The Association for Science Education
  1. Home
  2. News
  3. #ASEChat
  4. #ASEchat Resources
  5. #ASEchat 111 How to build a STEM club from scratch

#ASEchat 111 How to build a STEM club from scratch

#ASEchat 111 ‘How to build a STEM club’ from scratch? 29th July 2013 with Science Teacher, Rhys Baker @TFScientist

This #ASEchat posed four questions. There is a complete resource list at the bottom of the page. 

Q1. What policies/procedures/resources/people do you need in place before you advertise your club?

Key points:

Ÿ   Start small and invitation only – any more than 10 could lead to behaviour difficulties;

Ÿ  Differentiate group roles to prevent behaviour issues/boredom;

Ÿ  Start short – 30-40mins;

Ÿ  Start with a bang – food explosions, kites, robots;

Ÿ  Start with KS3 – KS4 can be focussed on exams and prior commitments;

Ÿ  Contact Stem Ambassadors and local STEM co-ordinator;

Ÿ  Clear everything with site staff, HoD and SMT. 

Q2. How do you raise interest in your STEM club? How would you raise interest outside of school?

Key Points:

Ÿ  Enter competitions! Find via societies or listed on schoolscience.co.uk;

Ÿ  SHOWCASE;

Ÿ  Provide special lab coats, badges, certificates in assemblies;

Ÿ  Have STEM award assemblies/evenings and presentations by students and external speakers;

Ÿ  Keep exclusive but advertise in blogs, newsletters, posters, assemblies, form groups what you are doing;

Ÿ  A successful run with National Science and Engineering week (with associated demos, assemblies and themed lessons) usually sparks a lot of interest.

 Q3. How do you fund/stock/resource a great STEM club?

Key Points:

Ÿ  SMT MUST be on board;

Ÿ  Success breeds success;

Ÿ  Loads of websites with projects or resources (See below for extensive list);

Ÿ  Be creative – things people throw away can be used: bottle rockets, CD hovercraft, bath fizzers, whirly-gig-helicopters;

Ÿ  Use parents with STEM related jobs to generate interest/set challenges;

Ÿ  See (and promote) STEM club as an investment in the engagement of students, and as part of careers advice. Make this clear to SMT.

Ÿ  Collaborate with local businesses, media, hospitals, schools, universities for prizes, funding, challenges. Could be in exchange for advertising in school (as long as is ethical) media coverage or as part of their community outreach and engagement programmes. Many STEM businesses would be very pleased to get involved in sponsorship – could have their logos on your lab coats?

Ÿ  Awards and prizes can make club self-sustaining – so enter competitions! 

Q4. How do you measure the impact of your STEM club?

Key Points:

Ÿ   Set clear and measurable goals and objectives

  • Attendance
  • Grades improving
  • % moving into KS5 or STEM Uni subjects/careers 

TOPTIPS: What is your best piece of advice for starting a STEM club?

Ÿ  @hrogerson – keep students involved by having an end point, e.g. film, crest award, presentation

Ÿ  @RedmoorStem – run the club in a lunch before or after non-contact time. Ask the kids what they want. Plan a timetable and review

Ÿ  @Ivette_Negrete – CREST: An easy jumpstart for your STEM club (minimal commitment needed – just 10 hrs)

Ÿ  @TMBSScience – Set up Science Ambassadors to elevate status of pupils willing to help run STEM clubs for younger years (they talk to the press)

Ÿ  @ClareCNelson – Use stem ambassadors. They can come into school to help/demonstrate/talk to students etc.

Useful Websites

Category

Title and link

Shared by

Funding

RSC Grants - Public Activities Small Grants Scheme & Education Initiatives Fund

@RSC_EiC

 

Royal Society Education Grants (Opens 2/09/13 - 1/11/13)

@ScienceTVRadio

 

Young Engineers – club grants

@Young_Engineers

 

IoP Grants

 

Resources

RSC Outreach Resources

@RSC_EiC

 

Contact STEM Co-ordinator for area

@STEMclubs

 

STEM First

@damianainscough

 

National STEM Centre e library. Engineering a Better World

@NeedhamL56

 

Science and Plants for Schools

@damianainscough

 

School Science – also a great source of competitions

@JoBadge

 

Primary Engineer – good for transition/primary STEM

@NeedhamL56

 

Nrich – STEM resources (maths)

@damianainscough

 

ScienceMuseuminvestigations and activities

@sciencemuseum

 

IoP STEM Club Resources

@hrogerson

 

ScienceMuseumDemos

@sciencemuseum

Competitions/Projects

Crest Award – start with bronze or Crest Discovery (launches Sept)

@crest_star

@Ivette_Negrete

@hrogerson

 

Exoplanet Physics Project – available to IoP Partner schools Yr 9 only

@David_Cameron76

@TakeOnPhysics

 

Nuffield STEM Projects 11-14

@NeedhamL56

 

Dyson Engineering Challenges

@NeedhamL56

 

Engineering Education Scheme – post 16

@hrogerson

 

Young Engineers – join for free then click ‘competitions listing’ on left

@Young_Engineers

 

Extended Project Qualification – National STEM centre

@WTeducation

 

Biology Week Projects - 12th - 18th October 2013

@Society_Biology

 

Go4Set – costs involved in entering

@ScienceTVRadio