Summer of STEM launches

STEM Learning’s Enrichment Lead Tom Lyons introduces our Summer of STEM activities to engage, entertain and educate young people over the summer holidays.

As I write this, my two daughters are finishing their last week of school…at home, in their bedrooms. They’ve worked hard with their home learning, and so have their teachers, and I know that we all need a break over the summer. However, I also know that they’ll need something to keep their minds and bodies active until they are back in school.

At STEM Learning we’ve put together some themed activities for the summer, for families with children from primary up to 14 years of age. The themes for our Summer of STEM are spread over the next month, and are available from our Support for Families pages.

Professor Lucie Green, space scientist and broadcaster, is helping us launch the Summer of STEM. Lucie is a professor of physics in the Department of Space and Climate at UCL and a regular face on the BBC’s The Sky at Night and StarGazing, introduces us to the Summer of STEM in her video here:

  • Week 1 starts on 20 July, and is themed around oceans and the environment. This month is Plastic Free July and National Marine Week starts on 25 July. Pollution in our oceans is a major problem for marine life. Amongst the activities this week will be cleaning up a mini oil spill and making rope with old plastic bags. Download the activities here.
  • Week 2 begins on 3 August, and is themed around space. July and August see the launch of missions to Mars from NASA and the UAE. The UK has also built a Mars rover and has a thriving space industry. We’ll be introducing you to activities from designing a lunar habitat to making your own Mars rover. We will launch the activities on our home learning page.
  • Week 3 starts on 17 August, with the theme of sport and exercise. Linking to our space theme, we’ll be showing you activities so that you can train like an astronaut, with Mission X, getting you to code your own dance routine and designing sports kits and venues. We will launch the activities on our home learning page.

Professor Lucie Green said: “I never imagined where my love of physics would lead me in life. I actually started following a career in the arts, studying for an art foundation degree, but quickly realised science was my calling. I’ve always been fascinated about the world around us and how it works and my study has taken me in to a wonderful career in astrophysics. My research mainly focuses on the Sun and I’ve been involved in many exciting projects including the ESA Solar Orbiter mission that just recently showed the public the first images of the Sun up close.”

“There are so many rewarding careers science can open up after school, and I’m passionate about inspiring young people, particularly girls and minority groups, to pursue their studies in STEM subjects. As such, I’m delighted to be launching the Summer of STEM with STEM Learning. These enjoyable challenges are an ideal way to inspire the next generation of scientists, as well as have fun over the summer holiday.”

All the activities will be available on our home learning page. We hope you enjoy the activities and please let us know how you get on with photos and videos, using the hashtag #scienceathome on Twitter or Instagram.

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