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The Impact of STEM Ambassadors on Education

 

Many schools report positive student experience when interacting with a STEM Ambassador. Activities and projects undertaken in the presence of an Ambassador, have resulted in increased classroom engagement, good team working and improved STEM results. Here we showcase an example.

 

 John Taylor High School Logo

 John Taylor High School

   A Specialist Science School
CREST awards were first introduced into Design and Technology teaching in the late 1990’s, in parallel with the Engineering Education Scheme as a further incentive to encourage students to take part in the scheme. In 2009/10, 60 students were successful in gaining a Gold award. The introduction of the CREST award improved the quality of pupil’s work in the majority of cases. The possibility of gaining an award after a seven week project gave them a goal to aim for.
 
In 2008, the school introduced the scheme at Bronze level to Year 8 and with existing connections at JCB, they embarked on a Rainwater Harvesting Project.  With the help of STEM Ambassador Alan Curtis, the students were able to design a customised booklet which fulfils all the requirements of the STEM award. This was professionally printed by JCB.
 
John Taylor launches the project at the start of each academic year during an assembly. The JCB Contact Engineer and  STEM Ambassador, Alan Curtis comes into school and delivers a presentation of the project to the pupils followed by visits to check on progress and to present certificates.
 
Alan whose student days are not too far in the past reflects on the benefits to the students with some passion.
 
"Such projects help make the STEM subjects more understandable and are so important to raising the awareness of the opportunities available in engineering. The interpersonal skills gained through having to write project reports, mix with professional people and make presentations to industrial professionals are invaluable to the students’ development."