing resources and lesson materials, all available free at the click of a mouse.

Has the Eclipse stirred you or your students’ interest? Pop over to the Astronomical Observation and Measurement, Life of Stars and The Universe topic in the physics group and have a look at the 20+ downloads, free software ideas including a massive Astronomy masterclass written in Prezi that someone has written and is sharing for free.

Can quantitative analysis be fun? Apparently so, go have a look at the posts on the Quantitative Analysis topic in the chemistry group and take your pick from the 10+ downloads and collection of links.

Teaching Biotechnology and need some ideas? – This topic in the biology group has 8 different lesson ideas and downloads as well as a whole host of links

Support on iTunesU

iTunesUIf you are an ITunesU user or fancy trying it out then go to iTunes and search for Triple Science Support and you’ll find a whole selection of resources there. Some of these resources are available for PC and Mac and others for Mac OS only.

 

The eLibrary

And, don’t forget the wonderful eLibrary at the main National STEM Centre Website  websiTS Listste. We have had a look through what is there and put together some subject lists that highlight the best resources for each Triple Science Topic – you can find these lists here.

 

Supporting STEM Education

By Yvonne Baker

As we welcome new and old ministers back into the halls of Westminster and they are no doubt identifying their key priorities for the first one hundred days, may I suggest something a little radical?

Girls soldering circuit board

Girls soldering circuit board

In terms education, and especially the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), perhaps they should take time to look carefully at what already exists, is making progress, and is revered worldwide. In other words, continue to invest in the existing support that is making a difference, and is making the UK a model for many other countries around the world.

World-wide demand for STEM

Concerns about STEM skills, of course are neither new, nor UK-centric. Whilst the Royal Academy of Engineering estimated a few years ago that the UK economy needs an additional 100,000 engineers per year to achieve its full potential, other countries tell a similar story. France, for example, is estimated to train around 30,000 engineers each year, whilst there is a demand for at least 40,000; it may be an even greater surprise to learn that Germany estimates a shortfall of 200,000 STEM graduates each year.

What is unique for the UK is the strategic view that has been taken around STEM skills by successive governments for some time. Professor Sir Gareth Roberts’ ‘Set for Success’ report kicked off a chain of events which now places us in a position which many other countries wish they could emulate. This includes a strong, established infrastructure supporting those teaching STEM subjects to young people from early years to post-16 comprising of: the National Science Learning Network; the National STEM Centre; the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching of Mathematics; and the STEM Ambassadors programme. In addition, we benefit from a wonderful array of enhancement and enrichment schemes ranging from the CREST Awards and the Big Bang Fair, to smaller local efforts.

Continued collaboration is key

What makes this possible is unparalleled collaboration between successive governments, employers and organisations, such as the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. A partnership which, united in ensuring all young people have access to a great STEM education, has lasted for over a decade. This has been crucial in enabling those supporting teachers of STEM through high impact subject-specific professional development. A good example of this is Project ENTHUSE, which has enabled the National Science Learning Centre to work intensively with over 14,000 teachers and leaders of science, in the process impacting many hundreds of thousands of young people across the UK.

Impact of CPD at National Science Learning Centre 2013-14

Impact of CPD at National Science Learning Centre 2013-14

 

What is also unique about this is the focus put on supporting teachers of STEM, not just targeting support directly at young people which, whilst vital, will not result in the systemic change that education systems worldwide require if the STEM skills challenge is to be addressed. As McKinsey stated in their 2007 report

“No education system can exceed the quality of its teachers”.

Nowhere is this more true than in science and other STEM subjects – as the Wellcome Trust says:

The future of science depends on the quality of science teaching today.

And whilst there is still much to be done, the results of this long-term investment and faith of governments, employers and charitable trusts are really beginning to come through. This includes;

  • an increase in both the number and proportion of A levels being taken in STEM subjects over the last five years with chemistry and mathematics showing particularly positive rises
  • 98,000 students beginning STEM undergraduate courses in 2014, the highest level ever recorded

Underpinning this, we have a much greater awareness of the importance and value of STEM subjects for all young people across the school and college system, with STEM enhancement & enrichment activities, as well as teacher on-going development, reaching further into the school and college sector than ever before.

Challenges remain

We need to get better at communicating the opportunity and satisfaction of the whole range of STEM-related careers to young people, their parents and their teachers. Campaigns such as the Your Life initiative are helping pull together communications and signposting opportunities. Project ENTHUSE is enabling teachers to spend up to two weeks with a STEM employer, opening the lid on the variety of roles, from the more traditional graduate path to the equally important apprenticeship and technician routes. As one participating teacher said:

It completely blew my misconceptions about manufacturing right out of the water.

We also need to ensure that supporting primary teachers, and engaging primary aged children, is given the priority it deserves. Research such as the Aspires project shows that, whilst young people are positive about science and STEM as a whole, they form ideas very early on regarding whether they ‘see themselves as a scientist’ (or engineer, or technologist). At the same time, we know anecdotally that a perceived lack of focus on science from Ofsted, even though it remains firmly a core subject at primary level, has encouraged some primary heads to see it as ‘second best. In some cases this relegates it from the regular timetable to a single science week, or even worse. This perception is not necessarily ill-founded – an informal survey of around 100 primary Ofsted reports found just one mention of science. Just one!

But perhaps the biggest challenge to the progress that has been made is the tendency of funders, including governments, to always be looking beyond what is in place and – whilst always capable of further improvement – is making a difference, in favour of ‘a better mousetrap’. After all, with something as ‘now’ as STEM, there is always someone coming to a Minister’s door offering a new magical, overnight solution. However, as Marc Durando of European Schoolnet, who sees efforts to support STEM education all over the world, says:

“It is important not to reinvent but to support and strengthen what has already proven its success and to work on successful mainstreaming mechanisms”.

As Ian McDaid, Head of Science at Balby Carr Community Academy in Doncaster puts it:

“Don’t take away the support upon which so many teachers depend. Every day, we see it helping ensure our STEM teaching changes lives.  There is a greater need than ever to increase the support and profile of STEM subjects nationally if we are to compete in the global market.  This is important enough to command cross party support to enable the National Science Learning Network to further expand and improve the essential support provided for teachers”.

Exciting Science Activities for Early Years and Key Stage One

By Nicola Waller

Primary science experiment - magic bucket

Primary science experiment – magic bucket

The Annual Primary Science Conference held at the National Science Learning Centre, York, is always a highlight in my academic diary. I have been, without fail, for many years now both as a participant and as a presenter. I will be there this year, networking in both of these guises on Tuesday 30th June this year. The session I have decided to offer is ‘Option F’ in a superb list of choices.It is titled ‘Exciting Science Activities for Early Years and Key Stage One’. I chose to offer this because, as an experienced primary school teacher, I have taught children in Key Stage Two for the majority of my career, however, after having my own children, I seem to have experienced a personal epiphany in just how wonderful and rewarding planning and teaching science activities for the youngest children in school can be. I also believe that sessions for Early Years and Key Stage One teachers can often be under represented at conferences and events and I wanted to do something to attempt to readdress the imbalance.

My workshop will be practical, whereby you can try out a range of carefully planned, tried and tested science activities either created for or adapted to suit children in Early Years and Key Stage One. I have put a real emphasis on the ‘tried and tested’ aspect of the session, as I believe it is of the upmost importance that every activity I bring ‘to the table’ has actually been carried out by me, in the classroom with children of the relevant age range. In many of my recent experiences, I have learnt from mistakes, evaluated and adapted ideas that I thought or presumed would work, but quite clearly required rethinking or improving. I have built up a bank of science lessons and activities that really do work, I am proud of the resulting product and I am looking forward to sharing these with you on the day.

Thinking scientifically in primary science

One of my favourite activities, which I will share with you on the day, requires children to think like real scientists and suggest what might be happening inside of my ‘magic bucket’. Using simple equipment such as different sized cups, sticky tape and drinking straws, you can make a mini model of the bucket to take away and show one possible way that the water could be changing from blue to red. The key learning outcome I aim to show is that even the youngest children can offer suggestions and ideas forwards and begin to understand that the bucket is working actually ‘not by magic’ but because of science!

The photo shows a Year 1 child demonstrating the ‘magic bucket’ he has made during this activity. You can see the blue water has been poured in at the top but red water is coming out at the bottom!

Related professional development courses

Primary maths conference (MY007) 29 June.

Primary science conference (Ny007) 30 June.

Primary computing conference (TY007)  1 July.

Special Offer! Book either the primary maths or the primary computing conference with the primary science conference and you will receive your overnight accommodation and evening meal for free –  on request and subject to availability.  For accommodation and evening meal bookings please email enquiries@national.slcs.ac.uk

 

 

Outdoor learning in primary schools

by Rosie Hancock

Rosie Hancock teaches at Brayton CE Primary School, she has been a primary school teacher since 2011 after qualifying at Leeds Trinity University College. Rosie is one of 50 teachers to win £1,000 for their schools as a result of their entry in the Rolls-Royce Science Prize. In this article she outlines her entry for the prize and the effect it has had on her school.

Outdoor learning with magnifying glasses

Outdoor learning with magnifying glasses. Photo courtesy of Victoria Jackson.

I have always had a keen interest in getting children into the outdoors to enhance their learning. I have seen from first-hand experience the ‘wow’ moments that children can encounter while the doors are open. So I jumped at the chance of attending a course entitled, ‘Science in the Outdoor Classroom,’ at the National Science Learning Centre.

At the end of the first residential period of the course, I was bursting with ideas on how I could improve my own pedagogy, and how I could disseminate the information and skills I had been given throughout my school. My proposed plan had an overarching objective of increasing teaching staff’s confidence and enthusiasm for outdoor learning. This would enable children to regularly access learning outdoors and inspire them to develop a love of learning.

Developing the cross curricular impact of outdoor learning

I was hoping to achieve this through focussed CPD sessions for all staff, developing a system in which practitioners share, evidence and evaluate examples of good practise of outdoor learning. This will culminate in all staff planning an ‘Outdoor Learning’ week in the Summer Term. During this time exciting cross-curricular activities will be planned and delivered by all teaching staff to have a direct impact on the children’s positive attitude towards learning.

I also thought it would be beneficial to use outdoor learning to have an impact on children’s skills in other areas, such as;

  • independent learning,
  • investigative skills
  • questioning

Developing community cohesion

It was proposed that the children in key stage2 (KS2) would be involved in creating and maintaining challenge areas around the school grounds, which could be accessed throughout focussed lesson time, and also playtimes and lunchtimes. By winning the Rolls-Royce Science Prize £1000 Special Merit Award, equipment will be able to be ordered to resource these areas.

In order to do this successfully, the extensive school grounds would need a routine of maintenance. To accomplish this, and to have a positive impact on community cohesion, it was proposed that the school would sporadically hold ‘Environment Days’. This would involve parents, children, staff and governors working together on a weekend to clear the school grounds, in particular, the wildlife area. Coffee and cake would be provided in return for an hour’s hard graft!

Finally, the course coincided with the school’s need to extend outdoor provision areas for KS1. While currently very successful in EYFS, there was a desire for this provision to continue into Year 1 and Year 2. The plan proposed for research to be undertaken in schools with current successful outdoor learning areas, culminating in a plan to develop and enhance the provision areas in our school.

Managing outdoor learning

The research will also be supported by the £1000 Special Merit Award. It will not only provide resources for these areas, but allow myself, as the Outdoor Learning Leader, time to visit other schools to ensure that our new outdoor provision areas have a maximum impact on children’s learning.  This would hopefully impact directly on children’s attainment as they have access to focussed learning opportunities, allowing them to use and apply skills learnt in the classroom.

An Outdoor Learning Steering Committee was set up in the school to manage the action plan. This Committee consisted of many different stakeholders in the school, all of whom would bring a variety of experience and knowledge to the group, such as a Foundation Stage Leader who had experience of good practise in outdoor provision areas, a Governor who specialised in ICT and our Science Leader to develop this action plan in line with the Science Curriculum. By using a Steering Committee from all areas of the school, the action plan would be embedded quickly into the ethos of our school.

The Rolls-Royce Science Prize is an annual awards programme that helps teachers implement science and mathematics teaching ideas in their schools and colleges. The awards programme is open to all schools and colleges in the UK.

Other related continuing professional development courses

Primary Science Conference (NY007)

Leading Science in the Outdoor Classroom (NY009)

Teaching primary maths and science outdoors (NY046)

Science in the outdoors – to progress literacy and numeracy (RP009)

Related resources from the National STEM Centre

Outdoor classroom resources and research

Outdoor classroom resources for key stage 2 (7-11yrs)

Enhancing Primary Science

By Shelley Drury

Enhancing Primary Science: A visit to Dove Marine Laboratory

Enhancing Primary Science: A visit to Dove Marine Laboratory

Shelley Drury is Deputy Head of Curriculum for Science at Kings Priory School (KPS) in Tynemouth.  She has been teaching science for 12 years, with specialisms in biology and chemistry across primary and secondary schools.  Her current role involves overseeing middle years at KPS. Shelley is one of 50 teachers to win £1,000 for their schools as a result of their entry in the Rolls-Royce Science Prize. In this article she outlines her entry for the prize and the effect it has had on her school.

I attended the course “New Primary Science Curriculum: Teaching, Learning and Assessment” in York last May (2014).  Following this I wanted to develop my expertise in the new primary curriculum to enhance my role overseeing middle years but also to improve progression, along with our primary teachers, all through the school.  The course provided me with the knowledge I required but also envisioned me to explore ways to enhance science learning in and out of lessons.

Science Ambassadors Programme

During this time our Science Ambassadors programme was in its infancy.  I had decided to search for 20 new Science Ambassadors from our year 9 and 10 cohort.  To apply they had to fill in an application form and make a one minute video explaining something scientific.

The premise of the Science Ambassadors programme was to train up the students so that they could then plan and lead workshops with 150 of our year 3 and 4 pupils.  Training involved teacher led sessions, a trip to London and a visit to the Dove Laboratory.  In July, our Science Ambassadors delivered workshops in rocket making, microbiology, forensics and chemical reactions.  As a teacher it was a challenge to step back and let our students lead but we were overwhelmed with pride to see them excel. It was truly inspiring for both the students and the staff.

Primary science ambassadors at the Dove Laboratory

Primary science ambassadors at the Dove Marine Laboratory

In 2014/2015 we planned to expand and develop the Science Ambassadors programme, following its initial success, by expanding it to impact the whole school and the wider community. The announcement that we were Special Merit Award winners in the Rolls Royce Science Prize has really catalysed this process. We are now really inspired to be part of this programme.  We have been working on expanding the training opportunities for Science Ambassadors, have recruited some more students, and are running our first “Mini Einsteins” workshop, for our year 4 students and their parents/carers.  We have also started to plan the science festival we always dreamed of organising, but never had the money. The £1000 is helping make this a reality. This event will impact the whole school and the wider community.

We have expanded the planning team within school and developed external partnerships to enhance our programme.  Over the next few months, students will be involved in sessions with Newcastle University’s Street Science Team and attending biomedical science workshops at the Durham University Science Festival.

Our most exciting partnership, however, is the link we are making with Ian Simmonds, Head of Communication at the Centre for Life and Director of the UK Maker Faire. We are working closely with Ian to develop a bespoke training programme for our Science Ambassadors, next month they are performing as Science Buskers at the Maker Faire, following training at the Centre for Life.  Over the next year we will develop a robust programme of training in science communication that will enable students to be stall holders at this prestigious event.  Ian is also providing practical support for KPS’s Science Festival.

The Science Ambassadors programme is inspiring both students and staff by exposing us all to opportunities and links beyond the four walls of the classroom.

The Rolls-Royce Science Prize is an annual awards programme that helps teachers implement science and mathematics teaching ideas in their schools and colleges. The awards programme is open to all schools and colleges in the UK.

Related Professional Development

Working scientifically in the new curriculum (RP107)

Teaching key areas of primary science KS1-KS2 (RP112)

Assessment in the new primary curriculum – a world without levels (RP102)

Leading innovation in primary science (NY005)

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