NUSTEM is working with over 30 partner schools in the North East of England, offering curriculum enrichment, interactive out-of-school workshops and support and training for teachers. We also work directly with local communities, and through partner organisations including local councils.
We believe that levels of science capital can be increased by:
•Involving parents in children’s science education. This could be via collaborative homework or initiatives that work with parents directly such as Science for Families.
•Letting parents know its OK not to know the answers to everything children ask about science, and promoting “I don’t know, let’s see if we can find out”.
•Making sure parents are aware of the wide range of career options with science – whether at school Options and Choices evenings, or through the provision of unbiased careers information.
Revealing the relevance of science
•Exploring how a particular area of the STEM curriculum is relevant to real life.
•Highlighting the different careers that are related to topics taught in school.
Challenging popular stereotypes
•Presenting STEM as ‘normal,’ not ‘hard’.
•Challenging gendered attitudes around appropriate career choices for boys and girls.
Being aware of language
•Introducing the variety of science-related jobs from an early age. For example, our Key Stage 1 and 2 workshops cast children in the role of ’structural engineer’ or ‘botanist,’ and build their understanding of subject, context, and career possibilities.
•Highlighting that the English language is inherently gendered, and the role this can play in defining children’s norms and identities.
Creating different opportunities for children to explore STEM
•Providing opportunities for children to explore STEM at museums, galleries and science centres.
•Increasing contact with people who work in STEM jobs by bringing them into classroom to talk about their work. This might include parents.
NUSTEM’s direct interactions with children and families seek to reinforce these key messages. We also support teachers to share these messages within their teaching, by providing training and additional resources on key topics.