The National STEM Learning Network – working to achieve a world-leading STEM education for all young people across the UK.
The National STEM Learning Network is the largest provider of STEM education and careers support to schools, colleges and other groups working with young people across the UK. Supported by a unique partnership of Government, charitable trusts and employers, the Network is dedicated to raising young people’s engagement and achievement in STEM, and increasing the numbers of young people progressing in STEM studies and into STEM-related careers post-16.
We provide teachers, school technicians and others working with young people with; STEM-specific, career-long professional development; access to free of charge, curated curriculum resources, STEM Ambassadors; STEM Clubs support; and a wide range of engaging activities with proven impact on outcomes for young people. We also work with employers of all sizes to help them maximize the return they get from their investment in working with young people, teachers and schools.
We believe that:
- every young person has the right to a broad and balanced education that includes, but is not limited to, STEM subjects
- STEM subjects are valuable not only because they can lead to exciting, rewarding career options, but also because they enable individuals to be active citizens in an increasingly technological society
- STEM subjects open doors, provide options and are vital to the modern age - however, they are part of a young person’s development, not all of it
Our vision for STEM teaching:
- all young people should be taught STEM subjects by teachers who regularly update their subject-specific knowledge and skills through appropriate professional development, and are given the time, resources and support to do so
- schools should be incentivised to open up STEM study post-16 to all students, regardless of entry route
- careers advice and guidance should include subject teachers spending time with STEM employers, as well as students having a variety of opportunities to engage with employers through visits, talks, webinars and other means
- school and college leaders and governors should recognise the unique demands on STEM teachers in terms of updating subject knowledge and skills, and support them in this throughout their careers. Government, policymakers and others should support this through appropriate incentives and resources.
Since 2004, we have provided teachers, technicians and other educators with high impact, subject-specific professional development and support in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
This support is provided through:
- the National STEM Learning Centre, York - providing intensive, residential professional development alongside a library of STEM teaching resources, both on- and off-line
- the network of 50 Science Learning Partnerships in England - providing locally available DfE supported science focussed professional development
- our partners in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - providing locally available professional development through SSERC, Techniquest and Education Authority Northern Ireland
- the network of 19 STEM Ambassador Hubs in the UK - linking individuals and STEM employers with schools, colleges, youth and community groups supporting young people in STEM
Who are our supporters?
STEM Learning is an initiative of the White Rose University Consortium (comprising the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York) and Sheffield Hallam University. Our work is made possible by the generous support of the Wellcome Trust, Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the Government, our partners in Project ENTHUSE and other funders of related STEM projects.
Through our impact and evaluation evidence we have identified five key lessons:
- Sustained engagement of schools with support from the National STEM Learning Network is associated with improved teaching and learning, as well as increased uptake and achievement in science.
- Network professional development improves teachers’ subject and pedagogical knowledge, skills and confidence, resulting in better outcomes for young people.
- The National STEM Learning Network develops strong leadership in science, from primary to post-16, benefitting teachers, schools and young people.
- Engagement with the National STEM Learning Network helps schools and colleges recruit and retain excellent teachers.
- Professional development from the National STEM Learning Network enriches teaching, supporting young people’s engagement, progression and awareness of STEM careers.