As we continue to navigate through these unique and evolving challenges, we want you to know that your local STEM Hub are here to support you and the children you serve.
The STEM team are currently reimagining the support that we are able to offer schools. Supporting your pupils through distance learning or supervising pupils of key workers in school is a challenge for all teachers and we applaud your efforts to support our children at this time.
We are currently engaging with STEM Ambassadors across the UK and many are offering online support to both students and teachers. We are particularly interested in supporting teachers with the most difficult parts of the curriculum to show real world applications.
If you have requests from pupils that an ambassadors could support and/or if you have ideas of how a STEM Ambassadors could support the delivery of the curriculum online or even just yourself (CPD), please get in contact and we will endeavour to provide this support through our Ambassadors.
One practical way that you can support parents at home or run activities for key workers' children in the classroom is to engage children in meaningful activities through the British Science Association CREST Award. The details of the CREST award scheme can be found below.
The vast majority of the experiments may be carried out using materials that are already available in the house or can be purchased by the parent at their local supermarket. If appropriate to your circumstances you could inform parents of this award and this resource will occupy their children as well as provide a nationally recognised award. The cost of the award is minimal and the children will receive a certificate and a badge for their efforts.
We are encouraging STEM Ambassadors with relevant skills to help schools and teachers get to grips with digital platforms and technology which they can use to support remote learning.
Schools can submit a request for this support via the STEM Ambassador website, as they would for any other activity.
It is a STEM enrichment programme for children aged 5 – 19. It inspires open ended project work. The CREST Awards scheme is operated by the British Science Association and around 40000 students in the UK gain CREST Awards every year. It is the only nationally recognised accreditation scheme for STEM project work (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.
CREST Awards are delivered by educators themselves, whether you are a teacher, technician, home educator, parent or STEM Club leader. CREST provides a framework to enhance the curriculum with a huge bank of free online resources. It is widely recognised as a mark of high quality for STEM project work and is student-led, encouraging young people to take ownership of their own projects and providing recognition of their success.
CREST gives students the chance to participate in hands-on science through investigations and enquiry-based learning, supporting them to solve real-life STEM challenges through practical investigation and discussion. The scheme does not focus on students reaching correct answers, but uses enquiry based learning to solve problems. By encouraging students not to view STEM as learning facts and doing experiments, but as sharing ideas and asking questions, the CREST Awards help to develop a culture of ‘everyday science’, bridging learning and supporting cross-curricular education.
To get started simply go to www.crestawards.org and choose the level that is appropriate for your students or children. Sign up for a free CREST Awards account and familiarise yourself with the available resources and project ideas.
If you need more support contact the CREST Support team through the website or STEM Hub NI who are a Regional Crest Support organisation for Northern Ireland.