During the course of the last few years, STEM fields have slowly moved towards the apex of academic desirability. Even employers not working directly within these areas highly value the skills associated with STEM, with 62% prizing programming skills and 71% valuing problem solving. This means that, for both today’s students and their teachers, there is a real onus when it comes to the acquisition of STEM. But how do you make these traditionally thorny subjects accessible to all pupils? How do you entice the reluctant scholar into the educational territory that they may once have been able to avoid?
The popularity and push for STEM learning is gathering STEAM, as educators increasingly recognise the power of integrating Art with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths curricula. This approach recognises Art as core to the development of creativity and thinking skills critical to problem-solving. The art programme here at High Meadows School - a progressive, independent, international Baccalaureate (IB) school - supports inquiry-based learning that departs from a siloed approach.
For the 2018/19 school year, UK pupils will be asked: what would you reimagine? The BP Ultimate STEM Challenge is back, and even better than before! For the first time, BP Educational Service - in partnership with STEM Learning - is inviting UK students aged 11 to 14 to use their STEM skills to tackle one simple challenge: reimagine a solution to a real-life problem. The competition is set to dominate the first several months of the school year, with the deadline for submissions being Friday 15th February 2019.
Over the first half of 2018, 21st century skills have come to the fore of the education sector debates. Identified as a series of learning dispositions that are crucial to the future success of our children, these skills include communication, collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, but also digital literacy and adaptability and flexibility.
With the warmer weather approaching - and the prospect of enjoying the great outdoors becoming more of a reality - schools need to be helping children prepare for the season ahead. Thankfully, Boots are once again bringing their Soltan Sun Ready Schools programme to UK classrooms - minimising workload and budget concerns, while maximising pupil health. This year, the leading pharmacy chain are even going so far as help fund school trips!
In September 2017, the world’s imagination was captured by the ‘monster fatberg’ - considered the world’s biggest - that was found blocking the sewers in Whitechapel, London.
If you’re looking for an inspirational and educational school trip, you might not know that vertical wind tunnels provide the perfect opportunity to engage your class in STEM topics with a thrilling, hands-on learning experience!
Richard Fulford is head of Biology at The Latymer School in Edmonton, North London. He introduced the online learning program Tassomai while working at Invicta Grammar in Maidstone, helping them to significantly improve GCSE Science grades through exciting new methods. Richard explains further:
Dinosaurs in the Wild is a new time-travelling educational adventure that whisks visitors back 67 million years to an incredible research station, TimeBase 67, where they come face-to-face with living dinosaurs. Dr Darren Naish - zoologist, author and illustrator - explains how the show uses the most recent discoveries in palaeontology to create a truly immersive experience for Primary school pupils.
In the digital age, it is a challenge for teachers to ensure that their lessons keep up with the increasingly creative and vibrant media-led society in which we live, as well as to ensure that students are kept engaged in their education. It is even more important to engage students at a young age, so as to engender a love of learning early in life.