STEM Centre

Intro

Techniquest Glyndwr’s STEM Centre exists to help enthuse young people in North Wales about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

We aim to achieve this in two ways:

  1. By helping schools and colleges to enrich their curriculum with exciting activities, events, competitions and advice.
  2. By linking schools with industry and academia to provide role models and work-related learning experiences that can inspire pupils to pursue STEM qualifications and careers.

To find out more about how we can help you, please use the tabs above to explore this part of our site.

Business

Would you like your company to play a role in increasing young people’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathemathics (STEM) careers?

Can the skills and experience of your organisation help you to avoid a potential skills gap among your STEM roles?

Would you like to involve your employees in the local community, helping to inspire young people about STEM careers as well as giving your staff excellent development opportunities?

Working with schools and young people in your area offers so many benefits and advantages to both your employees and your organisation. First and foremost you are helping to broaden the outlook of young people to better understand the vast and diverse range of opportunities available to them, when they choose to follow a STEM related career.

As a company you could:

  • Challenge traditional stereotypes that young people have about scientists and engineers
  • Ensure that potential future employees come through with the right skills and attitudes
  • Help to develop the skills and knowledge of future STEM workforce, including your potential employees
  • Have an opportunity to contribute ideas to teachers about how to design STEM curriculum which fits their local needs
  • Gain access to fresh ideas and views through the original and creative thinking of young people
  • Strengthen your organisation’s reputation in the local community

If you are interested in getting your business involved in STEM activities then please get in touch.

STEM Directories are a useful source of information for further STEM activities.

STEM Ambassadors

Who are STEM Ambassadors?

Ambassadors are of all ages and backgrounds. Volunteering as a STEM Ambassador is your chance to promote your skills to young learners, actively encourage them to enjoy STEM subjects, and inform them about the unique career opportunities that are available to them. By volunteering as an Ambassador, you could be opening up life-changing opportunities for many young people in your area.

Anyone who has a desire to inspire children and young people in STEM subjects can become an Ambassador. The main qualities that all Ambassadors share are enthusiasm and commitment, along with a passion for what they do.

What do STEM Ambassadors do?

This is a flexible scheme that is able to respond to a wide variety of requests from schools. Examples include:

  • Giving talks on a specific topic, or in relation to aspects of science enquiry and ‘How Science Works’
  • Running a workshop activity
  • Careers insight and case studies
  • Helping to set up/run a STEM club, day or week
  • Classroom assistant for a practical lesson or after-school project

In addition, some STEM Ambassadors have developed some specific talks and workshops

Why have STEM Ambassadors?

Through analysis of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths] research reports the following facts have been identified;

  • The 16-18 year old population is in decline
  • There is a decline in Maths and Science uptake at A level and HE
  • The overall STEM position nationally is strong but this is NOT the case for Physical Sciences and Engineering
  • Adult perceptions of STEM jobs are negative and key influencers are poorly informed
  • Young people who do enter Engineering, have been influenced by a role model in the field
  • The largest proportion of STEM opt-out is post GCSE
  • STEM uptake is gender biased

Case Studies

Here are a selection of case studies completed by STEM Ambassadors:


Bashar Mannan

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» Civil Engineer, Morgan Est

  • Why did you decide to become an Ambassador?
    Becoming a STEM Ambassador never crossed my mind, nor did I know one existed. It was recently introduced to us by our employer as a requirement for all Graduates Under Training. After learning about what the Ambassadors do, I realised it was one of the things which I have wanted to do, but didn’t have the time or the know-how on where to start. Becoming an Ambassador has given me the opportunity to give something back to the community and schools, and give an insight into what engineering is all about.
  • On average, how much time do you commit to STEM Ambassador activities?
    As I have only become an Ambassador recently (mid-August 2009) I have managed to attend just one event which was for the day (6 hours). However, I plan to commit at least another few activities before the end of the year.
  • Describe the latest activity you were involved in:
    The latest activity I was involved in was at Bangor University. The activity involved a challenge to KS5 9 (post-16 or AS/A Level, or equivalent). The challenge was to construct a model from K’NEX of a stadium with a fully moveable automated roof mechanism. The event attracted many schools from the region with around 200 pupils attending.
  • What was your role in this activity? What were you responsible for?
    My role involved assisting the organisers on the day with preparing and clearing the hall. I was responsible for assisting the pupils in the challenge to those who I felt were struggling a bit. This was kept to a minimum to make it a fair challenge.
  • What do you feel were the positive outcomes for the pupils and teaching staff?
    I feel it was a good outcome for the pupils and teaching staff as they were given a good insight into what all disciplines of engineering are about. This involved Civil, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. The pupils were given a challenge to do within a time limit with other pupils from different schools whom they have never met. This what we in the working environment have to do on a daily basis; we are given a task to do within a time scale with others in the industry.
  • What do you feel were the positive outcomes for yourself?
    I got the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with the pupils and staff. It was a positive outcome for me when I could see the pupils achieve something good within a limited time. It was nice to see the different methods the pupils were using even though the task was the same.
  • Do you have any tips for future STEM Ambassadors?
    You may feel a bit nervous at first but it’s not at all. In my experience it felt like explaining in a way in which I would explain to my niece and nephews.
  • Any other comments:
    It’s worth getting involved as an Ambassador just to assist and help the pupils in choosing a career in engineering.

Huw Huws

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» Magnox North

  • Why did you decide to become an Ambassador?
    Our company decided to be part of a mentoring program with a local school and as part of the process we were encouraged to become stem ambassadors.
  • On average, how much time do you commit to STEM Ambassador activities?
    I do not think that I dedicate much more than a day here and there. I certainly don’t think it takes a lot of my time.
  • Describe the latest activity you were involved in:
    I delivered a short presentation at a local university as part of a drive to encourage teachers to think of using ambassadors more.
  • What was your role in this activity? What were you responsible for?
    I am a trainer as my job and have delivered training as part of stem as well as being a mentor and an umpire as part of some activities.
  • What do you feel were the positive outcomes for the pupils and teaching staff?
    For pupils I try to show where some of the skills learnt at work are applied, and for teachers it is much the same as some teachers have little experience outside the academic world. Also for pupils I think it is good for them to meet someone who has no vested interest in their education, who has taken the time to come and talk with them.
  • What do you feel were the positive outcomes for yourself?
    I have enjoyed my time as an ambassador and feel it is of benefit to myself because it has opened my eyes to some of the gaps between the way we work in industry and the more formal world of schools.
  • Do you have any tips for future STEM Ambassadors?
    Do not be afraid to put your name forward — there are some talented pupils and teachers out there who deserve your help.
  • Any other comments:
    We are all wrapped up in our day jobs, however you never know who you can make a difference to by just being there.

Hazel Guise-Mien

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» Principal Civil Engineer, Morgan Professional Services

  • Why did you decide to become an Ambassador?
    I became a STEM Ambassador to convey to younger students practical uses for the mathematics and sciences that they study. It also enables me to convey practical advice to students for future academic and career paths into engineering.
  • On average, how much time do you commit to STEM Ambassador activities?
    It varies throughout the year, during September to April of the academic year I am involved with several activities and spend more time during this period. Generally I commit 2-3 weeks of time to STEM Activities with school children and University students.
  • Describe the latest activity you were involved in:
    I attended a parents and open evening at Birchwood Community High School where I am also the structural engineer for two new buildings on the site.
  • What was your role in this activity? What were you responsible for?
    I was responsible for raising the profile of engineering and discussing the new buildings with the students and parents.
  • What do you feel were the positive outcomes for the pupils and teaching staff?
    The pupils were very interested to know about the design of the new buildings and the variety of options available within engineering. The teachers at the school found it particularly useful as I have been able to provide advice and offer future assistance in maths, science and construction lessons to put elements into a practical context and provide site visits for the GNVQ construction students. I have also been able to raise the profile of STEM Ambassadors at this school to enable them to consider a variety of options to improve and assist the curriculum.
  • What do you feel were the positive outcomes for yourself?
    A very strong positive outcome for me is the stronger link with a school close to my office and raising the profile of STEM Ambassadors to teachers that were not aware of our existence. It also never ceases to amaze me the depth of knowledge and interest that students offer when talking to them on a variety of topics.
  • Do you have any tips for future STEM Ambassadors?
    Get involved at your earliest opportunity! Lots of activities are both fun and educational to you and the students whatever their age. Also, be prepared for a variety of questions from them and a variety of answers to your questions; they don’t always ask or say what you were expecting.

Get in touch

Please feel free to contact us if you have any enquiries regarding STEM.

Andy Jones

Partnerships Co-ordinator
Techniquest Glyndŵr
Glyndŵr University
Mold Road
Wrexham
LL11 2AW

Tel +44 (0) 1978 293460
Mobile +44 (0) 7765 406686
andy@tqg.org.uk