This post is highlighting best practice across DYW Groups and will share the experiences, opportunities and challenges faced by the network and beyond. This post highlights the STEM@Helix events run by DYW Forth Valley group.
Who: Forth Valley DYW, all secondary schools in Falkirk, Forth Valley College, Falkirk Community Trust, Falkirk Council and 30 STEM business partners including Edinburgh Airport, Microsoft, Balfour Beatty, Glasgow Science Centre, Forth Ports, Calachem, Scottish Power and Sygenta. When: May 2018 What: A locally-led partnership project between Falkirk Community Trust, Falkirk Council, DYW Forth Valley and Forth Valley College that celebrated and encouraged Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning amongst pupils in S1. This involved 2 days of workshops delivered outside of the classroom at Helix park to over 300 S1 pupils in Falkirk, as well as a public day for the wider community which attracted around 5000 people. Forth Valley College also delivered STEM engagement activities at their Falkirk College campus as part of the project. To promote the event, secondary school pupils planned, filmed and took part in a promotional video (below) to inspire STEM industry partners to get involved and encourage members of the community to come along to the public day.
Workshop Example: Falkirk High School and Forth Ports: Their workshop involved looking at the issues around loading a container ship. They used a large paddling pool, a mocked up ship and containers of varying weights to illustrate maths and physics lessons to the pupils. The pupils very quickly learned that unless you stuck to the principles that had previously been outlined to them their ship did not last long in the water!
Impact: Involvement of Forth Valley College with schools raised awareness amongst pupils and teachers of STEM pathway options and strengthened school/college working; pupil feedback was fully positive and pupils reported being more interested in STEM after the event than they were before and were more likely to choose a pathway in STEM going forward. A female STEM pupil group from Graeme High School attended the DYW conference to share their passion and learning from the event.