According to a recent BBC news article, business leaders have said a growing shortage of skills in the hi-tech sector is threatening Britain's economic recovery. Graduates in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are vital in order to tackle the current skills shortage in the UK and ensure the future prosperity of our country. Interestingly, however, the findings of a survey by YouGov revealed that the majority of children enjoy science as a subject. This should be encouraged from primary level, and schools need to continue to make science appealing to students as they progress through compulsory education, to encourage a higher level of interest in science-related careers.
Robotics are fun and interesting, but how can a school go about implementing them into their school? Restech’s Zan Nadeem gives her top tips on the topic.
The changes to the curriculum, although daunting in some ways, are hugely exciting. Most people, kids and adults, have a love for making things. The power to create/ and the joy from finishing a self conceived model, drawing, cake, knitted jumper etc, is indescribable. To be able to understand how to make the devices, devices that we use everyday, and how they are programmed is incredible and hugely appealing for many students. This is why robotics projects for students, and robots for schools, are proving to be so popular.
A lot of pupils are going to be enthused by STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, and plenty of teachers like to run clubs around them. STEMNET’s Lisa Thompson gives her top tips on how to get a great STEM club running.
Many teachers would love to run an after school club with a handful of enthusiastic students where they get to explore all the fun things they just don’t have time for in the curriculum. The problem is many teachers just don’t know where to start. There is a dizzying array of enrichment opportunities with relatively low uptake from schools because many teachers are just too busy to engage with them, or never even hear about them in the first place! So here are my top tips for setting up a club and maintaining it throughout the year:
Modern edtech advancements are getting lots of use in STEM subjects, as well as the likes of English and the performing arts, but how is PE getting the most out of this technology? Brian Bennett, a teacher turned academic customer solutions engineer at TechSmith, discusses how video tutorials are being used alongside the whistle.
Keeping students engaged during lesson time is one of the greatest and oldest challenges for any educator. To boost student motivation and engagement, teaching methods are having to evolve and move away from traditional approaches within the classroom. One notable development has been the introduction of technology. Most subjects are incorporating digital resources in order to harness young people’s interest in technology. For example, physical education classes are incorporating mobile technology as a means of improving class involvement and enthusiasm.
The science lab is an exciting place for students, so why not make the most of this with the latest edtech on the market? Primary education specialist Maggie Morrissey advises teachers how best to make science classes as lively as possible.
[As seen in the February 2014 edition of our magazine]
Throughout my teaching career I have enjoyed using technology in education, especially in science lessons. As an ICT coordinator I introduced teachers, teaching assistants and children to a variety of digital resources such as data loggers, digital microscopes and simulations to help support the teaching of science.
Back in January, my school set upon a new initiative. The marking of core writing skills – that is, spelling, punctuation and grammar (or SPAG as us educators, who never shy away from a good acronym, like to call it) – was to be implemented across all departments. No longer just a proviso of the English faculty, now History teachers would have to check for syntactical errors in their students’ essays; Science teachers would have to ensure that methodologies and conclusions which came to them did so with the required requisite of full-stops and capital letters; Geography teachers would have to supervise not just the correct spelling of ‘oxbow lake’, but also the correct spelling of all the words which surrounded it in their pupils’ books.
This article is about how simple dances can be used to improve student learning about complex cellular processes. The dances are easy to follow and bring complicated topics to life. They help students learn about processes and terminology which they might otherwise find difficult, dry or hard to remember. The dances afford a multisensory approach to learning; they are a fusion of art and science and a blend of fun and serious biology.
What can pupils get out of studying space travel? Teachers and organisers are teaming up in order to help students discover the cosmos, as well as giving insight into the working lives of astronauts. Kulvinder Johal, assistant headteacher at Northbury Primary School in Essex, recounts her experiences with Mission X over the last 18 months, and discusses how it has benefitted her pupils.
If you had told me two years ago that I would be off to Science Learning Centre in York to collect the Space Education Quality Mark - Gold standard, I would have said “What is that? Never heard of it.” Well I have now, and I am off to collect the award and also to present the space work we have undertaken, which has just been out of this world.
An article this week on how bad UK students are at maths compared to Chinese students, to be honest, wasn’t surprising. What makes it an even larger problem is that, with the push towards teaching computer science in schools, this lack of maths knowledge is going to cause problems.
Trying to get students to look at programming problems in a mathematical way and to solve them by using common maths facts is currently a huge challenge – yet this is a vital skill that needs to be taught, from an early age, if the next generation are going to be any good at writing programs.