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STEM team takes 'sustainability' to the Gambia

by Guest Blogger: STEMPoint 29. March 2010 15:17

 

The Derbyshire Education Business Partnership’s STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – team, together with staff from Kniveton CE Primary School, have been on a trip of a lifetime to offer some much needed educational support to the Janet International School in Gambia. 

Mangrove swamps, dusty dirt tracks, oyster farms, blistering heat and the sound of baboons, awaited the team who spent a week over the February half term sharing a programme of work with students and teachers in the underprivileged area of Bakoteh. The programme focused on local environments and incorporated work on climate change, the carbon footprint and sustainable energy. The team settled in straight away after a warm welcome and were able to deliver a series of fun and engaging activities - including K’Nex solar panels, LEGO NXT robotic cars, wind turbines and solar ovens – to the beaming students, who had never in their life seen such technology. 

STEM manager, Lawrie Peck said, “It was an incredible privilege to be part of this project – to see the students growing in confidence as they embraced the new ideas, particularly in a region so in need of cost-cutting sustainable energy technology like these. It just demonstrates what an important role science, technology, engineering and maths can play in our world, and how important it is to build this into education from a young age.” 

Guest Blogger: Lawrie Peck, Derbyshire Education Business Partnership

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National Science and Engineering Week in the East Midlands

by HannahB 18. March 2010 14:08

On Wednesday 17th March the East Midlands STEM Partnership hosted an event as part of National Science and Engineering Week. Students spent the afternoon at the National Space Centre and saw ‘Bridget’, the multi-million pound robot, part of the EXOMars project that will touch down on Mars in 2016 to study the biological environment. Students from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire participated in some of the 150 interactive master classes held at the National Space Centre. A student from The Long Eaton School, Nottinghamshire, who attended the A-Level Physics master class said; "Today was an experience of a lifetime, most beneficial to further my studies in science".

Prior to visiting the National Space Centre, the day began at Crown Hills Community College in Leicester, where students demonstrated inspiring creative science activities; including Lab 13, a dedicated science space in the school, managed by pupils, for the pupils. Students also experienced Kit in a Kase taking part in some fun, contextual science. The morning concluded with a Come Alive with Science demonstration. Students had the opportunity to design and make their own t-shirts using photochromic paints and LED lights. A student from Crown Hills Community College said “Come Alive with Science is great fun, an enjoyable mixture of different lessons with maths, technology and science lessons".

The event supported National Science and Engineering Week (12-21 March) and was an opportunity to promote some of the fantastic STEM activities taking place across the East Midlands, many of which are funded by the East Midlands Development Agency. Other activities across the region included Lab in a Lorry, a mobile lab giving students the chance to explore science hands-on, which visited Montsaye School in Northamptonshire. Students at Montsaye, learnt how oil is extracted from its source and participated in experiments involving frequency and sound.  Year 9 students from Haven High Technology College, Lincolnshire hosted a screening of their film about climate change ‘Enter the Future’ as part of the Come Alive with Science programme.

Maths Inspiration: 25 March 2010, Nottingham Playhouse

by Guest Blogger 5. February 2010 13:11

Maths Inspiration is returning to the Nottingham Playhouse on 25 March after the huge success of this school lecture event in 2009.  We’re expecting pupils from about 40 schools from Nottinghamshire and the surrounding counties to come, with full houses (nearly 700) at both shows. 

The event aims to inspire more teenagers to pursue mathematical subjects to a higher level.  Audience interaction and humour are an important element.  Scientist and stand-up comedian Helen Pilcher is the MC, and Mark Lewney – rock guitarist and physicist – is the headline act.  The audience will also get insights into the building of the 2012 Olympic Stadium from engineer Paul Shepherd, and a talk on the maths of psychology (with a bit of Derren Brown style telepathy thrown in) from author and broadcaster Rob Eastaway.

The event is suitable for sixth formers and more able/motivated Year 11s. To book your place, or find out more visit http://www.mathsinspiration.com/events.html

Guest Blogger: Rob Eastaway

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Events

Top 20 Most Popular Future Jobs of 2030

by HannahB 1. February 2010 14:17

A new report (.pdf) commissioned by the U.K. government and conducted by Fast Future asked a select group of futurists and thinkers to list what science and technology jobs they think would be most popular by the year 2030.

The group came up with over 100 roles, 20 of these were selected for the study. 

These roles could see trips into space no longer being just for astronauts, with future jobs as space pilots, tour guides and astro architects! Computers and robots are expected to transform the fields of medicine and farming. The world of medicine will see advances in nanotechnology, enabling scientists to treat cancer and other resistant diseases at the cellular level.

Here’s the complete list of all 20, with summarized descriptions:

  • Body part maker: Create living body parts for athletes and soldiers.
  • Nano-medic: Nanotechnology advances mean sub-atomic treatments could transform healthcare.
  • GM or recombinant farmer: That’s “GM” as in “genetically modified” or engineered crops and livestock.
  • Elderly wellness consultant: As an aging population increases in size, we’ll need folks to tend to their physical and mental needs.
  • Memory augmentation surgeon: Like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, surgeons could boost patients’ memory when it hits capacity.
  • ‘New science’ ethicist: With the rise of cloning and other ethically-dubious practices, ethicists will be needed to ford the river of progress.
  • Space pilots, tour guides and architects: Space tourism will allow for space pilots, tour guides and the architects that will allow them to live in lunar outposts.
  • Vertical farmers: The future of farming is straight up. Vertical farms in urban areas could significantly increase food supply.
  • Climate change reversal specialist: Regardless of what you think about human-induced climate change, it’s clear we’ll need scientists who specialize in altering it.
  • Quarantine enforcer: When a deadly virus spreads rapidly, quarantine enforcers will “guard the gates.”
  • Weather modification police: If weather patterns can be altered and adversely affect other parts of the world, law enforcement will be needed to keep things legal.
  • Virtual lawyer: As international law grows to supercede national law, lawyers will be needed to handle cases that involve people living in several nations with different laws.
  • Classroom avatar manager: Intelligent avatars will replace classroom teachers, but the human touch will be needed to properly match teacher to student.
  • Alternative vehicle developers: Goodbye, internal combustion engine. Zero-emission cars will need smart people to design and manufacture them.
  • Narrowcasters: As in, the opposite of “broadcaster.” Media will grow increasingly personalized, and we’ll need people to handle all those streams.
  • Waste data handler: Think of it as an “IT axe man”… for information. Waste data handlers will destroy data for security purposes.
  • Virtual clutter organizer: Now that your electronic life is more cluttered than your physical one, you’ll need someone to clean things up — including your e-mail, desktop and user accounts.
  • Time broker/Time bank trader: What’s more valuable than precious metals, stones or cold, hard cash? Your time.
  • Social ‘networking’ worker: A social worker for the Web generation.
  • Branding managers: These already exist for celebrities, but now everyone needs a “personal brand” so others can easily digest who you are and what you stand for.

For complete descriptions and resources for these jobs see the original article

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Discussion

Less than 2 months to go... National Science and Engineering Week (NSEW), 12 – 21 March 2010

by HannahB 21. January 2010 14:13

 

The East Midlands STEM Partnership is supporting The NSEW Team to encourage organisers to register their events on the national database – this is a great opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work taking place here in the region.

We are interested in all your events – big and small! Do you have an event or activity planned for NSEW here in the East Midlands? If so, add your event to the online national database by registering here, then fill in the online form by selecting ‘Add an event’ from the left-hand menu.

Thousands of people across the UK take part in NSEW events and activities every year and join the celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and its importance in our lives…this year, why not be one of them!

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Amazing feats of science and engineering on our doorstep

by Guest Blogger: CathyB 28. October 2009 13:34

Did you know that the steel ribbed umbrella was invented in Derbyshire or that the inventors of the video recorder worked for the Nottingham Electric Valve Company? Neither did until I found a new online map showing where important discoveries were made around the UK. 

These inventors are joined by other East Midlands’ scientists and engineers such as Sir Alec Jeffreys, who discovered DNA fingerprinting in Leicester, Peter Mansfield, who developed the MRI scan in Nottingham and Sir Isaac Newton who lived and worked in Lincolnshire.  

The interactive map has been built to reflect local and national treasures of the vast array of the UK's scientific heritage. 

The public will be able to vote on these leading examples of innovation and discovery and even add their own suggestions of the finest scientific achievements to come out of their locality. 

The national map has been compiled with help from the 70 various science, technology, engineering and maths organisations which support the National Science and Engineering Competition and The Big Bang, UK Young Scientists' and Engineers' Fair. 

http://www.thebigbangfair.co.uk/doorstep/

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News

Diploma Employer Champions Network

by Guest Blogger 23. September 2009 12:46

  

Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology and the East Midlands are all close to my heart as I've spent almost 20 years with Toyota based in the Midlands and many years in manufacturing before that. This experience has left me convinced that we can do more to excite and educate young people about engineering and other STEM careers.  

I am not alone in believing we need to improve how we prepare young people for the world of work. CBI research shows that 16% of employers are dissatisfied with graduates' business awareness and 33% are dissatisfied with school leavers' business experience. Plus 24% of employers are dissatisfied with school leavers' key skills such as communication, team working and problem solving.   

This is why I set up the Diploma Employer Champions Network. Now, over 150 employers from organisations of all sizes, in the public, private and third sector, all believe that the new 14-19 Diplomas, in subjects like Engineering, IT, Manufacturing and Product Design, Science, Retail Business and Environmental & Land-based Studies, are taking mainstream education in an exciting direction. Not only do they give young people a career headstart, they help answer the needs of employers by providing young people with a more rounded education. 

Designed by employers for business needs, encouraging a broad understanding of industry from the age of 14, filled with practical mathematics, project-based skills and work-related learning, the new 14-19 Diploma is bringing learning to life by showing the relevance of what's taught in classrooms to the world of work. 

We have a good tradition of cutting edge engineering in this country, our infrastructure and ability to manage and innovate mean that manufacturing and science should be at the centre of a new post-recession economy. There is a big opportunity for young people who choose STEM subjects, especially now as our engineering workforce is aging. Sector skills council Semta estimates that there is an annual requirement for some 38,000 new recruits into UK engineering each year to replace those retiring. Employers, like me, welcome the new Diploma as an opportunity to excite young people about engineering and other key industries, and continue to develop our strong position in this sector. 

As a Network, we aim to raise awareness of these new qualifications. Members of our Network are available to speak at events about the Diploma, and we always welcome new employer members who feel, as we do, that this is a change to be embraced and supported. As employers we need to take this opportunity to invest in young people who will be our workforce of the future. 

You can learn more about Diplomas or the Champions Network at www.diplomachampions.co.uk, or you can contact the team via [email protected] if you know someone who might want to join the Network, if you're keen to explore having a Diploma Employer Champion speak at an event or simply to find out more about it.

Guest Blogger: Sir Alan Jones, SEMTA

Hear more from Sir Alan Jones at the forthcoming Forum Event - http://stempartnershipforumevent.eventbrite.com/ 

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2010 National Science and Engineering Competition

by Guest Blogger: CathyB 21. August 2009 11:56

Do you know of any 11-18 year olds who have done an amazing project or invented something new? If so then you should encourage them to enter the 2010 National Science and Engineering Competition. They should have completed a project or activity in any field of science, technology, engineering or maths.  

There is over £50,000 of prizes to win for both teams and individuals in three age categories. The best entries will be invited to present their projects at The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists’ and Engineers’ Fair, in Manchester on 11-13 March 2010. The two individual winners in the senior category will also gain the titles of UK Young Scientist of the Year and UK Young Technologist of the Year. 

Closing date for entries is 30th October 2009.  See www.nationalsciencecompetition.org for full details. 

Please encourage talented young people in our region to enter.

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City and Guilds on the look out for superstars!

by Guest Blogger: JodieD 9. April 2009 10:05

Are you waving the flag for female engineers everywhere?

City & Guilds are looking for superstar case studies that can be used in the media, on the City & Guilds website, and corporate/non-corporate publications.

The best entry will be given a £150 cash donation which can be used to help further their studies!  Please complete the attached form and submit entries to Deborah Wray at .

All entries must be received by 29 May 2009.

This competition is open to all female engineers who have either completed or presently studying a City & Guilds engineering qualification.

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Bloodhound - An Engineering Adventure

by Guest Blogger: STEM Steering Group 18. March 2009 13:55

 

I attended an inspirational event at Coventry Transport Museum on 16th February to promote the Bloodhound SSC Project, which has set itself some exciting objectives to enthuse the next generation in the STEM agenda.  It aims to create a national surge in participation in STEM by providing a real project that students can really get involved in.

So what is Bloodhound and why should you get involved. The  BLOODHOUND Project aims to break the world land speed record by achieving 1,000mph. It is an iconic adventure that will push technology to its limit.  BLOODHOUND SSC provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. 

The BLOODHOUND Education Programme will be available to all pupils from primary and secondary school, and to students in further and higher education.  There will be a mock up of the car at Rockingham Festival (30th June - 2nd July 2009) built by a company called Visioneering.  The project will allow students to be a part of the four year project, by following its progress as the car is designed, developed and tested.

To find out more about the project visit www.bloodhoundssc.com

Heather Payne,
Northamptonshire Enterprise Ltd

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Disclaimer

The views expressed in this Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the East Midlands STEM Partnership, its partners or funders, including East Midlands Development Agency.

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