Bringing STEM careers into the classroom

Posted: 16/01/2018

New independent research shows the way to revolutionise STEM education and inspire a much-needed new generation of engineers, scientists and technicians.

The STEM Insight programme gives teachers the chance to go on a placement in industry or at a university to learn about jobs and career paths. Ensuring that students have access to the best possible STEM careers information is a core part of the Government’s new policy paper: ‘Careers strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents’. Teachers are one of the most important sources of career information for young people, but many feel they lack sufficient knowledge to play this role. This is particularly true in STEM as engineering and manufacturing are poorly represented in schools and the curriculum.

From primary teachers to lecturers in FE and careers leaders, those on STEM Insight placements experience cutting-edge industry and research and bring back knowledge of the wide range of interesting STEM careers and pathways available to their students. Placements have already been undertaken at a diverse range of organisations, such as IBM, Caterpillar and the University of Cambridge.

The STEM Insight programme is run by STEM Learning, the largest provider of STEM education and careers support to schools, colleges and other groups working with young people across the UK. State-funded schools or colleges receive generous financial support from Project ENTHUSE to cover the cost of teachers participating in the programme.

A November 2017 evaluation report compiled by CRAC, the Career Development Organisation, shows that participants, their schools or colleges, as well as the host organisations, all benefit greatly from the programme. This adds up to increased awareness of the exciting opportunities in STEM available through both vocational and academic routes for students across the UK.

Benefits for teachers

  • 100% of participants increased their understanding of current STEM jobs and career pathways 
  • 100% of participants are now more passionate advocates for STEM careers and giving better-informed personal advice and guidance on progression and potential career choices to students 
  • 80% of teachers improved their understanding of how to contextualise the curriculum with cutting-edge STEM knowledge and real-world applications
  • 80% of teacher participants reported improved STEM subject and pedagogical understanding and increased confidence and enthusiasm for STEM

Benefits for universities and industry

  • 100% of hosts believed participation in STEM Insight helps them better inform young people about STEM career pathways and opportunities 
  • 100% of hosts believed participation in STEM Insight multiplied the reach of their influence on young people

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