Thursday, October 12th, 2017.

STEM Learning acclaim for Excelsior Academy

Excelsior Academy’s clear and sharp focus on promoting the huge range of career opportunities STEM subjects open up to young people has won praise from a leading national organisation.

STEM Learning has recognised the work of teachers at Excelsior who are working with the organisation’s STEM Ambassadors programme to increase pupils’ awareness of the career prospects available by studying science, technology, engineering and maths.

An official certificate cements the partnership between Excelsior Academy and the programme.

STEM Learning is the largest provider of STEM education and careers support to schools, colleges and other groups working with young people across the UK.

It is dedicated to raising young people’s engagement with and achievement in STEM subjects.

Arran Stephenson, Excelsior Academy Director of Science, said: “The certificate we received from STEM Ambassadors is recognition of STEM work right across the school from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 5, trying to engage more pupils in STEM activities.

“We are working to show pupils that the subjects are not just about sitting in a classroom listening and writing, but that they can see the bigger picture of the careers that STEM can offer and link that into the real world.

“The STEM Ambassadors come into school to deliver workshops, so we have had solar-powered cars being built and pupils have been to the International Centre for Life to bring STEM subjects to life.

“There is a huge demand for young scientists and engineers, especially for women – industry is crying out for female physicists and female engineers and in Excelsior we have a lot of talented girls studying STEM-related subjects.

“If we think about the North East economy and the amount of engineering and technology vacancies in the jobs market, employers are looking to local talent to fill some of those vacancies.”

Evidence shows that engaging with the STEM Ambassadors programme can help young people achieve their full potential in STEM subjects and inspire them to explore STEM careers.

The programme says 90% of young people have increased their understanding of the importance of STEM subjects, particularly in the workplace, and 90% of teachers have increased their ability to contextualise the curriculum with up to date STEM information.

Joe Temple, Excelsior Academy Subject Development Leader for Engineering and Construction, said: “We are continuing to develop and invest in our STEM provision across the Academy and throughout the Laidlaw Schools Trust.

“Already this year we have seen the creation of a STEM leadership panel to drive forward improvements and embed STEM experiences into everyday teaching. This is an exciting time as we collaborate further with local industries to provide new opportunities for our students.”

Arran added: “We are working to grow pupils’ understanding of science, engineering, technology and maths by working with outside agencies and the staff within Excelsior to embed the idea that there are exciting, fulfilling careers in STEM subjects.

“By involving themselves with activities taught within the academy, pupils will get more fun out of it and see it as an exciting career opportunity.”