In early 2023, STEM Ambassadors in Scotland collaborated on the Upskill & Engage Programme, a project that aimed to increase STEM capital for Early and First Level Learners.
We worked with STEM Ambassadors and practitioners to reach young people in 50 primary schools across Scotland, collaborating with experts in academia and science communication to create engaging activities and high-quality training outputs.
Who was involved?
We worked with 50 selected schools across Scotland, matching them up with 63 STEM Ambassadors local to them who were willing to travel and carry out in person engagement sessions.
Our ambassador cohort were included in three training sessions run by Dr Richard Holme of the University of Dundee who explored curriculum linking of materials and freelance science communicator Sam Langford, who led sessions on active feedback and STEM engagement for Early and First level learners.
Dr Holme also ran a session for the teachers signed up to the programme, which explored how ambassadors can have a positive impact in the classroom, alongside members of our team and primary teacher Jayne Mays.
Out in the Classroom
Following on from the training programme, ambassadors were encouraged to engage with their schools on 3 separate visits. All ambassadors were provided a resource pack containing the feedback cards along with specially developed resources to allow them to carry out activities in the classroom.
The feedback received from learners and teachers was very positive, with some ambassadors remarking that pupils were full of questions and making great observations. Likewise, class teachers in some instances reported the sessions with their classes being the highlight of the week for their pupils.
As a result, we saw that ambassadors finished the programme with increased confidence in engaging with young learners and would like to continue engaging with these young learners in the future.
One ambassador remarked “The activity cards were a useful guide to the level of activity to carry out with P1s helping me to generate my own ideas as well as using the activities directly.”
We did see that in some cases, scheduling was a big barrier, with both ambassadors and teachers struggling to line up their calendars. However, we have noted ongoing conversations to organise future activity with classes and ambassadors.
A Big Success!
We set out to increase STEM Ambassadors confidence and skills to work with Early Year and First Level learners through the resources and training provided, and from the feedback received we feel we achieved just that.
With a suite of project resources are now available on the STEM Ambassador in Scotland Resource Hub, we hope these will continue to be used successfully by our STEM ambassadors, and that the increase in confidence and new relationships established with schools will be nurtured in the months and years to come.
You can access these resources in the STEM Ambassador in Scotland Resource Hub (Feedback Toolkit and Activity Cards), and we also have dedicated tablets which can be used by ambassadors to allow you to easily bring them into the classroom.
If you have any questions or want to know more, email us at email@example.com