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@1851Trust, @TeamINEOS UK’s official charity, launch new online #STEM education platform to further support remote learning as summer term begins 

The 1851 Trust has launched the Pupil Portal on STEM Crew, supported by INEOS, giving young people direct access to their STEM learning resources, based on INEOS TEAM UK’s America’s Cup challenge, so that no child misses out.

The STEM learning resources are designed for Key Stage 3 & 4 pupils, the majority of whom across the country are still home schooling as the summer term begins.

The STEM Crew education platform has seen a 100% increase in usage since lockdown began with a third of UK secondary schools now registered on the platform and over 170K young people engaged across the UK in the past year.

With students across the country getting back to school work with the start of the Summer term, the 1851 Trust, INEOS TEAM UK’s official charity, has launched a new online platform, the Pupil Portal, on STEM Crew, supported by INEOS, providing young people with direct access to their learning resources inspired by Britain’s challenge to win the America’s Cup.

In the current circumstances with most students still unable to go to school, home schooling has become more prevalent than ever. That is why the 1851 Trust is creating new ways of connecting pupils, parents and teachers, by taking science beyond the textbook to engage young people in the cutting edge technology of high performance sport.

The Trust has opened up their STEM Crew online platform, supported by INEOS, and created free digital learning resources, including the launch of the Remote Learning Projects, allowing students to continue their learning whilst studying at home. These projects span areas from across the team’s America’s Cup challenge including human performance, design, the environment and technology.

Following feedback from teachers and parents currently home-schooling their children, the Trust has now launched a new Pupil Portal enabling young people to sign up for direct access to the learning resources from home, without having to go through parents and teachers.

The STEM resources use INEOS TEAM UK’s cutting-edge innovation and aspirational role models to harness the power of professional sport to challenge perceptions and engage students to share the opportunities science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) have to offer.

1851 Trust CEO Ben Cartledge said:

“The summer term has started with the majority of school heads and teachers, as well parents, still facing unprecedented challenges in educating their students and children.

“At the 1851 Trust we appreciate that we are in a fortunate position. Our teams and families have been well and therefore, with the support of INEOS and our other funders, we have been able to focus our efforts where we can best support young people at this time, namely remote learning.

“As remote learning becomes the new norm our STEM Crew online platform has had a 100% increase in activity since lockdown began, with over 3,000 UK secondary school teachers now registered. We are committed to creating new ways to connect pupils, parents and teachers with our free digital learning resources. That is why we recently launched our Remote Learning Projects and have now brought forward the launch of our Pupil Platform by several months.

“Our aim is simple, to ensure that our online learning resources are simple and accessible to use, so that no pupil or child misses out.”

1851 Trust Patron and INEOS TEAM UK Skipper and Team Principal Ben Ainslie added:

“The America’s Cup is one of the most challenging, technical and exciting sporting competitions in the world. When, back in 2014, we decided to assemble a team for our new challenge we looked for the best designers, scientists and technology pioneers. What we had not anticipated was how difficult it would be to find British talent. Capable and intelligent young people across the country were simply not being exposed to the opportunities that science could bring.

“That is why we were inspired to set up the 1851 Trust, with the conviction that we could engage young people with science through the cutting edge technology developed in sailing. It is a truly inspiring journey where sport and science collide.

“Over the past five years we have already inspired thousands of young people from all backgrounds but now, more than ever in the current crisis, it is important to find new and innovative ways to engage with young people with STEM and continue their learning from home. The work the Trust has done to quickly create these free digital resources and open them up for young people to use directly at home has been fantastic to see.”

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As students and teachers spend more time online under COVID-19 precautions, they become more susceptible to hacking attempts. Since home networks do not provide the increased firewalls protections institutions do, the results of at-home Internet attacks can be far more catastrophic. When navigating the web to conduct research, complete homework, and participate in online lectures, the best safety net students and teachers have are their passwords. Here's a bit of background.

The History of Passwords

In 1960, MIT's Compatible Time-Sharing System, known as CTSS, was the first algorithm prompting the use of passwords. Using separate consoles to access a shared mainfraim, multiple users shared each console, but each had their own set of files. To access their individual files, gaining permission to their personal point of entry, each user necessitated the use of passwords.

Just two years later in 1962, the first instance of password theft was recorded. Here's how:

Alan Scheer, a Ph.D candidate, tested the CTSS' strength. He was given just 4 hours per week to work on the system; and by printing the system's password file, he was able to log-in as other users. Simple as that. 

The history of passwords is noteworthy to emphasize password and data theft is not new and is only advancing. In fact, passwords are weaker than authentication questions but require far less memory to store in a system. Although this was only a compromise for computers in their infancy, to a degree, this still stands today.

The Rise of Password Hacking

Today, it's much harder for hackers to gain access to a user's passwords than the methods of Alan Scheer. However, not much later in history did things begin to change.

In 1988, The Morris Worm became the first computer worm on the Internet. This infected 1 in 10 networked computers within just 24-hours of its development. In similar fashion to Alan Scheer, the intention of The Morris Worm was harmless, but the incident sparked a new era of cybersecurity and gave hackers several new ideas for approaches to theft.

How Your Password Can Help You Stay Protected

As you know, our computers aren't as advanced as our cellphones. Most of our mobile devices are powered with biometric log-in features; however, the average computer does not do the same. Saying this, your keyboard is your most valuable asset in preventing your personal data from being stolen online.

Being that distance learning is completing on your personal device and personal network, hackers can gain far more information than they could if you were attacked on a computer provided by your institution. For example, a hacker can now obtain your credit card information, address, social security numbers, contact lists, browser history, and more - all while you're engaged in distance learning.

It's time to put some armor around your passwords. An analysis of The Morris Worm's leaked data showed nearly 50% of users had easily guessable passwords. In fact, the most common password was "123456." Simply putting time into what you're storing as a password is crucial in lessening your chances of attack. 

Think uniquely, something that no one knows but you. Avoid using your birthday, social security number, credit card PIN, home address, name, or any other "general" knowledge about yourself as a password. When setting a password hint, don't make it hard enough for you to forget.

The Future of Cybersecurity: Moving Beyond Passwords

If you have the opportunity to double-shield your accounts and computer with something greater than a traditional password, please do so. Higher risk or potentially fraudulent access attempts require additional verification - such as push authentification or one-time passwords. By double-shielding, you may be able to catch when these kinds of attempts take place.

In the future, we will see passwords being eliminated altogether, and swapped out for certificate-based authentification - as well as enhancing our security with risk-based authentification. In the meantime, it's important to work smarter, not harder.

How are you staying safe online in your distance learning efforts?

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As teachers plan their lessons during half term, @MaykuTeach helps by providing curriculum level lessons in the #STEAM subjects  

The prevalence of home-schooling during the lockdown period has meant that despite best intentions, lessons have become stunted. As teachers plan for their lessons upon the second half of term, educators are in need of effective resources to reinvigorate the curriculum, deliver engaging lessons and, supplement teaching in the classroom of a post-COVID world. 

With only reception, Year 1 and Year 6 due to return to return to school on 1st June, there are still millions of children at home who will need to continue to learn at home, following the curriculum as well as they can. With this in mind, Mayku has developed an online portal, dubbed Mayku Teach, which provides teachers with a host of easily accessible lesson plans, practical curriculum and an online community of educators to provide support and valuable resources. Mayku Teach dramatically minimises lesson planning time, and engages children by offering a range of practical classes which follow and elevate the curriculum of all STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics).

What can an Ice Lolly teach us about the states of matter?

Getting children to make an ice lolly and then observe its changes of state is a straightforward and fun way to teach them about materials and their properties.

Mayku’s Ice Lolly lesson plan is made up of five 55-minutes sessions investigating the properties of materials and working out what we can make with them, allowing children to develop their enquiry skills using an open learning process. Pupils will first be introduced to the differences between a solution and a suspension by looking at the ingredients of an ice lolly in their liquid state. They will also plan their experiments, taking into account how to do this in a fair way and how to draw up a hypothesis.

They can also make a mould for their lolly using the FormBox, taking into account the correct health and safety measures and how to master the machine itself. By the time their lollies have been made, they will have observed each component and material in a number of states. They will have discerned the difference between a liquid and a solution and will know how to evaluate materials based on their functions. 

What can a humble sun dial teach us about the universe?

Over five one-hour lessons, pupils will make their own sundial and use it to tell the time. During the design and creation of the dial, they will be taught the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth, using tennis balls and chalk. This leads to describing the Earth’s rotation and orbit relative to the Sun.

Finally, with their completed sundials, pupils will track the movement of the Sun and use observations of the direction and distance the shadow has travelled on their sundials to tell the time. Any theory learnt in this lesson can be extrapolated outwards to include a more general discussion about the Solar System and its mechanical properties.

Alex Smilansky, Co-Founder and CEO of Mayku Teach, comments on the platform and discusses the need for educators to be supplied with resources and support at such an uncertain time:

“The return to schools presents a considerable challenge for educators and pupils alike – children will be returning to the classroom having had a very different home schooling experiences, classrooms will be imbalanced, and teachers must devise new strategies to deliver effective lessons and enable all children to learn effectively. 

"It is now more important than ever that teachers have access to the support and resources they need to ensure they can deliver engaging and effective lessons, whilst still remaining on top of the curriculum.

"The resources and the community of teachers developed by Mayku Teach will help any teacher to quickly and painlessly devise exciting and engaging lessons for their returning students, and will provide vital structure in an uncertain and difficult time.”

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   @pfizer helps #homeschool kids and parents with new online teaching resource

Pfizer UK is releasing a series of online educational materials to equip parents and teachers to continue STEM learning from home, as schools remain closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

An independent survey of 1500 UK adults with school-aged children, conducted by the Sutton Trust, found that only two in five parents feel confident teaching their children at home. To support during lockdown, Pfizer has taken action to help parents struggling with home learning and ensure children across the country continue to be engaged by science.

Julian Thompson, Vice President, Global Regulatory Operations and Pfizer’s Sandwich Site Head: “I know a lot of parents might not feel confident teaching science at home, but it really is a fun subject and there are lots of things you can do with your kids to explore it. I hope these online materials stop people feeling daunted to tackle it at home.”

The curriculum linked materials for 5-14 year olds have been adapted for online use and consist of two highly topical themes: ‘Superbugs: Join The Fight’, developed in partnership with The National Schools Partnership, and ‘Science in a Box’.

The ‘Superbugs: Join the Fight’ resources include e-learning modules and virtual activities. They outline practical ways to prevent the spread of infection and introduce concepts such as the inappropriate use and misuse of antibiotics and the role of vaccines in preventing disease.

The ‘Science in a Box’ materials aim to demystify the making of a medicine. It invites students to learn about medicine development using engaging on-line content. The resource packs can be accessed for free from Pfizer.co.uk.

Alyson Parry, Teacher at Trerobart Primary School said of the “Superbugs: Join the Fight’ classroom resources: “This is one of the…easiest resources I’ve ever used. It is to the point, it gets the message across and the children enjoy it too.”

Peter Collins, Senior Corporate Responsibility Manager, Pfizer UK: “For years, tens of thousands of children across the UK have benefitted from Pfizer’s classroom-based science programmes. Since school closures, we’ve worked hard to re-purpose and develop materials specifically for home learning. We want to ensure young people can access these topical and engaging materials and continue to be inspired by STEM subjects at home.

Nicola Soong, Global Commercial Operations, Pfizer, and parent of 2 children: “I’ve found it increasingly difficult to structure my children’s ‘school days’ and to find informative and interactive resources that suit their learning style. Pfizer’s teaching materials have been a great helping hand, and the superbugs content has helped me explain the current situation to my children with ease.”

 

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Parents and carers supporting their children’s home-learning during the coronavirus crisis can access new maths resources thanks to a project by @PlymUni 

The website Maths4all has been launched by education experts and is ideal for Primary and Secondary school learners having to work at home while their schools remained closed. All the resources are available free of charge.

From exercises for early learners in Reception class to a complete online course for GCSE students, the website draws together a broad range of material to help supplement the work set by schools.

The material is all based on more than a decade of research and development that has arisen out of collaborative working between the Plymouth Institute of Education at the University and teachers, both in the UK and internationally.

“Mathematics is a very linear subject and just a small gap in knowledge at an early age can have significant problems from that time forward.”

says Professor David Burghes, the project lead.

“The issue always appears to lie in missing a key topic at school, either through absence or a lack of understanding. So our resources are designed to both support children’s school learning and address any gaps in their mathematical knowledge as they work through the materials.”

The Institute of Education has, for many years, provided free maths resources to parents/carers of children at Primary and lower Secondary levels, and these have proved to be especially popular in the US.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, Professor Burghes applied for Strategic Investment Fund money to enhance and refine the existing resources, as well as develop new material, including GCSE support complete with sample papers. A level resources will be added in the coming weeks.

Professor Burghes said the Maths4all website is particularly focused on the English education system, with reference to countries with a similar model, such as Singapore.

“We know that some parents and carers have their own issues with mathematics,”

he added.

“We hope, however, that this resource base enables them to work collaboratively with their learners so that, over time, both can succeed and grow in confidence with mathematics.”

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