Recently, there has been a lack of students taking STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects after school. This is pretty significant because these subjects are fundamental to society. We learn about the world and advance our well-being through science and engineering, and STEM skills are vital to so many sectors.
However, this is something teachers can help to change! It’s really important we reach out to students at the primary school level, and excite them about studying STEM subjects. This is particularly important for girls, where many are put off because related careers seem to have a ‘masculine’ image.
To help students take more of an interest in STEM subjects, here are some things you can do at school.
1. Show STEM in Real-Life Examples
To encourage your students to adopt a positive interest in STEM, why not tap into the world around them and show students how it’s present in our everyday lives?
For example, you could show that in cooking, we learn chemistry, practise our maths skills and can see what happens to our favourite foods under certain conditions, like how toast burns or how cakes rise. Not only this, but music and poetry is connected to maths with rhythm. During shopping, you have to deal with money, which also involves maths and you could demonstrate this too.
2. Go Outside and Expose Your Students to STEM
Inspire curiosity with STEM subjects and let your students investigate the world around them by taking them outside! Your lessons on plants could be held on the school field or in the school garden, or you could all go walking to learn more about animals or rocks. The possibilities are endless.
3. Start a STEM Club at School
Consider starting a STEM Club at school to help students get inspired by it and realise their potential within it. If you’re just setting one up, you could ask students to suggest activity ideas for the club. This means you’ll have a bank of project ideas. It should also interest students, as the fact that they’ve contributed to the activities will increase their enthusiasm to take part in it. (You could even have STEM Prefects at school too who help you out with the club.)
4. Make STEM Fun & Use EducationCity
EducationCity has a wealth of curriculum-ready resources to engage and inspire students at Key Stage 1 and 2 level in Science, Computing and Maths. Don’t forget to try out our Code Crunch Student Tool – it’s fantastic for helping students to make their first steps into coding.
5. Don’t Forget to Give Your Praise
It’s important to give praise at the right time! When students have worked out the process when it comes to STEM problems, you may find that praising the method rather than ability or talent is beneficial. By praising the process, you may inspire your students to develop a growth mind-set for STEM subjects and desire to be challenged – and this could help foster an even greater love for them.