Working in collaboration with businesses individual STEM workers charities employer groups
NUSTEM’s vision is for a vibrant and sustainable STEM sector which meets the needs of learners and employers, reflecting the diversity of wider society.
We know that many STEM employers have the same vision.
We therefore support STEM employers, sector bodies and Engagement organisations to develop evidence-informed activities and resources. As well as doing ‘outreach’ we carry out research and evaluation into STEM engagement and career aspirations.
At its simplest, we would recommend that organisations:
- Start working with families and children from a young age.
- Use attributes of people working in STEm to help children to see what they have in common with them.
- Show parents and carers the different routes into STEM careers.
- Support teachers to include careers in their subject lessons. Showcase local opportunities.
- Ensure that company culutre is inclusive of staff from different backgrounds. Make STEM sectors good places to work.
Below are some examples of how we have worked with different organisations. Get in touch if you’d like to know more.
North East STEM Engagement Network
This network brings together leaders of STEM engagement and strategy from across the region, representing organisations with a keen interest in growing the technology, physical sciences and engineering workforce in the North East.
The network is attended by representatives from technology, finance, manufacturing, power and mechanical engineering industries; learned societies; coordinating groups; education service providers and more.
The Network meets three times a year.
Each meeting we discuss a range of topics relevant to STEM engagement. Typical examples are:
- Updates in research, and ideas that may be useful in focussing efforts,
- Challenges faced
- Local opportunities for mutual support
- National issues
The network is hosted by NUSTEM at Northumbria University who act as secretariat for the group. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
You’re welcome to read the discussion notes from previous meetings.
For the British Gear Association we developed a one-hour, high-quality, curriculum-linked practical workshop for primary children, and a training programme to equip professional engineers working across the country to deliver the session in their local schools.
The session supports one of the most challenging parts of the primary STEM curriculum for teachers, builds the presentation and facilitation skills of engineers, presents real-world role models in a relaxed and relatable environment, and challenges students with a dynamic and surprising practical activity.
Supporting Early Years
Our work and expertise spans from post-16 all the way back to Early Years Foundation Stage.
With Esh Added Value and Northumbrian Water, we defined and curated a series of loans boxes for nursery and Key Stage 1, themed around construction and water/utilities engineering. Esh subsequently won the 2017 Education Award from Business in the Community, in part for their loans box work.
NUSTEM believes there’s compelling evidence to support early intervention, particularly with families, to help shape discussions in the home around STEM careers, in the run-up to key education decision points.
Supporting Post-16 Learning
With the Reece Foundation, we’ve run a highly successful Engineering Summer School, offering 17 year-old girls studying physical sciences an in-depth look at the opportunities of an engineering career. Timed for the crucial window prior to university applications, the school builds participants’ confidence and skills, and challenges their preconceptions. A carefully-planned sequence of industry visits, workshops, and project work fills out their understanding and perspective of what engineering is, invites them to consider their aspirations and hopes, and provides opportunity for peer support and learning.
Programme Development and Consulting
We bring an evidence-led, research-rich perspective to a range of challenges facing employers, particularly long-term recruitment. NUSTEM staff are veterans of decades-worth of initiatives and programmes, and we’re hungry to learn from previous efforts, understand their limitations, and find new and innovative approaches which both address the STEM skills gap and offer a competitive advantage to the North-East.
We can offer:
- An audit of your programmes, leveraging the latest research thinking.
- Advice and assistance on choosing the most appropriate and effective points at which to target interventions.
- Support in developing and implementing reporting metrics and targets.
- Detailed assistance in programme development, delivery, quality assurance and impact assessment.
Staff Development & CPD
Unconscious Bias and STEM Engagement
Only 9% of the UK’s engineering workforce is female.
While there are many initiatives focussing on encouraging girls towards STEM careers, NUSTEM takes a more holistic approach to the recruitment challenges facing employers. We think schools, teachers and families have a part to play in rebalancing aspirations… and that employers do, too. We can help you:
- Train your staff to recognise their unconscious biases – including gender biases – and work towards reducing them.
- Brief managers and practitioners on research-informed best practice for STEM engagement.
- Assist in the development of outreach and education support programmes.
Facilitation and Performance Skills
If your staff are working on the front lines of STEM engagement, talking directly to children, families and the public – we can help. Whether you’re delivering talks and seminars or leading workshops, we can offer tailored training which:
- Builds confidence and skill in public speaking situations.
- Offers practical advice and coaching on areas requiring particular attention or care.
- Refines content and messaging to achieve your objectives.
The NUSTEM team draws on decades of experience both in the classroom, and in children’s media. Our award-winning staff train STEM communicators and performers internationally.
To help teachers find out more about careers and employers we have developed a STEM Sector database which contains simply-written case studies – of employers and employees – that teachers can use easily in their teaching.
Additionally, for secondary schools we have classroom worksheets, created by educators, which are linked to a company or a career that again, teachers can use easily in their teaching.
If you would like to be part of our database, or sponsor the development of worksheets, then please get in touch.
Research & Evidence
NUSTEM is informed by recent research around what makes for successful STEM engagement, children’s self-identification as scientists and engineers, and both formal and informal education practice. Increasingly, the team contributes to the field, through the development of innovative tools to assess primary-age children, our emerging theory of change work, and through interpretation and exploration of large datasets, including the National Pupil Database.
We can apply our expertise to define and execute reporting metrics and targets for your initiatives, giving you an insight into how well they’re working and what remains to be done.
Explore our Research pages for more information, and contact us to discuss your requirements.
Interested in what we have to offer? The first step is to contact us:
Dr. Carol Davenport
Faculty of Engineering & Environment
Northumbria University NE1 8ST
0191 227 3650