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#ASEchat 130 Extra Curricular Activities

#ASEchat Summary 130 Extra Curricular activities 9th December 2013 with Richard Needham @vicialearning 


The theme of ‘extra curricular activities’ has come up before, but tonight’s #ASEChat produced a set of new ideas. The range of ideas is impressive, but so are the activities themselves, including a school trip to Berlin to visit the science department of the university, which did not fit into my categories below.

The common threads running through the conversation were:

a)    there are some very exciting activities taking place around the country;

b)    it helps to have the right culture (and resources) in school, although things can be done on a shoestring;

c)    it involves hard work, and so making good use of students to lead events is worth considering. There are ways of recognising the contribution of students to STEM activities.

Ideas for extracurricular activities 

Journal club with 6th formers  (MrsDrSarah)

Ideas for sources of papers included local university library,  @YSJournal, Catalyst magazine,  Phillip

Allen magazine subscription, classic papers published by the RS, 

Extra curricular activity that is out of specialism (A_Weatherall)

Eg music or film club. Broadens my life in the school. Includes: card making, sports activities, bird watching.  Make #nonsnowfake snowflakes @alby and other paper based activities such as ‘foldables’. 

Science Clubs (hrogerson)

A ‘one off’ extra-curricular activity is easier than committing to a club. It is hard to sustain a club and needs commitment from staff.  There were suggestions of ways to keep track of numbers and promote competition in attendance Have a theme, such as astronomy. Use students as a source of activity ideas, including from You Tube, or resources for STEM clubs from IoP (  Mythbusters have some good ideas that could be tested with a bit of ingenuity. Also, Kari Byron ( 

Short term projects with end goals/competitions (BenjaminDBarker)

Chemistry, physics and biology Olympiads are tough and challenging, but raise the profile of the department if students win certificates or medals.  Teentech event RobotiXX competition in conjunction with maths department for a team of girls (BenjaminDBarker), which is similar to Lego League competition. 

Salters Chemistry festivals and camps (TeacherChemist) 

Guest speakers (MrsDrSarah)

Use links to local universities to arrange speakers, or use @imascientist.   We ran @imascientist in Year 8

lessons sat the end of last academic year. Great for engagement. We have @IntSpaceSchool bring an astronaut into school, great personal Q&A sessions (BenjaminDBarker) 

Cross phase days (TeacherChemist)

Use a common theme like wind farming to teach different year groups.  Our school timetables creative

lessons in afternoon. I teach bronze @CRESTAwards on a 9 week rotation to all pupils (BenjaminDBarker) in a school where all teachers are given two classes a week to offer creative options. 

Using Science Leaders

Create a group of students who can help organise and run events. Awards such as Crest and Crest Star for students who take part. In some schools (Teacher Chemist) these are science prefects who use the activity to reinforce UCAS applications. They can also help mentor other students and organise the Christmas quiz. The STEM Leaders award ( - NgeeOg)may be appropriate for science leaders. 

Science Visits (martin_clee)

Year 8 are going to meet Cmdr Hadfield at National Space Centre 

Cafe Scientifique (TeacherChemist) 

Gardening club (TeacherChemist)

Start a gardening club that grows vegetables. Raised beds built by member of staff for purpose. One school won a local award for their allotment (DexNott) and another won an award for Bristol in Bloom.  Robert Gordon's College has an allotment club, run by physics, chemistry, technology and art teachers. Not a biologist in sight. (stuartphysics).  There is an allotment, chickens and pond at @carshaltonboys @CBSCmudclub @CBSCScience