Monday, 15 June 2015

STEM Ambassadors

Should you register as a STEM Ambassador?
How can other STEM Ambassadors help your child’s primary school?

There is plenty of useful information about STEM Ambassadors on the STEMNET website – do take a look.  However, I’m writing this post because I have had specific experience of being a STEM Ambassador and a School Gate Mum. 

STEM Ambassadors are volunteers with skills or interest in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths who offer their time and expertise to inspire young people and/or support STEM teachers. Clearly you don’t need to be a registered ‘STEM Ambassador’ to do these things, but signing up is free and does get you the DBS checks, insurance cover, and basic training in STEM in schools and it also links you into a local network of other ambassadors. The only obligation is to do one ‘activity’ a year.

I would thoroughly recommend registering as a STEM Ambassador and joining the 27,000 people who already have.  However, still keep in touch with School Gate SET because, from my experience, career break / part time parents are not typical Ambassadors.  As a part-time working mum, I found I was available during the school day on a regular and frequent basis unlike many ambassadors who work full time so can only give limited time to a school, or are in a company that supports them to go into schools and provides them with the activities to deliver.  

The other great thing to think about is how other STEM Ambassadors can help at your child’s school. Talk to the science, technology and maths coordinators at the school and they will probably be very happy for you to get in touch with the local STEM Ambassador contact and discuss ideas for getting other ambassadors into your school.  Have a look on the STEMNET website for case studies for ideas.

So, even if you don’t feel confident running STEM Club or helping support the teacher in class activities, simply having the time to contact others who will, and having the expertise to liaise between the scientists/engineers and the teachers could be really valuable.

Ultimately, what you do in your child’s school will depend on you and the teachers, but becoming a STEM Ambassador and linking into your local network is a great place to start.

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