New project for primary schools in the north to boost STEM subjects

Primary schools in the north of England who are keen to raise aspirations and attainment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in their school, are invited to apply for the Polar Explorer Programme – a new £1m government funded project, aiming to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

The project will use the UK’s new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, to bring an exciting new context to the teaching of STEM subjects, placing relevant curriculum topics within the context of both the construction and launch of the ship, and of polar exploration in general.

The selected schools will benefit from support in key areas - such as working scientifically and developing pupils’ enquiry skills. They will also gain the support of a Polar Ambassador - a specially selected, trained STEM professional - who will help to enrich the teaching of STEM subjects in those schools. Our Polar Ambassadors will start work in March 2017, supporting schools to take part in a range of activities, which will include:

  • in-school professional development for teachers
  • free access to resources and activities
  • ideas and suggestions to support schools' outreach activities

In addition to the support of their Polar Ambassador, schools will receive a Polar Explorer resource pack to support in-school activities and transition in STEM subjects from key stage 2 to key stage 3.

We are looking for applications from primary schools who:

  • are based in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, Derbyshire, or the North East
  • think their attainment in STEM subjects might be lower than the national average
  • would like to improve their performance at key learning transition points (eg key stage 2 to key stage 3)

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2017.

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