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Exploring Extreme Environments with STFC science

Exploring Extreme Environments (E3) is an education project that supports children’s education in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It uses science, poetry and art linked to the extreme environments found in the Sun and Antarctica to engage and educate children. Simultaneously, teachers will be exposed to a range of real-world STEM applications that highlight the benefits of integrating STEM career examples and language into everyday classroom practice. This three year STFC-funded project has been developed at Northumbria University in Newcastle and runs from September 2018 to July 2021.

The eight schools involved in E3 are based in disadvantaged areas within the North East and have a higher percentage of pupils taking free school meals compared to the regional average. Working in collaboration with the schools, children and their supporters will be introduced to STFC science, and careers in STEM more widely. This will involve a range of different activities:

  • STEM story time for nursery and reception families
  • Polar and solar workshops for years 3 and 5 children
  • Afterschool family workshops for KS1 and KS2 families
  • STEM person of the Week
  • Assemblies
  • Teacher CPD sessions

Towards the end of the project there will be an Antarctica-inspired community performance of poetry and sounds by Katrina Porteous (poet) and Peter Zinovieff (composer) to help showcase the amazing relationship between art and science.

E3 aims to: showcase STFC research and facilities through repeated and sustained interactions with children, families and teachers; build aspects of science capital for the participants in E3; increase the confidence of primary school teachers to teach science and technology and raise their awareness of careers within STFC and STEM; develop the public engagement capacity of researchers and academics at Northumbria University.

The impact of this project will be evaluated using a mixture of methods over the three years to investigate changes in children’s understanding of STEM careers, parents’ engagement with STEM activities, and teachers’ confidence to teach primary science.

Find out more about STFC-Funded grants and how you could apply for funding here: https://stfc.ukri.org/public-engagement/public-engagement-grants/

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Last updated: 22 May 2019


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