Women Like presented at Association for Science Education conference

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UWE’s Women Like Me project, run by Dr Laura Fogg Rogers and Dr Laura Hobbs, was featured in a presentation about making Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths accessible to under-represented groups at the Association for Science Education Annual Conference today.

Women Like Me is a peer mentoring and outreach project aimed at boosting female representation in engineering.  The project pairs senior women engineers with junior women engineers to give them mentoring support as they start out in their engineering careers. In turn, junior women undertake engineering education outreach in schools and at public events in the Bristol and Bath area. Engineering is a creative, socially conscious, and collaborative discipline, and this project aims to support girls and women to make a difference in society.

ASE’s Annual Conference is Europe’s largest science education Continuing Professional Development conference. The 2019 conference is being held 9th-12th January at the University of Birmingham. This National conference brings together the best speakers and practitioners all in one place with 504 sessions, 473 speakers and 2,000 delegates.

“Women Like Me: mentoring and outreach for women and girls in engineering” was authored by Laura Hobbs and Laura Fogg Rogers and presented by Laura Hobbs, as part of the Making STEM for everyone: reaching under-served audiences session of the conference.

Looking for Engineering lesson ideas?

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Now that 2018, the Year of Engineering, has come to an end, how can we keep embedding the E in STEM into teaching and learning?

The Year of Engineering website has a dedicated Lesson Ideas page, which brings together a large collection of resources which can be filtered by age range, format, curriculum link and length. Ideas range from lessons on combustion to game design to sports safety to space exploration and much more…

You can also access general resources, such as the What is Engineering? video below, the Marvel More Heroes Needed aptitude test and an engineering activities map.

KS2 live solar lesson tomorrow!

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Tomorrow – Friday 23rd November at 2 pm you can tune into the BBC’s 40 minute live lesson, where pupils will tackle a Doctor Who style challenge while discovering how light travels and exploring the planets of the solar system.
Go to: bbc.com/livelessons to watch live.
Designed for Key Stage 2 and 2nd Level students, this active science lesson presented by CBBC’s Naomi Wilkinson and Karim Zeroual will feature scientific demonstrations and accessible Super Movers Brain Boosters.

Classroom resources


After the Live Lesson, the BBC will record a very special panel discussion programme for teachers. Teachers will be able to watch the full programme a few days after the Live Lesson has aired here on our website.

How to get involved

Prior to the Live Lesson, you can send in your class’s ideas for weird, wonderful and out of this world, translucent, transparent and opaque objects! Email us your ideas with your class and school name at live.lessons@bbc.co.uk or tweet @BBC_Teach and with the hashtag #bbclivelessons

You can also email your pupils’ questions for the BBC’s experts at live.lessons@bbc.co.uk and they may be featured in the live programme.

If your class will be watching, let us know! Email us with a short message and your class and school name at live.lessons@bbc.co.uk and you could be mentioned on the Live Lesson.

What is Super Movers?

Super Movers is a partnership between the Premier League and BBC which aims to inspire primary school children to get active. Find out more here.


Blog post adapted from the BBC live lesson page – https://www.bbc.com/teach/live-lessons/doctor-who-space-light-live-lesson/zkj2382/ Originally posted by Louisa Cockbill on Curiosity Connections.

Curriculum linked lessons in sustainability

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Sustainable Learning is a teaching resource created by teachers for teachers.

“We empower teachers to deliver engaging primary schools lessons,” said Clare Marshall, Director of the company. Many of the resources have a sustainability thread, a focus on STEM and all of them are National Curriculum linked.

You can find the resources, along with exceptional lessons on their website: https://www.sustainablelearning.com/

One of Clare’s favourites is Fibonacci Fun – in which students can investigate the Fibonacci sequence as part of an outdoor maths lesson. Pupils can explore number patterns and sequencing in the context of the natural world, using found objects to give their learning relevance, and even apply their sequencing skills to some number pattern poetry!

Another fave is Sustainable Shaun: En-tyre-ly barking! in which you can challenge your class to design their own super sustainable transport with a D&T lesson.

The site also offers links to expert knowledge and a useful events calendar.

Sustainable Learning are award winning education consultants and workshop facilitators. To find out more visit www.sustainablehive.com.

This post was originally published on Curiosity Connections by Louisa Cockbill on 15th November 2018.

ASE Girls into Science resources and making a difference

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The Association for Science Education (ASE) website offers a range of girls into science‘ resources, with articles from leading women in science, primary activities, and global projects. These are a useful resource for anyone wanting to encourage girls to think about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects as relevant to them, including the engineers taking part in our Women Like Me programme for supporting women and girls in engineering.

Still too low

“The overall proportion of girls taking physics A-level has remained stubbornly close to 20% for the last three decades.”

“Girls perform just as well as boys in physics at GCSE. However, in 2016, only 1.9% of girls chose A-level physics, compared to 6.5% of boys. This represents 5,669 girls compared to 21,032 boys.” – Why Not Physics? Report from IOP, 2018  

 Statistics and the arguments are laid out in the September issue of ASE’s Education in Science, in an article on the Institute of Physics’ work in the area.

Could your school make a difference for girls in STEM?

The Department for Education (DfE) and the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) are looking for state-funded secondary schools to test interventions to get more girls to take STEM A-levels. The pilot is promised not to be burdensome and participating schools can access free resources, targeted interventions and a bespoke report on how they can inspire girls. Email: kathryn.atherton@bi.team

STEM Learning release new ‘Survival STEM’ resources

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STEM Learning provide free resources for teaching STEM subjects – they have over 1300 Engineering teaching resources alone.

They also give support to STEM clubs – “a powerful and enjoyable way to engage young people with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.” This includes working with club leaders to develop engaging and easy-to-use resources for STEM Clubs around the  country to use.

“How can STEM help us survive and thrive? Have your students ever wondered about the earth’s wild and wonderful weather? How about the science involved in surviving an asteroid impact?”

These and other questions are posed by a set of six new STEM Clubs resources, adding to those already available.





The six new resources are:

  • Extreme elements (7-9 years)
  • Sounds amazing! (9-11 years)
  • Survive an asteroid impact (11-14 years)
  • Survive on a desert island (11-14 years)
  • Survive a zombie apocalypse (11-14 years)
  • Save the world with STEM (14-16 years)

Asteroid Impact‘, ‘Desert Island‘ and ‘Zombie Apocalypse‘ specifically link to Engineering. Take a look if you need some ideas!

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2018 Big Assembly now available to watch on demand

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This year, Tomorrow’s Engineers Week presented the first Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly.

The assembly was streamed live at 10.30 am on 7th November 2018, offering schools across the UK the chance to simultaneously take part in the same assembly on engineering careers.

A panel of inspiring engineers discussed their careers and the positive impact engineering has on the issues young people care about most, such as protecting the environment, animal welfare, safety and security, health and entertainment.

More than 400 schools participated with nearly 50,000 students taking part.

If you missed it, or would like to watch again, the assembly is now available to play and download at https://www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk/tomorrows-engineers-week-2018/the-big-assembly/.

First dates announced for UWE’s new BAME girls in Engineering project

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Yesterday we were delighted to announce the launch Udonna Okeke’s new UWE Bristol project, BAME girls in Engineering, and we now have the exciting news that dates for the first two school visits for the project have been set. What better way to round off Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2018 than helping to inspire the next generation?

The project offers opportunities for Black, Asian and minority ethnicity (BAME) girls, who are often under-represented in engineering, in Years 8 and 9 to visit local engineering or technology employers and to participate in mentoring meetings with professional BAME women in engineering role models.

Udonna has arranged two sessions on Wednesday 21st November for BAME girls and women in engineering to meet in group mentoring meetings.

These will take place at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple Secondary School in the morning and City Academy in the afternoon.

Engineers will be involved in workshop presentation and sharing of their individual experiences that can help motivate and inspire the students.

Udonna is currently looking for BAME women in engineering to get involved as mentors; he will organise for a taxi to pick you up from your preferred location in Bristol to take you to the City Academy or St Mary Redcliffe.

If you would like to be involved, please get in touch with Udonna.

Have you got your Tomorrow’s Engineers Week resources?

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Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2018 is underway! Running from 5th-9th November, the campaign aims to change perceptions of engineering among young people, their parents and teachers and to inspire future engineers.

In the Year of Engineering, #TEWeek18 is focusing on topics young people care about – including saving the environment, animal welfare, staying safe, health and entertainment.

There are lots of resources to support you with joining in on the Tomorrow’s Engineer Week 2018 website, including toolkits for schools, employers and engineers and more, social media templates, and Engineer on a Mission videos like the one below.

These are all available to access free of charge and it’s not too late to get involved!


We need more Engine-Ears

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This is a guest post from Louise Hetherington, assistant structural engineer at Atkins and participant in UWE Bristol’s Women Like Me programme. Louise has been involved in developing Engine-Ears, Atkins’ first STEM video for 7-11 years olds, and tells us more about it here.

Empowering young people to re-imagine STEM and change the future

STEM subjects excite us! So, for many years, SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business has been committed to promoting them to our local communities. Our strong STEM networks across our UK offices work tirelessly to be in classrooms and careers fairs, inspiring the next generation into Engineering and other STEM areas.

In the Year of Engineering we made the decision to reduce the age of our school target audience from 14 to seven. We wanted to reach out to younger children, their parents and influencers. Our goals were to inspire young minds into STEM subjects and at the same time, smash any stereotypes that exist around STEM careers.

Getting STEM animated

With support from Fifty One Films, the Atkins business created Engine-Ears. It’s an upbeat, catchy animation designed to appeal to children. The film explores what engineers do to shape the world around us in a relatable and understandable way. And it’s worked. With over 200,000 views on YouTube and other social media platforms, Engine-Ears has been delighting children all over the country.


Imagination-sparking resources

But we didn’t stop there. To accompany the video, we created a resource pack for teachers, pulling ideas from the video into classroom activities. Rather than reinventing the wheel, we believed sharing resources across the engineering community would be the most efficient way forward. So we used well known resources from other companies, referencing the good work they’ve done. Going forward we want to share our teacher pack and video with others in the industry, so together we can spread the message even further.

Diversity in early careers

The Atkins business has also created an inspiring video that encourages career seekers to consider a STEM profession. Rather than just focussing on engineering, the video highlights transport planning, civil engineering and architecture. By selecting other roles within the Atkins business, the video continues to highlight that diversity is key within the engineering community. Our aim is to widen the talent pool and not just encourage the stereotypical demographic to pursue a specific career.

Let’s shape the future together

We believe STEM promotion is most powerful when we work as a team. No one company or person can spread the message as well as a whole industry pulling together. The Atkins business is pushing forward to ensure there are fun and engaging STEM sessions in our offices and at local schools. But it’s not about promoting the company, it’s about promoting the subjects and careers available. We hope to share our knowledge and resources with others to shout the message louder. We all want the same thing – to make sure the engineers of the future know it’s a fantastic career path and it can be the right choice for them, regardless of their gender, race or background.

We need more people in STEM subjects, so let’s work together to achieve that.

To get involved, contact us here.