Teaching professionals identified a need for face-to-face support to help develop high quality #STEM subject clubs in their schools

STEM Learning, the largest provider of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education and careers in the UK has today announced it is enhancing its popular STEM Clubs programme following further funding from the Gatsby Foundation.

The grant has been used to create a network of 22 STEM Club Champions, who will provide face-to-face support, through hundreds of CPD workshops, to help teachers start or develop existing, extra curricular STEM subject clubs. The expansion comes following STEM Learning's consultations with teaching professionals which identified a need for face-to-face support to help develop high quality STEM subject clubs in their schools.

The STEM Club Champion network will provide full coverage across England, with a collective capacity to engage with nearly 4,000 state-maintained secondary schools in the first year. STEM Learning intends to expand this to include both primary and secondary schools, UK-wide, over the next four years.

Enrichment STEM clubs, which often run after school, offer an enjoyable way to engage students with related subjects in an informal setting and through more imaginative and inventive teaching methods, unconfined by the structure of the curriculum.

The STEM Club initiative provides those running STEM clubs with information on setting up and managing enrichment clubs, as well as access to a range of resources to help maximise the impact of their clubs.

Enrichment STEM clubs offer an enjoyable way to engage students with related subjects in an informal setting. The clubs are an important outlet to ignite new, or further students' interest in STEM subjects through more imaginative and inventive teaching methods.  They allow students space to experiment, ask questions and tackle challenges of interest to them unconfined by the structures of the curriculum.

The funding is divided across all 22 STEM Club Champion areas to provide full coverage across England and a collective capacity to engage with nearly 4,000 state-maintained secondary schools in year one. STEM Learning intends to expand this to include both primary and secondary schools, UK-wide over the next four years.

The STEM Club Champions network is made up of 22 organisations (schools, colleges, learning providers, universities), who are mostly existing STEM Learning partners and have been selected due to their strong connections with the local school community and experience of supporting and engaging with teachers. The Champions will deliver a programme of STEM club CPD workshops and networking events to enable club leaders to share ideas and best practice.

Starting in February 2020, the workshops will cover themes such as how to start a STEM club and making an existing club thrive. Another important focus is enhancing careers knowledge and club leaders will be signposted to the support available from STEM Learning’s network of over 30,000 STEM Ambassadors, who together represent more than 2,500 employers.

The significant expansion of the STEM Clubs Programme comes as evidence from STEM Learning’s regular consultations with teachers identified widespread demand for local face-to-face support.

Dr Alex Brown, STEM Support Programme Manager at STEM Learning said: 

“STEM clubs are individual to each school, and there is of course, no set formula. However, evidence from our teacher surveys and consultations, including those with no STEM club experience, highlights a strong desire for face-to-face support at a local level to help them start, sustain and grow their clubs.

“Our STEM Club Champions will act as a hub in their patch and over the next four years deliver hundreds of workshops to drive growth and develop the STEM club “ecosystem’ in their local area.  Our ambition is for every young person in the UK to get the chance to engage with a thriving STEM club and we thank Gatsby Foundation for its continued support.”

Ginny Page, Programmes Director at Gatsby Foundation said:

“If we want to inspire the next generation of technicians, scientists and engineers we need to give young people experiences of STEM that are creative, practical and relevant to their interests. STEM Clubs are a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain these experiences, and it’s great that STEM Learning is helping teachers and technicians across the country establish thriving STEM Clubs in their schools”.

STEM Club Champions network

Area

STEM Club Champion Organisation

Lancashire 

Ashton Community Science College, Preston 

West Cheshire 

All about STEM, Liverpool 

Devon  

Broadclyst Community Primary School, Exeter 

Suffolk 

Bury St Edmunds County Upper School, Bury St Edmunds 

Derbyshire 

Derby Teaching Schools Alliance, Derby 

West Midlands 

Entrust STEM, Stafford 

Dorset 

Fiveways School, Yeovil 

Gloucestershire 

Graphic Science, Felton, near Bristol 

South London 

Harris Federation, Croydon 

Tyneside 

North Tyneside Learning Trust, North Shields 

South Yorkshire 

Notre Dame High School, Sheffield 

Oxfordshire 

Oxford Spires Academy, Oxford 

Hampshire  

Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance, Portsmouth 

Lincolnshire  

Priory Academy, Lincoln 

Kent 

Rainham Mark Grammar School, Gillingham 

Durham  

RTC North, Sunderland 

North Yorkshire 

Skipton Girls' High School, Skipton 

Hertfordshire

St Clement Danes School, Rickmansworth 

Worcestershire  

University of Worcester, Worcester 

Suffolk 

West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds 

East Cheshire  

TBC

 

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