STEM TI Day 2: Initial Discussions

Discussion summaryInitial Discussions

Summary from discussionNew or different:

  • STEM resources as starters/plenary in Maths/DT/highlighting in lessons. KS3 theme day, land speed record. Stand alone lessons - STEM activity.
  • Planning time - progression, cross-subject.
  • Teacher excitement, learning, independence.
  • Ideas from NRICH incorporated into new Y7,8 SoW.
  • Science - Bloodhound SSC activity - 2 lessons.
  • Stand alone lessons in maths.
  • Intending to run an extra-curricular competition to design a water-rocket, leading onto a national competition.
  • Summer weather more conducive to outdoor tasks.
  • Helicopters worked well with lower set. Made pupils feel good about being in maths lesson.
  • Discussion summaryGetting used to variable and how/what to change in science investigations.
  • "All in a jumble" worked well with A level.
  • Open-ended tasks - good to get pupils thinking rather than just answering.
  • Big Qs about STEM, big key problems.
  • Going to use STEM club for activities. Maybe link STEM club to CREST. STEM club gives students the chance to see the value of failure and perseverance.
  • Continue with enrichment days. 
  • Use STEM clubs as 6th form recruitment.
  • We want options for extra-curricular projects of varying lengths, eg. some for 'enrichment days', some for hour-long workshops, some for lunch-time or after-school clubs, etc.
  • New - after school club (Y7/8).
  • Linking sceicne with DT in "additional learning day" - 1 day per 2 weeks (time tabled).
  • Ongoing STEM leadership qualification, curriculum leader 
  • Engineering competition leading to CREST award.
  • Discussion summarySTEM ambassadors and business partners.
  • Outreach for local universities
  • National STEM centre (York University) - projects and funding, STEMNET.
  • Pilot Y7 two week STEM project - all lessons taught around a theme (15 lessons) including planning for all STEM faculties. 'Green houses'
  • Y7 transition project involving many school departments, STEM + English + Humanities
  • STEM careers
  • stemNRICH activities - Robots, didn't require extra efforts, kids engaged, equipment in school/available, STEM in club to show argument for inclusion in hte curriculum. Y7 full range of abilities.
  • Smoothies - cross-curricular project - Maths/Science/DT, 1.5 days off timetable with 30 kids at a time (?) = whole of KS3 and 4
  • Y6 feeder cross-curricular STEM days
  • Outdoor classroom, giving STEM a real life context
  • Chocolate day, whole day, looking at melting points

Levels of engagement:

  • Level 4 theme day, upcoming theme day KS3
  • Y6/7 transition day - STEM themed - 'cereal bar', helicopter (team teaching), Baked Alaska - Level 3
  • Level 3 difficult due to timetable.
  • Lots of this is fairly low level / aimed at KS3. Would like some higher level/more challenging tasks.

Summary of discussionHow did it work out?

  • Levels 1 and 2 easy to introduce, Level 4 in themed workshop.
  • Helicopter - mixed results due to mixed attitude of students. Should have prepared the class before the lesson. Weaker students disengaged.
  • Place your order - units matching task, altered the measurements used to suit class. Worked well.
  • Need for SLT/HoD support.
  • Level 2 at the minute - wanted to be at level 4.
  • Label 'STEM' can be a problem, getting people on board :(
  • Time of year, other responsibilities :(
  • Links between subjects :)
  • Interest of students :)
  • Discussion summaryNew ideas for teachers - get out of rut :)
  • Recognition from senior management of STEM :(
  • Relate STEM activities to curriculum.
  • Include maths properly - not just costing, etc!
  • Benefits to school/teachers - raise awareness and links to areas, enjoyment, introducing new activities, different approaches
  • DT - practical application of certain skills - making links :)
  • Resources/time/timetables :(
  • Staff - encouragement :(
  • KS4 - exams, revision session, no extra time :(
  • Support from SLT, recognising STEM benefits :(
  • Difficulty matching student groups across subjects in the timetable, some groups set, others not set :(
  • Difficulty finding a topic to include all 3 subjects at a suitably challenging and engaging level :(
  • Timings with pressure from 'regular curriculum' :(
  • Space available - classes too large for the room :(
  • Split site. 6th form is a mile away. Y11 and 12 don't see each often - [Relativity] would build bridges between them for when Y11 go into 6th form. Large intake into Y12 from other schools. Y11 get to know them too! :)
  • Curriculum too busy at the moment :( - maybe Sept 2012.
  • Doing it in lessons will not be possible due to science alternating topics (necessary for equipment/technicians, etc) and different setting, etc :(
  • Timetabling :(
  • Departmental budgets :(
  • Staff engagement :(
  • Results - fear of them slipping :(
  • Publicising benefits to results
  • Making it sound fun to pupils!
  • Transfer from one lesson to another - have a set of results ready, or catch-up time in between
  • Cut down project time to make it manageable