Opinions

Off to a flying start: the benefits of taking part in STEM competitions

Neil Wright is a design and technology teacher at William Far School in Welton, Lincolnshire. For the first time last year, he offered Year 9 students the opportunity to take part in a hands-on STEM competition. We chatted to Neil about his experience of getting involved and the impact this has had on his students.In 2018 for the first time, we...


Why provide STEM opportunities?

Over the past three years, I have facilitated different STEM opportunities for students in the schools I have taught at, as part of the science faculty extracurricular activities. I had already been teaching science for four years before applying myself to these new challenges, but am so glad that I did and would urge any teachers interested in...


How to introduce STEM competitions into design and technology

STEM competitions provide a huge opportunity for teachers and technicians to engage and enthuse students. They are fun, help students to cement new friendships, develop their CV experience and their ability to problem solve real-life challenges.The benefits are not just limited to students - as a teacher, you can trial new content with smaller...


Kickstart the autumn term with design and technology support from STEM Learning

Never has a design and technology department been so diverse. One day you are teaching students how to design digitally for 3D printing, the next you might be solving a maths problem or explaining the science behind a technical textile. This can all feel like a bit of a whirlwind at the start of a new term, don’t panic – we’re here to help!Whether...


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...


Fixperts: teach your students to design for impact

We’re experiencing a global revolution in how things are made. It includes everything from new digital technologies like 3D printing, to internet-based tools for design collaboration, distribution, and improvement. It’s influencing where we get our ideas and how we choose to make them real. Add finite resources, shifting global markets,...


Robots, drones and GPS: the future of farming

Farming is becoming increasingly competitive. With a growing population, changing climates and labour shortages predicted, who will farmers turn to to help harvest their crops?Robots and drones could be the answer and may play a part in revolutionising the farming industry.A recent CPD activity gave teachers an insight into the future of farming...


How can design and technology help the shortage of engineers?

There’s no doubt we’re short of engineers. Research from Engineering UK shows that we need 186,000 new engineers every year to keep up with the current demand for engineering skills.Engineering challenges such as High Speed 2, low carbon power generation, electric and automated vehicles, production automation, Heathrow/Gatwick airport expansion...


Planning, preparing and implementing the new design and technology GCSEs

Simon James is Head of Department at The Warriner School in Bloxham near Banbury. We chatted to him about the new design and technology GCSEs and the opportunities and challenges they will provide for both the teachers and his students.At key stage 4, our department is teaching GCSEs in food preparation and nutrition, design and technology (...


Unpacking the new design and technology GCSE

To prepare for the new design and technology qualifications, we spent a lot of last summer going through the OFQUAL guidance for the new GCSE, and working backwards to prepare the key stage 3 schemes of learning.Our aim is to give a good background to the core principles in years 7 and 8, supporting the three year GCSE courses that we teach. Year...


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STEM Learning magazines

Our insightful magazines contain interviews, features, news, and tips on teaching and learning in STEM-related subjects.