Getting students enthused about Computing can often be a bit of a battle. I wanted them to really benefit from understanding the purpose of the subject and how it can be applied to the real world. Being an all-boys school, our students are often very competitive with one another, which made me think about incorporating an element of competition in order to motivate them and bring some excitement to the subject.
A Pennsylvanian pupil has tackled her germaphobia head-on with a Science experiment that’s been wowing visitors at the local Franklin County Science Fair. 15-year-old Samantha Mills is the creator Germ Invasion, a project looking at the bacteria and fungi content of her grandmother's home, according to Herald-Mail Media. Samantha’s project was on display over the weekend at Waynesboro’s Destination Arts! event which featured youth science exhibits.
I have always been keen to promote departmental work with an international theme, and was delighted last summer to be involved in a project linking my school with students in Ecuador. The venture was set up by Neil Emery, who has has organised two previous projects in Ecuador, visiting tribal groups and delivering technology workshops to pupils at local community schools. Further details of his achievements are detailed on his own IMS article.
In order to make the most of pupil voice and collaboration, TrilbyTV are working with schools to help them share video content created on any device, getting teachers sharing more and enhancing engagement with the school community. Following the successful launch last year, and with several schools utilising this innovative tool, owner-company Trilby had some tremendous feedback. The ease and intuitive nature of the product means there is no need for IT support to manage allowing students to take ownership, and teachers to keep in control.
Last year, I was approached to see if I would be prepared to lead a new subject in my school. I say ‘new’ in the loosest of terms, as it was Latin I was asked to teach! Being a geeky linguist, and having studied the History of the Spanish Language at university, I did get a little excited at first, but then was overcome by a cloud of hesitation – how would my students take to a language that is no longer spoken? How would they see the relevance to their current studies? And what skills would it provide them for today’s world?
Pupils in Essex have been using 3D printers to explore the world of STEM and its place in modern careers. The Essex County Council-led programme has seen the likes of Plume School and William de Ferrers Academy experiment with machines sponsored by local business Lodge Information Services in their classes, and is an example of how schools can work with the private sector to explore such technology.
Women are still highly underrepresented in STEM subjects and technology. The 2015 statistics published by the Joint Qualifications Council have shown that girls account for just 16 per cent of those sitting the computer science GCSE, but they were also shown to perform very well, with 72 per cent of them attaining grades A* - C. Encouraging more girls into computing and technology is not just a numbers game; there is clearly a huge pool of talent and enthusiasm to be discovered from all pupils.
A new resource to help students to learn the early stages of phonic spelling, the Spellzone Starter Course is an entry-level resource aimed at older students who are still struggling with basic spelling concepts, Primary pupils, and lower level users of English such as ESL and EAL students.
BP has launched the second Ultimate STEM Challenge, a competition in partnership with the Science Museum and STEMNET. This year, students aged 11-14 across the UK are being challenged to use their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills to develop energy efficient solutions to real-world challenges. The celebratory final event will take place in March at the Science Museum in London, and all entries must be uploaded on the BP Educational Service (BPES) website by 15th January 2016.
As I approached the fourth year in which I had delivered a sustainability-based project for my secondary school students, there was one issue that troubled me; how could I make the project itself more sustainable? Why do I use so much paper in making my students more aware of the issue of sustainability? This year, the project was to research, design, and build, a sustainable home suitable for the Finnish Tundra. The students were all in Y8 (or Grade 7) and have the benefit of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy at our school.