Wednesday, 2 July 2014

STEM club event

Last month, I attended my STEM ambassador induction and since then I've been really excited about getting involved in activities. Becoming a STEM ambassador is really easy and so worthwhile, you simply volunteer to give up some of your time to inspire and help run activities for primarily younger people in order to get them more interested in STEM related fields.

One of the activities I particularly wanted to get involved in was STEM clubs. These are clubs run by local schools for their students and usually occur in the evenings. The clubs are supposed to be engaging and educational without simply being an extension of what pupils learn in lessons. They are supposed to be inspiring and fun!

The STEM club information pack
 Being able to help such a club is what I really want to do, so today I and another ambassador walked across town to Sheffield Hallam University and managed to navigate the Owens building and their very complicated lifts (they work on a server that determines which lift you should get to arrive at your destination quickest, it's all very confusing). We arrived at room 941 and were greeted by a group of teachers who wanted to start or have recently started up STEM clubs in their schools and we were each given an information pack.

 The afternoon was really informal and fun; we got to try out lots of activities including seeing who could build the tallest tower out of a single piece of A4 paper and building and launching our own rockets.

The time came for all the ambassadors to briefly explain what our field of expertise was and why we were here. I explained that I want to get more girls into STEM subjects as females are vastly under represented. One female teacher then asked me if I would be interested in visiting her all-girl club. Working with an all female STEM club is really exciting to me as we do need more females in such careers.
Polymorph, a thermoplastic
The day ended and Andy Bullough (STEM coordinator for Yorkshire and the Humber) handed out lots of free learning resources to the teachers. One of these was polymorph, a thermoplastic which can be molded when heated. Knowing I was a chemist, he gave me a free pack of polymorph which I am extremely excited to play around with. All in all, a successful day.

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