here. - Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium

An Introduction to the
STEM Ambassadors Programme
Damian Haasjes - Head of Learning & Participation
Sarah Newman - STEM Resources Manager
Emily Thorpe-Smith – Schools’ Liaison Officer
Carol Smith - STEM Administrator
Please introduce yourself and tell us briefly:
• what you do
• about your experience of STEM subjects at school (positive or negative!)
• whether you have worked with young people before
Today’s objectives
The STEM Agenda in a Nutshell
Overview of the STEM Ambassadors Programme
Guidance on volunteering opportunities and available support
STEMNetworking – the online tool for STEM Ambassadors
Advice on planning your first STEM Ambassador activity
Guidance on working with schools and young people
The Government’s STEM Agenda:
1. The needs of employers should be met
2. The STEM curriculum should be sufficiently challenging for the top 25% and should
increase STEM literacy of the population at large
3. There must be good enrichment and enhancement activities as part of STEM education
- the STEM Ambassadors Programme is a key part of this
STEMNET supports the government’s Your Life campaign, which aims to:
- change the way young people think about maths and science by raising
awareness of the exciting and wide-ranging careers that studying these
subjects can lead to.
- increase participation in maths and science studies at age 16 and beyond, with an
ambitious target to increase the number of students studying maths and physics at A level
by 50% in 3 years
- increase the opportunities for all people, and particularly women, to pursue a wide
range of careers that need skills in science, technology, engineering and maths.
For more information, see
What is a STEM Ambassador activity?
A STEM Ambassador activity is any activity and/or school visit that is:
Voluntary and free of charge to schools
Aimed at individuals aged 5-19 years (including supporting teachers STEM
CPD training)
Linked to Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Maths in some way
(including careers based activities)
All STEM Ambassadors are required to take part in a at least one activity
a year and we’d be delighted if you decide you want to take part in more!
Your STEMNET Contract Holder will keep you informed of local volunteering
opportunities. STEM Ambassador activities can also include those organised
through your employer, Professional Institution or your own school contacts.
STEM Clubs
STEM Clubs are an opportunity for students to explore subjects in more depth, or
to cover topics that are not included in the curriculum.
• 80% of pupils in a STEM Club say they enjoy science, vs 55% of all pupils
• 61% of pupils in a STEM Club say they want a job that involves STEM, vs 37%
of all pupils
NFER Interim report, October 2013
Why volunteer in a STEM Club?
They may run after school, which can be easier to fit around a working day.
You can get involved with practical, hands-on activities with motivated students.
It can be a one-off or a regular commitment, as suits you. ‘Regular’ could mean
twice a term, rather than weekly.
You are less bound by the national curriculum.
You can work with students doing longer-term projects, and maybe even support
them in entering a competition such as the National Science and Engineering
Competition, the Broadcom MASTERS or TeenTech
Support for STEM clubs
– STEM challenges for groups of
– Ongoing support
Enrichment Day Activities
– circus of activities
– 1 day challenge
• Careers Support
– Speed networking
– Career talks in lessons
– Having a stand at a careers fair
Mentoring or
CREST awards
STEM Ambassador activities can include:
Providing careers support as part of e.g. a careers speed-networking event
Delivering a hands on activity with primary or secondary school students
Being interviewed either face to face or over Skype as part of a school
lesson or taking part in a webinar
Taking part in a teacher/Ambassador networking event at a school
E-mentoring a student as part of an established e-mentoring scheme
Creating a sustained relationship with a local school
Working with Science Learning Centres to support teacher CPD training
Visiting your old school (if in UK) as a STEM Ambassador
Supporting large-scale events e.g. BBC Bang Goes the Theory roadshows,
Big Bang Fair.
You can also view the latest requests on STEMNetworking
Hopes and expectations
STEM Ambassadors – Hopes and Expectations
Why did you decide to become a STEM Ambassador?
• It’s a new and exciting challenge
• It’s a chance for me to share my enthusiasm for my subject and inspire
young people to have a more positive view of STEM and STEM careers
• It’s an opportunity for me to give something back to the community
• It sounds like fun!
In the 2011 survey, STEM Ambassadors said volunteering in schools had:
• contributed to their personal and professional development (88%)
• improved their communication and presentation skills (63%)
• increased their understanding of young people’s capability and skills (65%)
• their employer benefits from a higher profile in the local community (82%)
Teachers – Hopes and Expectations
Why do you think teachers want STEM Ambassadors to visit their school?
Because STEM Ambassadors can:
• Act as a role model to students and potentially raise their aspirations
• Demonstrate how what students are learning in school can link to real life
• Provide an insight into the wide range of STEM careers available
• Provide teachers with contacts to assist them in making better links with
• Put teachers back in touch with the latest developments and activities in STEM
subjects and careers
• Add excitement and interest to a curriculum subject
STEM Ambassadors are a FREE OF CHARGE resource to schools!
Students – Hopes and Expectations
What do you think students gain from having STEM Ambassadors visit their
The chance to meet an adult (STEM) role model that is not their teacher or
relative can:
• Give them an alternative view point on STEM and STEM careers
• Provide them with a chance to participate in something new and different to
normal lessons
• Raise the aspirations of the students and challenge stereotypes
• Increase students’ understanding of how their learning in school links to
examples in the real world
• Provide an insight into the wide range of STEM careers and opportunities
available to them
• Enthuse them to consider a STEM career in the future
Does it work?
The National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) carries out longterm, independent evaluation of STEMNET’s programmes, including the STEM
Ambassadors Programme.
After engaging with a STEM Ambassador…
…pupils are 90% more likely to be interested in continuing to study STEM
…76% of pupils think that science is important for every day life; 78% for
…more than 75% of teachers report that students have an increased
awareness of STEM career and employment options
…71% of teachers report their own understanding of STEM business and
industry has increased
NFER Interim report, October 2013
How does the STEM Ambassadors Programme work?
You are now part of a cohort of about 28,000 STEM Ambassadors UKwide and 750 in Hampshire and Isle of Wight Region!
Your local STEMNET Contract Holder will provide you with:
• Regular updates on volunteering opportunities available in your local area
at a variety of times and locations
• Guidance on developing more sustained links with schools
• Support on any questions and queries you may have
• Advice and guidance on how to organise your own activities within the
framework of the STEM Ambassadors Programme
• Follow up your volunteering activities with formal feedback from both you
and any teachers involved
• Information on upcoming teacher/Ambassador networking events at local
schools (3 per year in each sub region)
Useful Information for STEM Ambassadors
All STEM Ambassadors are required to take part in at least one activity a
year and we’d be delighted if you want to take part in more!
The Programme is UK-wide including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
If you move to another sub region at any point then it is very easy for us to
transfer you to the appropriate STEMNET Contract Holder in that area
Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to provide travel expenses for STEM
Your local STEMNET Contract Holder is there to provide you with support
and guidance whenever you need it.
When you log an activity you are entered into a monthly draw!
Once you are an Approved STEM Ambassador you will also have access to
STEMNetworking, the online tool for Ambassadors. This enables you to:
Have an online STEM Ambassador profile which we suggest you make
publically accessible to highlight your STEM expertise and volunteering
activities to schools and teachers
Add blog posts and share your ideas on engaging with schools
Share innovative ways in which you may have worked with schools that
may not be a physical visit e.g. a Skype interview as part of a lesson
Access activity ideas and support resources via the online resource bank
View and respond to the latest online requests from teachers
Link your STEM Ambassador profile with your employer, Professional
Institution or another STEM Role Model Scheme linked to the Programme
No personal or contact information is shared on your STEMNetworking profile
Let’s take a look at STEMNetworking...
Planning Your First STEM Ambassador Activity
When you volunteer for your first activity:
We will put you in direct contact with the teacher who made the request
You will then be able to ask the teacher any questions you may have
After your activity, we will ask for feedback from you and the teacher
If you’re nervous about your first activity we can potentially organise for you to
‘buddy up’ with a more experienced STEM Ambassador
The teacher is the best point of contact for any questions you might have
in relation to the activity. Your local STEMNET Contract Holder can also provide
you with any support and guidance you may need at any time.
Activity: A Practical Demonstration
Have a go at a Design Challenge!
• How is this interactive?
• What STEM concepts are involved?
• Could you link this activity to your career?!
• Do you have any other ideas for practicals?
• Would you like to develop an activity?
– Powerful Practical training sessions
– Can we put you in touch with a teacher
Working with Schools – What do you need to know?
What do you think is the right answer to the questions below?
1. What do you think is a STEM Ambassador’s main role?
2. Should you, as a STEM Ambassador, ever be left alone with
3. For whose health and safety are you responsible?
4. If a teacher tells you some personal information about a student, how
should you treat this?
5. What do you do if a student wants to tell you something in
Working with Schools – What do you need to know?
And the correct answers are:
Your main role is as a support to the teacher in helping to provide a more
positive and informed view of STEM subjects and careers
You should never be left alone with student(s) at any time as it is the
teacher’s responsibility to supervise the students
You are responsible for your health and safety. You should also ensure
the teacher knows what you are planning for your activity and any risks
that may be involved so they can risk assess and make an informed
judgement on whether to go ahead with the proposed activity.
If a teacher tells you any information about a student(s), you must keep
this confidential
You should not keep anything confidential on behalf of a student
Working with Schools – What do you need to know?
What do you think?
1. What do you do if student(s) request your friendship on Facebook?
2. If a student has more questions after your activity, should you give
them your email address?
3. You’d like to take some photos of your activity for your company
newsletter, how should you approach this?
4. What do you think are the boundaries between adults and students
in a school setting?
Working with Schools – What do you need to know?
And the answers are:
If a student(s) requests your friendship on Facebook or a similar
networking tool then you should politely refuse the request
Never give out your contact details directly to student(s). If they have more
questions after your activity, ask the teacher to forward any further
questions on to you
Ask the teacher to take any photos of your activity and then email them to
you afterwards.
All parents have to provide consent for their child’s photograph to be taken
so the teacher will have the best knowledge of which parents have and
have not provided consent
You should refrain from any physical contact with students. If you have
any concerns e.g. if a student approaches you, inform the teacher.
The Education System & the National Curriculum
The ‘Education System’ handout (also available online) provides lots of
information about the current UK education system including:
What you need to know as a STEM Ambassador volunteer.
The different types of schools in the UK.
How S, T, E and M are covered within the National Curriculum.
What non-vocational i.e. academic, qualifications can students
• What vocational qualification can students study?
• How does the National Curriculum differ between England, Wales,
Scotland and Northern Ireland?
The Education System & the National Curriculum
Points to Note for you as a STEM Ambassador:
• The Teacher is your most valuable resource so use them!
• It is a complex and constantly changing system - currently
undergoing a major review.
• To be a STEM Ambassador you don’t need to be an expert on the
education system and National Curriculum.
• Doing some extra research before you go in to do your activity is
highly recommended.
What do you think are some of the challenges associated with diversity in
STEM careers?
Some useful hints to help you promote diversity:
• Research your audience
• Use photos and case studies where possible to show the variety of
individuals working in your STEM profession
• When asking students questions, alternate between boys and girls
• Ask the students to draw a scientist, engineer, IT professional,
mathematician etc then get them to discuss their drawings
• Don’t perpetuate stereotypes
Important Information!
Before you start volunteering in schools as a STEM Ambassador you must
have received an acceptable check from the Disclosure and Barring
Service (DBS Disclosure)
The DBS Disclosure, as well as our insurance, helps to protect you if
anything were to go wrong
BUT – if you don’t tell your STEMNET contract holder in advance when you
visit a school you will not be covered by the dedicated STEM
Ambassadors insurance so make sure you do keep them in touch with your
activity plans
You can let your STEMNET Contract Holder know about your activities by
phone, email or by adding them to your STEM Ambassadors record on the
STEMNET database (
STEM Ambassadors Insurance covers…
public liability
employers’ liability
professional indemnity
personal accident and business travel
BUT – none of this will apply if your STEMNET Contract Holder
doesn’t know in advance when and where you are doing an activity
More detailed information about the insurance can be found on the
STEMNET website
The new DBS Update Service…
• This is a new optional service, available since June 2013.
• Your DBS certificate can be taken from role to role within the same
workforce (children).
• You are in control of your DBS certificate.
• You may only need one DBS certificate.
• If you want to subscribe to this service, you must do so
within 19 days of the issue of your DBS certificate.
• You can cancel your subscription to this service at any time.
• We are unable to access your record and carry out a status check
on your DBS certificate without your consent.
Qualifications Section of Your Profile:
Do keep this updated with what you can offer schools.
This is extremely helpful for us.
Next Steps...
If you are applying for an Enhanced DBS Disclosure:
Make sure your DBS Application ID checks have been completed and that all your
documents have been returned before you leave today
Your completed DBS Application will then be sent off to be processed which normally takes
2-3 weeks
Once your DBS Disclosure has been approved you will receive an email to
You’ll also receive a STEM Ambassadors ID card and folder in the post
within 10 working days of becoming an Approved STEM Ambassador
You can sign up today for future volunteering opportunities
If you have any questions in the meantime please contact Sarah Newman
[email protected] or on 01962 891913.
What do teachers think of these activities?
“The children not only saw the relevance of their studies
but saw how their skills could be applied. The children
also learnt that the values that we promote in school are
shared by industry - which is so important.
We will be referring back to the visit over and over again
and we do hope that we can continue this
partnership. A wonderful, uplifting experience for
the children. They were buzzing!”
“We have had a fantastic morning… I have no doubt
that the talks will have a life-changing impact on
some of the pupils who attended and raised a great
deal of awareness for all. Once again thank you very
much indeed for everyone’s time and effort.”
What do students think of these STEM activities?
• Alfie, Year 9, Aldworth Science College
“Working as a team was the best bit – we collected all our designs
and discussed them together. We learned lots about engineering and
we’ve made more friends too.”
• George, age 13
“It’s quite unusual and a different sort of activity with endless
possibilities and new skills to learn.”
• Isla, age 12
“The challenge was really fun. I liked learning about the genie
boards. I also liked working with students that I wouldn’t normally get
to talk to. It was a great experience; I’d love to do it again. The whole
thing was super.”

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