Opinions

Is employer engagement the key to overcoming the STEM skills shortage?

A recent study by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills has found that almost half (43%) of STEM vacancies are “hard to fill”.This means that, as a pre-emptive strategy for ensuring young people are positively influenced by STEM subjects at a young age, employer engagement is vital. Connecting students with employers from STEM-related...


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Computing in special educational needs and disabilities settings

I carried out a survey of computing teachers in special schools and similar settings in Autumn 2017 to find out the current picture of computing education for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).I was also keen to find out if there were some common strategies and resources being used to teach learners with SEND that...


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Core Maths: the story so far

In the 2017 Autumn Budget, the Government announced that schools and colleges will get £600 for every extra student who studies mathematics post-16.The advanced maths premium applies to all level three maths provision. So as well as funding for additional students studying AS and A level mathematics, further mathematics and statistics, the...


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Educating the next generation: my STEM Ambassador experience

I have been a STEM Ambassador for over twenty five years and have enjoyed every single minute of it. In 2017, I was awarded and MBE for my outreach work, which was a huge shock and surprise to me. Even though I have retired from fulltime employment, it does not mean that my passion for engaging with school pupils and others has stopped;...


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How to land science’s most extreme and unusual roles

The great thing about the various branches of science is the sheer number of fields from which to delve into. From biological study and formal logic to any number of natural phenomena, there’s an incredible breadth and depth to scientific subjects.Naturally then, there’s a whole host of jobs and occupations that go beyond the walls of the...


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Food: a fact of life from the British Nutrition Foundation

In 2014, after 15 years of teaching food and nutrition in secondary schools, I decided to take a change of direction and started working for the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) as part of the Education team.Throughout my teaching career, I regularly used BNF’s resources and was also involved in many of the Foundation’s education activities...


Scaling new heights: taking polar exploration to the next level

Having the opportunity to engage with and positively influence young people’s life choices as a STEM Ambassador is one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done – shaping young minds is a privilege and has become a real passion.I enjoy drawing on my own life experiences as a Chartered Accountant, aid worker, mountaineer and polar enthusiast to...


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Enriching mathematics with the wonder of engineering

A career in engineering is exciting, rewarding and highly creative. Yet there is a big shortage of young people that think it could be a job for them.The Year of Engineering aims to celebrate the world and wonder of engineering. It forms an important part of the UK Industrial Strategy, which is committed to boosting engineering across the country...


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Innovation and inspiration: my experience of CERN

Henry Rae, one of the winners of our STEM Inspiration Awards, got the chance to go to CERN as part of his prize - he tells us all about his experience.I was truly overwhelmed by the scale of everything at CERN - the machines, budgets, number of staff and the variety of roles were all equally impressive. I particularly liked seeing how people...


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Engineering super heroes

Next time you’re ill, would you like to see a doctor or an engineer?Of course, this seems like a daft question. You want to see a doctor, right? A doctor will have trained for many years to diagnose and treat the full range of human ailments whilst the engineer might, at best, have done a first aid course. Doctors make people better; engineers put...


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