Boost to schools STEM programme

All About STEM in Liverpool has been chosen as the STEM Club Champion for Merseyside, West Lancashire, Warrington, Cheshire West and Chester to boost the STEM programme across the region.

The STEM business and education consultancy forms part of a new, 22-strong network responsible for helping teaching professionals inspire more pupils in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects through out-of-timetable clubs.

The network has been set up by STEM Learning, the largest provider of STEM education and careers in the UK, following a grant from the Gatsby Foundation, and builds on the organisation’s popular STEM Club programme and aim to boost awareness of the programme.

As STEM Club Champion, All About STEM will provide face-to-face support for teachers across Merseyside, through regular workshops, that will help them start, or develop existing, STEM subject clubs.

Representatives from All About STEM will work with secondary schools, as well as Sixth Form and FE Colleges, throughout the area, to deliver a programme of STEM club Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshops and networking events, starting in March.

These will enable teachers and club leaders to share ideas and best practice, and also meet local STEM Ambassadors who can support their clubs. Teachers will gain access to a range of resources to help maximise the impact of their clubs. Collectively, STEM Club Champions will target nearly 3,000 schools during the course of the programme.

Enrichment STEM clubs, which often run out-of-timetable, 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 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.

Sessions for schools are currently scheduled as follows:

Getting Started STEM Club Workshop

Tuesday 24 March – 16.00-18.00 – Baltic Creative Campus, Liverpool

Saturday 28 March – 10.00 – 12.00 – Baltic Creative Campus, Liverpool

All About STEM was chosen due to its strong connections with the local school community and experience of supporting and engaging with teachers.

Michelle Dow, managing director of All About STEM said: “All About STEM has worked to promote STEM clubs in schools across the region since the company’s conception in 2011. Clubs help raise attainment and provide our young people with the opportunity to explore all aspects of STEM in a relaxed, informal setting, helping develop their curiosity and understanding of the practical applications of STEM knowledge and skills.

“We are excited to be STEM Club Champions and extend our outreach further, offer our schools even more and boost awareness! Coming up, we have a variety of STEM Club Champions workshops on how to manage and facilitate STEM Clubs and how to create a ‘successful and thriving’ STEM Club in school. Those attending will also have the chance to take home a fantastic STEM resources kit. We hope to see all of our amazing teachers there.”

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.  Over the next four years, STEM Learning intends to expand the STEM Club Champion network to offer support to both primary and secondary schools, across the UK.

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.”

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