STEM

An exciting new partnership to inspire the next generation of scientists was launched at Rolls-Royce HQ in Derby recently. Teachers from local primary schools visited the Rolls-Royce Learning and Development Centre to celebrate the start of the new initiative, which sees the company joining forces with Discovery Education to support STEM learning.

Gratnells, the global leader in educational storage solutions, based in Harlow, has continued its commitment to enhancing worldwide classrooms by redesigning a CoDrone STEM education kit for a robotics company in the USA.

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STEM subjects encompass stereotypically male-dominated careers: science, technology, engineering, and maths. History has always leaned in favour of men within these subjects, which could explain why the number of females in these industries is still low. These damaging stereotypes, as well as preconceptions of what these careers entail, have left industries such as manufacturing wholly unappealing — nearly three-quarters of women admitted to Women in Manufacturing (WiM) they would not consider a career in manufacturing.

A lack of workers with the correct STEM skills is reportedly costing the UK economy around £1.5 billion per annum. But could improving and developing STEM apprenticeships be the solution?

Apprenticeships are becoming more popular than ever before, which is encouraging. But more still needs to be done to close the STEM skills gap. Perhaps due to their focus on offering hands-on and practical learning processes, apprenticeship programmes are ideally suited to the STEM — science, technology, engineering, and maths — sectors.

Najwa Jawahar MEng, BEng CEng MIStructE, is a senior structural engineer at WSP – which provides a range of services from building high-rise property to mining precious metals. Here, she reviews the Rocking Ur Teens event which took place earlier this year in a bid to inspire young girls to pursue careers in STEM industries – and boost pupils' confidence.

Schools from across England are being invited to sign up for free to the Institute of Physics’ Improving Gender Balance national research trial.  Across England, the trial, funded by the Department for Education (DfE) will work with teachers on whole-school approaches to tackling gender stereotyping and the resulting limits on both boys and girls’ choices. In doing so it seeks to redress the fact that for more than 30 years only a fifth of those taking A-level physics in England have been girls.

It’s unsurprising that children who have confidence in their abilities tend to be more successful in their studies - and that confidence isn’t just built within the school gates. Teaching kids about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) early on helps lay the foundations for deeper learning, and parents can play a big role in supporting this. 

Leading chemistry specialists Radleys share their top tips for getting kids excited about STEM subjects.

Look outside the classroom

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Dr Emily Grossman is an expert in molecular biology and the face of many a scientific TV and radio slot (including The Alan Titchmarsh Show and Duck Quacks Don't Echo). Here, Emily speaks to QA Education editor Victoria Galligan about why she’s involved with Rocking Ur Teens, a social enterprise that runs inspiring conferences that help encourage girls and boys to become confident in their school life and beyond…

With private tuition being an unaffordable option for so many, Tassomai is a GCSE learning and revision program which helps close the attainment gap and levels the playing field for all students. It can be used by all pupils – including those with health problems, behavioural issues, those suffering from mental health issues or going through other difficult circumstances. It also allows children to work at their own pace but ensuring clear progress – and the best thing about Tassomai? Pupils can use it from home on their smartphones.

The Harlow-based manufacturer is committed to promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing subjects to young people and recently welcomed local school students on-site for a day of activities.