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Searching STEM Learning resources

How to search STEM Learning's database.
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STEM Ambassadors classroom activities STEM Learning has developed a collection of online resources specifically for STEM Ambassadors but which would be relevant to other STEM volunteers too. Go to the STEM Learning website at stem.org.uk In the Search box at the top of the page, type STEM Ambassadors Classroom Activities Click on the link to the collection. You can use some of the activities straight off the shelf, others you may need to adapt for different audiences and contexts. The results list shows individual activities and links to further collections. Let’s take one example. Click on the link for Plastic Challenge. Scroll down the page to see what files are available. For this particular resource, you will see there are five files.
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Click on the first file in the list, which is the Teachers’ Notes. You will be prompted to log in to the STEM Learning website to access the file. This is a free account which is quick to set up. There is a lot of detail in the Teachers’ Notes, which show the resources you require and step-by-step information on how to carry out the various activities. These provide a great starting point for your discussions with the teacher or group organiser to see whether the activity would be appropriate for the audience and how it fits with their objectives. We will return to planning activities in the next course in this program.
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During this course, we would like you to explore the different resources and types of activity available to help you consider how they might be relevant for diverse audiences of young people. STEM Clubs Some STEM Ambassadors or other volunteers in STEM do one-off activities with young people. Other STEM Ambassadors do a series of activities as part of a STEM Club, which is a regular meeting for students interested in STEM. You will see in this collection there are over 300 resources. Rather than browsing through all the pages, let’s try filtering. You can use the filters on the right hand side to filter by subject and age.
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Let’s imagine we want to find an engineering resource suitable for an audience of 11-14 year olds. Under ‘Filter by subject’ select ‘Engineering’. Under ‘Age’ select ‘11-14’.
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Scroll through to find a resource that looks interesting or relevant.
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We’ll look at Robot Swarms.
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Click the title of the resource. Click on the first file in the list, which is the Teachers’ Notes. You will see at the top of the document there is some very useful information on the timing of the activity and the learning outcomes which will help you to plan the activity effectively. You can also look at the student brief, to get a more complete idea of how the activity works.
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All STEM Resources The final place you may wish to search is the main STEM Learning Resources database, which has similar filters to the STEM Club resource collection. However, not all these resources will be appropriate for volunteers as many of them are targeted at teachers and technicians. You start by selecting one of the quick searches or typing a topic into the search box.

In the previous step, you examined a wide variety of organisations which produce resources which can be used for practical activities. We will now look at the resources on STEM Learning’s database.

Should you wish to take part in this task, you will need to register to access the resources, but registration is free. You may have already registered if you are a STEM Ambassador. The website and resources are open to anyone, not just teachers or STEM Ambassadors.

If you are not based in the UK: when registering for the STEM Learning website, you should not register as a STEM Ambassador if you are outside the UK. Please choose International.

The video shows you three ways to use the STEM Learning resources:

  1. Just use the STEM Ambassador collection of classroom activities.
  2. Search resources for STEM Clubs.
  3. Search the whole database, including teaching resources.

Task

To familiarise yourself with what is available, go to the STEM Learning Resources and find an activity related to a space exploration suitable for ages 7-11. In the UK, our context might be to find something specific to Tim Peake’s (UK astronaut) mission that we would use with a Brownies group.

If you get lost, here are the steps we would take.

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Volunteering in the Classroom: Adapting Resources for STEM Activities

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