Head of STEM:
Mrs S Subra - Assistant Headteacher, STEM with Careers
Science, Design and Technology, Mathematics, Computing
What is STEM?
It is commonly advocated that one of the goals of the educational system is to teach future workers how to function in a highly technical, ever changing environment. So-called 21st century skills, like problem-solving ability, communication skills and critical and creative thinking are considered to be essential for successful participants in our society. In line with this movement, STEM education emerged within the scientific disciplines. The STEM acronym stands for the disciplines Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is nowadays recognised and widely used as an over-arching discipline that connects the various content topics and incorporates the above-mentioned 21st century skills. While educationalists consider STEM to be a better means for preparing students for the future society than the classical separate disciplines, policy makers and captains of industry use STEM as a vehicle to promote scientifically-oriented careers from an early age on (Caprille, Palmén, Sanz, & Dente, 2015) (Committee on STEM education, 2011).
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths and uses the creativity involved in arts subjects to produce young people who can innovate in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
Many of the jobs that students will work in do not exist today. It doesn’t matter if a young person wants to grow up to be a scientist, a mathematician, a designer, or a business leader, every future job will require creative, innovative and motivated thinkers that need to solve problems and communicate ideas. Rapid technological changes are transforming the world in which we live and STEAM aims to develop students’ innate creativity and problem-solving skills in real world contexts.
STEM activities at Rooks Heath
We recognise these important attributes and strive to provide various opportunities throughout the academic year to inspire students and allow them to recognise the intersection between these different subjects. From World Engineering Week to Women in Aviation (flying pink paper planes), we aim to provide our students with a range of experiences.
- After-school STEM Club for select students of Year 8 to experiment with various cross-curricular problem-solving activities. The students enter their projects with a chance of achieving the Crest Award. Examples include girls of Year 8 achieving the award for creating bath bombs.
- Interform Pi Challenge in Year 7 to mark Pi Day; one of the students in March 2020 remembered Pi to a staggering 192 decimal places.
- STEM Week in June when STEM themed lessons are taught across all subject areas. Students of all Year Groups were shown STEM themed films in the Hall, including Hidden Figures and The Man Who Knew Infinity.
- Robotics Club in Computing was set up in March 2020 by Ms Heath and Further Mathematics students for students of Year 9 in order to give them a hands-on experience of coding and designing robots.
- A whole range of trips organised by various departments to enthuse and encourage students and give them an insight into STEM related careers, which in turn helps students make informed decisions about their futures.
Some of the different events that have taken place over the previous years include:
- Trip for Year 11s to Oxford University Computer Science Department
- STEM ambassadors in assemblies for Year 9 and Year 11
- Engineering week
- Lunchtime stand to highlight Apprenticeship week and Science week
- Tutor time videos on STEM careers
- Displays to highlight importance of STEM
- Careers carousel day for Year 11s with a talk on the careers of the future, specifically STEM
- Jobs of the future assembly by the careers advisor with a strong link to Artificial Intelligence and Digital for Year 10
- STEM links in Careers sections in the library
- STEM event for Year 7 and Year 8 – Maths
- STEM event for Year 8 Engineering (RAF)
- Visit to Johnson and Johnson
- Visit to National Physical Lab
- Visit to BECHTEL (Women in Engineering)
- Workshops for Years 7 and 8 in the skills needed for the job markets of the future
- Displays for outside Food room to highlight catering
- Application for the army to run KS3 STEM events in the Summer term
- Science week display in the main school hall
- Year 9 STEM trip to Middlesex University with the DT department
Some useful websites: