STEM support during COVID-19
The STEM Ambassador Hub West England is here to support your STEM activities during these challenging times. We will update this page with links to STEM activities we are involved with that are tailored to delivery during the school shutdown, in line with social distancing requirements and our safeguarding principles.
STEM Ambassadors in the Community
During the COVID-19 lockdown, communities became more important than ever. We were inspired by stories from across the UK of people bringing not just assistance to those in need, but also fun, creativity, learning and a little bit of joy to their neighbourhoods.
STEM Ambassadors in the Community is an initiative from the STEM Ambassador Hub West England which aims to encourage STEM Ambassadors to get involved in hyper-local STEM engagement activities and become more visible and active in their own local communities. This is in order to provide an outlet, even during lockdown, for the core STEM Ambassador purpose of encouraging young people to engage with STEM, as well as to reach out to communities that have perhaps not benefitted much from STEM enagement previously.
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Hyper-local STEM engagement: what do we mean?
We were inspired by the work of the Fun Palace campaign, who for 2020 came up with the idea of 1000 Tiny Fun Palaces to bring extra small, hyper-local Fun Palaces to communities – something made by a few people on a street or in a block, sharing skills and knowledge, together creating something just a little bit beautiful and fabulous.
There are loads of community-based STEM engagement possibilities which can be made COVID-secure.
This example (left), from the USA, is of a squid scientist called Danna Staaf who after 40 days of lockdown decided she could share her science in a fun and interactive way, by drawing on the pavement outside her house!
If you have already been invovled in this kind of STEM Ambassador activity, then please let us know! Make sure you add the activity to your STEM Ambassador profile.
So what next?
Firstly, you might want watch (or re-watch) the recording of our launch event.
On 30th September 2020 we held a virtual “Community Conversation” on Zoom to explore in more details ways in which STEM Ambassadors could think about having an impact in their local communities and keep young people engaged with STEM during periods of lockdown and social distancing.
Click here to see a recording of the session.
If you are a STEM Ambassador and have already been invovled in this kind of hyper-local STEM activity, then please let us know! Make sure you add the activity to your STEM Ambassador profile, and drop us an email to let us know how it went.
If you have an idea for a community event but are looking for participants, you might want to make an offer via the STEM Ambassador website.
Project Inspiration is an initiative set up by the STEM Ambassador Hub West Engalnd, aimed at supporting KS4 and KS5 students in the region through the school shutdown.
Through Project Inspriation we are encouraging teachers to help their KS4 and 5 students participate in STEM project work and work towards a Silver CREST Award.
Watch Hub team member Liz Lister introduce Project Inspiration:
The project work undertaken by students will provide them with valuable evidence of their commitment to STEM. This would enrich a personal statement, college application or CV in the future. Projects can also be entered in competitions such as the Big Bang Competition which has an online entry route or as evidence within the skills section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
We are collating a series of videos made by local STEM Ambassadors. Each video provides a short introduction to their work and outlines a project idea either relating to their work or the current situation with COVID-19. The aim is inspire students to set off on a mission to complete their own STEM project based on one of the suggested project ideas.
As the projects progress, with your help we will support students to receive input from STEM Ambassadors. To let us know what projects your students are doing and enable us to start matching you with STEM Ambassador mentors, please download form, fill in the details for each project and return them to us at email@example.com.
Please be aware that registration for CREST is a seperate process, but we can help you with it. Additionally, please note that currently the entry fee for a Silver CREST Award is £10 per student (in England / Scotland / NI), however you do not need to register with CREST in order to carry out a project.
To find our more about Project Inspiration, either as an Ambassador or as a teacher with students they want to engage, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STEM Ambassadors during COVID-19
During the COVID-19 lockdown the STEM Ambassador Hub West England contacted STEM Ambassadors to ask what they are doing during this unprecedented time and how the lockdown had affected their day to day lives. Here is a snapshot of responses to #WEfightCOVID
Online STEM Clubs
As the STEM Club Champions for our region, we are supporting anyone who would like to build an online presence for their STEM club, or access STEM Clubs CPD online ready for when STEM clubs can once again meet in person.
For anyone looking for help with taking their STEM club online, please register for the STEM Learning course “Running STEM Clubs Online” which is free to access and takes place online a number of times over the summer term.
If you are looking to access CPD tailored to STEM club leaders setting up and running face-to-face STEM clubs in secondary schools then you can also access this online during the summer. There are 4 free to access workshops available:
Work With us to Help deliver STEM For All
With access to thousands of volunteers and many years experience of delivering STEM projects with young people, the STEM Ambassador Hub West England is one of the leading STEM support organisations in the UK.