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Topic Title: STEMNET
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Created On: 30 January 2013 01:07 PM
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 30 January 2013 01:07 PM
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PaulMalloy

Posts: 7
Joined: 14 January 2003

Noticed that there were no postings in this category so thought I'd start one.

I have been dong work in local schools to try and take engineering into the classroom and help encourage pupils to consider engineering as a career choice. I joined STEMNET about 4 years ago. This is a government funded organisation that basically helps to co-ordinate getting Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths engagement in schools. They arrange for your disclosure which allows you to work with young people and send out a newsletter every month showing requests for help from schools by geographical area. Lots of schools look for help with career activities or practical work that they are undertaking. They may be involved in one of the many engineering/science competitions available and looking for some practical assistance. It's a great way to give something back to the profession. I have received funding from the IET Education fund for the last two years which has been invaluable in getting kit for projects. I would encourage other members to consider this as a way to get involved and would help anyone with any questions they may have if they are thinking of getting involved but are unsure about it. You may have young children yourself or be on a school PTA and want to get involved. You can contact me by e-mail at paul.malloy@magnoxsites.com or post a message here.
 11 February 2013 05:28 PM
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amandalewin

Posts: 147
Joined: 19 December 2007

I've been doing STEM for a few months now, there has been some other threads about it but you don't seem to be able to search for 'STEM' on this forum which makes them rather hard to find

Not done any activity based ones so would be interested to hear what practical stuff you have done in classes. My events have all been careers based as either interview type situations or Q&A.

-------------------------
Amanda

'At some point we all must chose between what is right and what is awesome'
 12 February 2013 09:06 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

STEMNET activities I have done over the last ten years (in no particular order):
    Acted as technical expert for Year 6 'First Lego League' teams
    Judged regional heats of First Lego League for years 6-13
    Acted as technical expert and organiser for 'Greenpower' teams for years 5 - 13
    Acted as technical expert and judge for 'K'nex' competitions
    Run lego robotics classes for years 4-6
    Taught electrical safety to year 12 BTEC Engineering
    Given masterclass in electronics in practice year 12 BTEC Engineering
    Briefed teachers on training seminar on real worlkd applications of programmeable electronics
    Designed and run major one day projects for inter-school competitions for year 10-11: building a supercap powered torch to solve 'puzzles in the dark', and designing electronic musical instrument interfaces for disabled children
    Judged wind generator building competition for year 10
    Taken part in 'what's my line' events
    Hosted stands at schools' careers days
    Given presentations on the history of steam engineering and history of electric traction to years 1 (!) to 6
    Helped with practical electricity experiments with year 2
    Worked with year 6 class to build mini electric buggies
    Judged interschool mini electric buggy racing competition
    Worked with year 4 class to build working models of tin mining equipment
    Advised on developing models for use across several schools
    Worked with year 5 class to build working burglar alarm from logic blocks
    Spoken about careers in engineering to just about everybody (pupils and staff)
    Appeared on 'My Genius Idea' for BBC TV as technical advisor to a young inventor
    Hosted teacher / pupil visits to company
    Worked with year 6 class to build 3m tall working model beam engine


There's undoubtedly loads of other stuff I've completely forgotten about but hopefully that gives a few ideas.

One really important thing to note: different STEMNETS work differently. Some are happy to support volunteers activities (as in the way I was working), some want volunteers to support their pre-planned activities. Of course both are hugely important, but it's best to find out what your local STEMNET really want you to do.

Have fun!

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 12 February 2013 12:58 PM
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PaulMalloy

Posts: 7
Joined: 14 January 2003

Amanda - I've carried out a few practical activities with different classes (usually P7). They have ranged from building a paper aerofoil and investigating Bernoulli's principle to a 10 week programme building a wooden kit racer with propeller and motor. I'm currently visiting primary schools on a Friday afternoon (as I finish at 12) and doing a four week programme of building Lego models from their educational kits. If you want to do practical activities there are lots of resources online and "you tube" is great for seeing different activities. If there is nothing jumping out at you from the STEMNET newsletter you could actually call up a local school and arrange to meet them to discuss what they are doing and see if there is anything you can do to jazz it up a bit from a more practical way. Best to start small and build your confidence as it's not for everyone. "Lab In A Lorry" is good for doing practical stuff with little or no preparation. You can find out what they have planned in your area from the Institute Of Physics web site. From Andy's list you can see there are so many different things you can get involved with. Main thing is to have fun .
 12 February 2013 01:42 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Also (Paul's reply has just made me think of this) look at the Rapid Electronics website. They have a good range of electronics / engineering kits aimed at schools which can be ideal. We had great fun with a classroom pack of radio receiver kits.

Also contact IET Education 5-19 who will have more links and ideas.

If you get really keen, can I strongly recommend Royal Society Partnership Grants. These will cover the cost of materials and some expenses for a practicing engineer / scientist to work with a particular school on a particular project. I've had two of these, and found the Royal Society staff really nice to work with.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 13 February 2013 04:57 PM
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amandalewin

Posts: 147
Joined: 19 December 2007

Originally posted by: PaulMalloy

Amanda - I've carried out a few practical activities with different classes (usually P7). They have ranged from building a paper aerofoil and investigating Bernoulli's principle to a 10 week programme building a wooden kit racer with propeller and motor. I'm currently visiting primary schools on a Friday afternoon (as I finish at 12) and doing a four week programme of building Lego models from their educational kits. If you want to do practical activities there are lots of resources online and "you tube" is great for seeing different activities. If there is nothing jumping out at you from the STEMNET newsletter you could actually call up a local school and arrange to meet them to discuss what they are doing and see if there is anything you can do to jazz it up a bit from a more practical way. Best to start small and build your confidence as it's not for everyone. "Lab In A Lorry" is good for doing practical stuff with little or no preparation. You can find out what they have planned in your area from the Institute Of Physics web site. From Andy's list you can see there are so many different things you can get involved with. Main thing is to have fun .


Thanks for the advice, here in Manchester there are a lot of requests put up on the STEMNET website which I have been browsing and picking from. In addition to this my boss has asked me to make contact with a local(ish) school that his kids go to so I have offered my services to them as well.

I will check out some of the mentioned activities as although I find the career based activities rewarding building stuff is always fun

-------------------------
Amanda

'At some point we all must chose between what is right and what is awesome'
 14 February 2013 04:07 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

What I would recommend if you independently make contact with a local school, is that you involve your STEMNET office to try to get your visit registered as a STEMNET event. That way you will be covered by their insurance and your CRB will be valid - which at the very least might make the school's life easier. Your local STEMNET should be happy to do this as it increases the list of activities they are supporting.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 14 February 2013 04:46 PM
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amandalewin

Posts: 147
Joined: 19 December 2007

Originally posted by: amillar

What I would recommend if you independently make contact with a local school, is that you involve your STEMNET office to try to get your visit registered as a STEMNET event. That way you will be covered by their insurance and your CRB will be valid - which at the very least might make the school's life easier. Your local STEMNET should be happy to do this as it increases the list of activities they are supporting.


Yes we were told during our induction that events we organised count towards the STEMNET activities and about the insurance. The STEMNet guys here in Manchester are really good.

-------------------------
Amanda

'At some point we all must chose between what is right and what is awesome'
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