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Topic Title: Volunteering opportunity
Topic Summary: To inspire more young people into engineering
Created On: 31 August 2010 05:05 PM
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 31 August 2010 05:05 PM
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Hweddle

Posts: 2
Joined: 31 August 2010

I help to coordinate a programme to inspire more young people to study, and enter careers in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) called the STEM Ambassadors scheme. We're always looking for new STEM Ambassadors to work with us to inspire the next generation. Our Ambassadors are involved in a wide range of activities including:

    Careers talks

    Helping with after school clubs

    Helping to run challenge days

    Organising site visits

    Judging competitions


There's no pressure to get involved with activities, and you can pick and choose which fits you best; whether that's timewise, age of the students, types of activity etc. We provide you with full training, a free CRB check and insurance for all your activities. The only minimum requirement is that you get involved in one activity per year, but that can be as simple as a 30 minute careers talk.

If you're interested, more information can be found at: STEM Ambassadors information and to sign up (only takes 5 minutes) Sign up for the programme
 02 September 2010 11:31 AM
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GJAMES

Posts: 7
Joined: 31 July 2009

As the Education 5-19 department we would very much like to endorse this statement.

Recently the IET has developed its Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults policy, which is being rolled out across the staff and membership of the IET. For staff it is available on the intranet and for members it will soon be available in the education zone of the website. It has already been sent to the Schools Liaison Officers (SLO) and Honorary Secretaries of each of the UK Local Networks.

Within the policy it states that for members who wish to engage with schools and young people, on anything other than a very occasional basis, on behalf of the institution they need to be registered as a STEM Ambassador.

Being a STEM Ambassador ensures that the individual has had the necessary CRB checks; is known to their local STEM education support networks; has received some basic training on how to work with and in schools; will be contacted with engagement opportunities; and, has the paperwork often required by schools before they are allowed to work with students. As well as that offered through the Ambassador scheme, the IET provides Public Liability Insurance for its members.

I should reiterate the Poster's point that the process of becoming an Ambassador is free and is not at all onerous - local STEM Points help with the paperwork, check IDs and deliver the training, which lasts no more than a couple of hours.

The IET would very much like to encourage more of the membership to become STEM Ambassadors and to participate in activities for schools. In the near future we will be developing more and more material to support our members who wish to do activities in schools and at public events, details of which will be communicated through the SLOs, Member News and Information Matters.

-------------------------
Gareth James

Head of Education 5-19
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
 07 September 2010 11:35 AM
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Hweddle

Posts: 2
Joined: 31 August 2010

It's great to know that the IET are in support of the STEM Ambassadors programme. I would like to think that IET members realise it's more efficient and easier to get involved with local schools via this scheme, where we can provide you with support and assistance in running activities too.

I currently coordinate the scheme in Northumberland, and believe we only have 3 STEM Ambassadors who are members of the IET and it would be great to see some more register.
 04 October 2010 05:13 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Firstly I would like to endorse the above: I have been a STEM Ambassador for several years and have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in a wide range of activities - in particular bringing that touch of the 'real world' into school life.

HOWEVER, there is a huge challenge for the STEM Ambassador scheme, which is to persuade employers to support their staff in taking part. By their nature, STEM events normally take place in working hours, and whilst some employers will allow staff time off to take part in events a very large number will not. The scheme then becomes highly dependant on Ambassadors' willingness to take time for STEM event from their holiday allowance (an issue, incidentally, on which my wife is prepared to be quite vocal!). This is the biggest cause of frustration I have heard Ambassadors express with the scheme.

If every engineer (or at least those who were safe to be allowed out in public ) were encouraged by their employers to spend half a day per year in a school I am sure that we would have ample Ambassadors with minimal actual impact, any ideas as to how this could be promoted would be welcomed!

Andy Millar
SLO Devon & Cornwall LN
Highly Commended in "Most Dedicated STEM Ambassador" awards 2009

-------------------------
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
 03 March 2011 06:00 PM
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thomas206

Posts: 2
Joined: 03 March 2011

Awesome! Thank you so much. I think it really is important for young students to gain experience in this field as it takes many years in the industry to get a good grasp on it. So thank you for posting this.

Link removed
 29 November 2011 10:55 AM
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dwiller

Posts: 10
Joined: 08 May 2002

At last year's IET Education Conference I undertook to develop and collate "Projects In A Box" for school teachers and STEMNET to download and use. These are intended to introduce technology and engineering to school pupils.

To date we have seven projects fully developed and proven in pilot STEM "Engineering Challenge Days" or elsewhere. They are temporarily available at www.dwiller.com :
 16 June 2012 06:36 AM
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matt11

Posts: 10
Joined: 10 May 2012

Good information.
Thanks
 18 June 2012 06:36 PM
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jencam

Posts: 608
Joined: 06 May 2007

There is a question of ethics here. Does the UK really need any more engineers than it currently produces when countless people come on this forum bemoaning that they can't find an engineering job? Has the IET ever looked into how many underemployed engineers and engineering graduates there are?

Something the IET doesn't do is EOTAS.
 18 June 2012 09:28 PM
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gkenyon

Posts: 4478
Joined: 06 May 2002

Maybe the question should be:

"Does the education system in the UK produce Engineering Graduates that meet the needs of engineering employers?"

Engineering is an art - at the very least, it is where art meets science. It is no good teaching theory only: we need to nurture other skills in the formation of our potential Engineers.

To put it another way.

Theory is a part of the set of tools that is at an Engineer's disposal - whether this be "Engineering theory", "Mathematics", "Scientific theory" doesn't really matter. We are, arguably, teaching tools only, without giving sufficient opportunity for the development of the arts of using the tools, and possibly even the art of selecting the correct ones to use from the toolbox.

Very little time seems to be spent on the object of the work; how it feels to be an Engineer; the esoteric side of the art; etc.

Is that because we don't know how to write those skills down and "examine" them?

-------------------------
Eur Ing Graham Kenyon CEng MIET TechIOSH

Edited: 18 June 2012 at 09:39 PM by gkenyon
 19 June 2012 07:11 AM
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powis

Posts: 1
Joined: 17 April 2002

A new post to this thread has led me to your (dwiller) projects in a box link.

As a fellow STEM Ambassador there looks to be some good content .
Thanks for posting!
 19 June 2012 05:28 PM
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rhysphillips

Posts: 71
Joined: 01 April 2010

Encouraging companies to give their staff the time can be difficult. My manager at his own discretion gives me 1 day per month which is great although it is booked to non productive time and so it means I have to accomodate some extra admin work in my own time to ensure I meet the minimum "booked to project" hours.

I also use one flexi day per month on STEM Ambassador work and often a days annual leave too, as well as regular evening and weekend events.

There are many STEM Ambassador events that are done outside of core working hours (taking part in my IET radio show for example, counts as an activity and can be done from the comfort of your own homes).

Rhys Phillips
(Winner of Most Dedicated STEM Ambassador 2011)
 20 June 2012 07:37 PM
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jencam

Posts: 608
Joined: 06 May 2007

Originally posted by: gkenyon
Maybe the question should be:

"Does the education system in the UK produce Engineering Graduates that meet the needs of engineering employers?"


This might be better rephrased as "do engineering employers make it clear to the public and those in the education system what skills and knowledge they want engineers to have?"

Engineering is an art - at the very least, it is where art meets science. It is no good teaching theory only: we need to nurture other skills in the formation of our potential Engineers.

To put it another way.

Theory is a part of the set of tools that is at an Engineer's disposal - whether this be "Engineering theory", "Mathematics", "Scientific theory" doesn't really matter. We are, arguably, teaching tools only, without giving sufficient opportunity for the development of the arts of using the tools, and possibly even the art of selecting the correct ones to use from the toolbox.

Very little time seems to be spent on the object of the work; how it feels to be an Engineer; the esoteric side of the art; etc.


This has been discussed here before. Note the reference to electrical science.

Is that because we don't know how to write those skills down and "examine" them?


Read some of my older posts about how the bottom line at university is exams.

Edited: 20 June 2012 at 07:47 PM by jencam
 21 June 2012 12:13 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: jencam
This might be better rephrased as "do engineering employers make it clear to the public and those in the education system what skills and knowledge they want engineers to have?"

Yes in many cases they do, but of course not all. For example many engineering degree courses also offer practical real world experience and so on. Maybe we need to go out and find some good examples of where they get things correct and advertise it. Also instead of just doing A levels at school and then going onto a degree course maybe engineering students should do an engineering diploma and then go onto a degree course.....sort of develop their engineering knowledge through the relevant levels. That is what I did and I found the engineering degree more valuable and enjoyable because I already had a revelant engineering diploma. I do think employers, universities etc., have some responsibilities but also so do parents, students and schools and each need to work together for the benefit of the young person instead of all focusing on their own self interest, i.e., silo thinking. There are many craft/technical courses available which build skill sets and maybe we need to advise our young people better, but they also need to take a little more responsibility for their career/education planning.

Regards.
 21 June 2012 04:05 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: rhysphillips
Encouraging companies to give their staff the time can be difficult.


Tell me about it! Fortunately we don't work Friday afternoons, so as far as possible that's been my "schools day", but in practice my wife has long been beating me up about the amount of holiday I have used up on schools activities (including two days next week )

Chatting to other ambassadors has shown this is a big problem, many have said "as long as the company gives me time to do it, I'll do it" which is, I suppose, a fair position but isn't going to give us the number of ambassadors we need.

I should add that a change of management has meant that I do now find it easier to get support for some activities, but practically it's pretty limited. (Plus I'm not doing much this year anyway as I'm trying to make myself concentrate on my Master's degree in my spare time!)

Andy Millar

(Winner of Most Dedicated STEM Ambassador 2009)

-------------------------
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
 22 June 2012 10:45 AM
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rhysphillips

Posts: 71
Joined: 01 April 2010

Hi Andy,

Yes our flexible working policy allows me to finish work at lunchtime on Fridays too, assuming I've built up enough hours earlier in the week so I am also often in schools on Friday afternoons!

Personally I find it odd when Ambassadors who sign up as 'volunteers' say they'll only do things in work time - to me that isn't volunteering as they are still being paid by their work for the time spent!

There does need to be a way in which STEMNet can encourage more companies to give their staff time to do these activities too of course - like you, I am lucky and have support within the company but the amount I do in company time still only accounts for perhaps a third of the schools outreach work I do (and that is not taking into account any of the radio work I do).
 09 October 2012 03:20 PM
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amandalewin

Posts: 144
Joined: 19 December 2007

As a recent sign up to the STEM Ambassador scheme this thread has been a good read! I've only done one event so far which was a careers interview type event and I was searching the forums to get some ideas for hands on type activities I can do to illustrate my industry (building services).

I'm quite lucky as my employer is being very supportive of me participating in events in local schools.

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

'At some point we all must chose between what is right and what is awesome'
 09 November 2012 11:35 AM
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emersonkelly

Posts: 3
Joined: 25 October 2012

Good idea!! Encouraging and motivating the students to get into STEM; Most of the people are not aware of the career opportunities in this field. It would be even more better if we share the career opportunities!!
 01 December 2012 09:56 PM
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richardamo2007

Posts: 2
Joined: 25 July 2008

I am a Ghanaian who is residing in Ghana of West Africa.

I am currently an IET Member and really want to be part of the STEM project especially in Africa. I have realized that this is only limited to citizens in the UK.

Please, could some help me to be part of the STEM Project???

You may contact me through:

richardamo@theiet.org

Thank you.
 03 December 2012 10:07 AM
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rhysphillips

Posts: 71
Joined: 01 April 2010

The STEM Ambassador Scheme is a UK scheme but there may be an equivalent where you are, I don't know.

However it's about going into schools and promoting science, technology, engineering and maths to school children.

You don't actually need to be registered on the scheme to do this - you may be able to contact local schools in your area and see if they'll let you come in and do a talk / workshop etc.

Most school work I do is arranged directly with the schools at the moment although it still counts as a STEM Ambassador activity.
 04 December 2012 08:06 AM
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jencam

Posts: 608
Joined: 06 May 2007

Originally posted by: rhysphillips
However it's about going into schools and promoting science, technology, engineering and maths to school children.


Do home educated children count?

Would you be happy or nervous to employ a formerly home educated person?
IET » Young Professionals Community » Volunteering opportunity

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