STEM Resources

Aset of resources to support the development of STEM subjects in school

Links and Resources

Design a sports glove

In this resource, students design a new glove for use in a sport of their choice. Students may find it helpful to talk with local people who partake in their chosen sport. The P.E. Department may be able to suggest suitable contacts.

A selection of tests, activities and factsheets are available for the students to use. They must decide what are the most important properties to include in the design of their glove. Students can then choose what activities and research to do accordingly. They may also think of their own experiments or research to carry out, as well as exploring the aesthetic aspects of design.

Curriculum links include: properties of materials, abrasion resistance, colour fast, dyeing, fabric friction and grip, gloves for protection, lightweight fabric, shrinking, tensometer, water repellant fabrics, waterproof fabrics, wetting, washing and drying, designing and making, creativity, critical evaluation, design, make and evaluate task, sport science, iterative processes, prototypes.

publication year
2010 to date

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Wetsuits for paratriathletes

This challenge is an opportunity for students to explore, experiment and innovate whilst designing a specialised wetsuit for paratriathletes.

Paratriathletes need specialised equipment to allow them to compete. Whilst the development in technology of prosthetic limbs, racing wheelchairs and handcycles has been substantial, no such developments have been made with wetsuits for paratriathletes. At the moment, paratriathletes have to adapt their wetsuits themselves. They splint their legs by inserting poles inside the wetsuit. They strap their legs to keep them together. Some even stitch the legs of the wetsuit together.

The factsheets provide information that the students may find helpful when planning what to do and developing their design ideas. The information may help the students to decide what the most important properties are to include in the design of their wetsuit. They also provide some suggestions for tests and activities (buoyancy and streamlining factsheets).

Curriculum links: buoyancy, streamlining, materials, mass, weight, force and pressure, density.designing and making, creativity, critical evaluation, design, make and evaluate task, sport science, iterative processes, prototypes.

publication year
2010 to date

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Catching the drugs cheats

Students are challenged to prove their proficiency at providing a laboratory service in a scaled down version of the International Accreditation process. They will have to show that they can assemble and use certain apparatus, and use tests to analyse samples, identify and measure specified substances.

A key part of the doping control process in sport is the chemical/bio-chemical analyses, which are carried out in Accredited Laboratories.

The factsheets provide information that may help the students when starting the challenge. The information could be used to give the students an introduction to some of the concepts they might use in their design and to get students to start thinking about how they can demonstrate that their design will work. They also provide some links to other useful and interesting resources.

Curriculum links include: colorimeters, titration, thin layer chromotography, performance-enhancing drugs, chain of custody, laboratory accreditation, ethics.

publication year
2010 to date

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Develop a new sports venue

This resource requires students to consider the challenges of designing and developing a new sports venue. To make this challenge more manageable, it has been divided into four separate challenges: the site, the structure, the court and the environment.

As well as researching and developing ideas, the challenge is an opportunity for students to explore, experiment and innovate. For each challenge, a selection of relevant test procedures and factsheets are available which provide some information and guidance, but teams may wish to undertake further research of their own.

Curriculum links include: properties of materials, composites, energy, heat transfer, thermal insulation, microbes, light, structural design, designing and making, creativity, critical evaluation, design, make and evaluate task, sport science, iterative processes, prototypes.

publication year
2010 to date

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Maths and science challenge 2012

This challenge asks teams of students to plan a major sporting event in their local area. The resource provides an opportunity for students to explore their ideas in a creative environment. Teams can define their own goals and priorities, but may want to focus on three main areas of planning an event:

• Choosing a sport and a venue or location
• Infrastructure and accessibility
• Sustainability and legacy

There is a factsheet accompanying each of these three key areas to provide support and information for the challenge.

publication year
2010 to date

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STEM Learning Magazine: Secondary

Published termly, the STEM Learning magazines bring together information, ideas and resources into three tailored editions (primary, secondary and post-16 and FE) to support teachers of science, mathematics, engineering, computing and design and technology. The magazine highlights resources and professional development opportunities (including Impact Awards and ENTHUSE bursaries).

publication year
2010 to date

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STEM careers toolkit: secondary STEM careers toolkit

This  STEM Careers Toolkit for secondary teachers has been designed, with teachers at every step of the way, to provide:

  • an accessible guide to government policy on careers education and information, advice and guidance for young people across the four countries of the UK
  • evidence about the influential and key roles that teachers can have on their students’ career choices across all phases of education
  • good practice tips and examples of how to successfully relate subject knowledge and the curriculum to careers choice and the labour market, directly linked to the National STEM Learning Centre’s resource collection, a bank of over 10,000 resources 
  • links to the key in-depth sources of information, from the UK’s four inspectorates’ guidance for schools to the most robust sources of labour market and careers information
publication year
2010 to date

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Study Plus Resources

This set of resources, Study Plus, from the National Strategies is an intervention programme for Key Stage Four students that was designed to raise standards at GCSE, principally in English and mathematics, but also in other GCSE subjects by improving literacy, numeracy and learning in general.

As an approach, Study Plus was intended to help schools to move towards more personalised learning for students and is entirely consistent with the recommendations of the report of the Teaching and Learning in 2020 Review Group (2020 Vision, DfES, January 2007).

Study Plus in mathematics was designed to give teachers and students the opportunity to explore an idea or a topic in great detail, with few time constraints. The topics that appeared to work most successfully in the pilot span a range of curriculum areas and a range of mathematical objectives. Working within topics allowed students to make connections and develop skills that are transferable.

The resource consists of a handbook containing general guidance and ten sample Study Plus units which cover:

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Auto arms

This is challenge three of the 2016-17 BP Ultimate STEM Challenge competition.  The competition is open to teams of two to four students aged 11 to 14 from across the UK.  Students can win some fantastic prizes, including an invitation to a celebratory event at the Science Museum, an Ultimate STEM experience day, £500 for their school and Science Museum goodies.

BP uses remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) to inspect and maintain seabed equipment. These use hydraulic or motorised robot arms to grip and manipulate tools and controls. The challenge for students is to find the best design for a simple robot arm and gripper. How you tackle this challenge is completely up to you and your students. You may wish to use these optional introductory resources to get them started.

You can view resources to support this challenge here.

Please register as we would like to hear if you are intending to enter and offer you support through our STEM Ambassador network.

publication year
2010 to date

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The Ultimate STEM Challenge 2016

The Ultimate STEM Challenge is a national competition brought to you by BP, the Science Museum and STEM Learning.

The competition offers teams of two to four students aged 11 to 14 from across the UK the chance to put their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills to the test and win some fantastic prizes, including an invitation to a celebratory event at the Science Museum, an Ultimate STEM experience day, £500 for their school and Science Museum goodies.

The challenges are designed to inspire all of your students, not just the science enthusiasts.

publication year
2010 to date

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Engineering chocolate

From EngineeringUK, this engaging poster looks at the food industry engineering careers involved in the production of chocolate. Short descriptions are given for the jobs of: chemical engineer, environmental engineer, packaging engineer and biochemical engineer.

Four lesson activities accompany the poster:

publication year
2010 to date

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Keeping hearts pumping

This Mathematics Matters case study, from the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, looks at how mathematics modelling can aid investigations into the circulatory system. Blood-related diseases can seriously harm patients’ quality of life and even lead to death. Many of these diseases are caused by problems with the flow of blood in the body, and using mathematical models to understand how and why these occur can help save lives. The resource can be used by teachers to guide their students or shared directly with students to inform them about careers using mathematics.

publication year
2010 to date

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Science EXTRA! Using Newspapers in the Science Classroom

This resource, called Science EXTRA! Using Newspapers in the Science Classroom, was written by Ruth Jarman and Billy McClune, Graduate School of Education, Queen's University Belfast and has been provided by the Association for Science Education (ASE). The aims of the Newspaper in Science Education group are to:

*Encourage young people to read about science in newspapers

*Empower young people to engage critically with the science they read in newspapers

*The teachers' notes suggest how newspapers can be used in the science classroom, and to help get you started they come with four illustrative examples for you to use.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Computers and maths in space

Mathematics plays a vital part in space flight, it gives us a way both to predict what should happen in the future and also ways to measure what’s actually happening in the present, and adapt to it. In this resource we look at a few places where maths helps in space flight. The maths is made simple here (it’s far, far more complicated in reality), but the exercises will help students explore basic ideas and get a feel for the significance of maths in space.

The lesson is structured in activity sections

• Maths tools - covers basic maths ideas in accelerometers and GPS

• Getting up – a maths activity related to docking at the ISS

• Getting down – a maths activity related to re-entry of the capsule

Each activity uses simple maths ideas and hands on calculations but set in an engaging context of space exploration.

publication year
2010 to date

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Plant disease practicals: powdery mildew

In this practical and data analysis activity, students collect samples of leaves showing samples of infection with powdery mildew; the samples can be sent for analysis as part of the Powdery Mildew Survey citizen science project. Students analyse data from the survey at the end of this activity.

publication year
2010 to date

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Inside STEM careers: investigating organic foods

Produced by Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), these materials look at the work of product manager, James Seymour. Through investigating organic food crops and horticulture, students gain a greater understanding of the career opportunities available in plant biology.

James is a manager in a herb growing company and uses his knowledge of plant science to choose the plants that they grow and sell.

The materials include full teacher guidance and student information sheets. These cover:
* careers case study and questions
* investigating if foods grown organically taste better than non-organic
* 'Thanet Earth' as an example of a giant greenhouse, growing food crops and the effects of intensive farming
* considering the factors that affect the saleability and profitability of crops

publication year
2010 to date

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Manual of mathematical magic

Many of the most powerful magical effects performed today have a mathematical basis. Mathematics is also the secret behind the technologies people use, the products they buy and the jobs they will have. This book shows how to perform some magic tricks, explains the mathematics behind them and how that same mathematics is used in the real world. All the tricks are self-working, which means there is no need to know any clever sleight of hand. The magic uses a whole range of mathematical ideas that you may already have come across, from simple addition and subtraction, to prime numbers, geometry, algebra and statistics. The intention of this book is to show that all of maths can be exciting, magical and useful.

publication year
2010 to date

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Success in Science: Does It Add Up?

Successful scientists require a broad range of skills and attributes in order to achieve, and have recognition of, their successes. Central and pivotal to these skills is the mastery of number and a proficiency in mathematics. In science lessons students frequently rely on these mathematical skills but when out of the confines of a mathematics classroom and in a different context, find difficulty in demonstrating them suitably.

Teachers from Heaton Manor School, Newcastle Upon Tyne, focussed on a targeted group of students in order to nurture and develop the mathematical skills they are most likely to employ to become successful scientists. In doing so they considered the role staff can play in orchestrating and collaboratively planning activities to develop these skills.

Science staff wanted to place a greater emphasis on key mathematical operations whilst the mathematics staff were more interested in gaining a context for the mathematical concepts thereby making some activities more relevant to students by working with real data.

publication year
2010 to date

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Mathematics and Science Departments Working Collaboratively

Cross-curricular work can be incredibly powerful, both in terms of student outcomes and staff Continuing Professional Development. However, it is easy to contemplate, but far more difficult to deliver. Effective planning is the key. At King James’s School, near Huddersfield, members of the mathematics and science departments worked collaboratively to prepare a ‘rockets’ project which was delivered jointly on one of the school’s cross-curricular days, and followed up in subsequent mathematics lessons to provide a high quality and enjoyable learning experience for staff and students alike.

publication year
2010 to date

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CREST Awards: thirty inspirational ideas

30 inspirational ideas for science gathers some of the best STEM ideas from the last 30 years, some of which are CREST projects, some of which are just great ideas.  The main themes of the activities are:

• Interacting with researchers

• Mixing science and art

• Creating new media

• Using ICT

• Getting hands-on

• Learning outside the classroom

Many of the activities in this booklet can count towards CREST Awards.  

publication year
2010 to date

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cre8ate maths

publication year
2010 to date

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