STEM

STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The importance of STEM in the future of employment

STEM subjects are integral to the UK's success: the UK is the world's sixth largest manufacturer, engineering turnover is around £800 billion per year, and whilst the UK makes up only 1% of the world's population, we produce 10% of the world's top scientific research. Despite this, it is remarkable to note that even though STEM graduates have the potential to earn amongst the highest salaries of all new recruits, employers are finding it difficult to recruit STEM skilled staff. And alongside our need for a skilled STEM workforce, it is crucial that all young people, regardless of their future career pathway, have the STEM knowledge and skills they need to be an informed citizen in an increasingly scientific and technological society.
One challenge for STEM teaching is to help young people recognise how the science, design & technology, computer science, engineering and mathematics that they study at school or college can lead to rich and varied career pathways. This complexity is a challenge - but also offers an enormous opportunity for STEM teachers to engage young people with these strategically important subjects.

What we offer in terms of STEM teaching/projects

At Arden we offer a number of cross curricular projects that enable students to make the necessary connections between these four fundamentally vital subjects.

  • STEM day with Science, Maths and Technology for Year 8 in July
  • Links with business and industry via Mrs J Pritchard - all year groups
  • Nuffield Award - Year 12
  • 3D printer project - Year 7
  • Science club - runs all year for KS3 students: Students complete projects and challenges that mirror real life problems that require a joint STEM solution.
  • Crest Silver Award - Year 10: Students are set a problem that requires them to utilise technology, science, mathematics to create a product.
  • Nuffield Bursary

Where STEM is covered in the Science curriculum

There are many areas within the Science curriculum that involve the teaching of maths, technology or engineering. Some examples include:

  • Application of forces and gravity in Year 7
  • Use of technology to limit or improve fertility in Year 10
  • Generation of electricity from Year 7 to 13
  • Production of sustainable biofuels in Year 11
  • Production and properties of Alloys in Year 10
Inspiration

There has not always been the same clear distinction between the four subject areas. The great scientists and engineers of the past were as at the forefront of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Isombard Kingdom Brunel

Voted the second best Briton ever! Could he have revolutionised public transport and modern engineering without linking all the four aspects of STEM together?

Rosalind Franklin

Her work in X-ray crystallography led her to deduce the structure of graphite, the tobacco mosaic and polio viruses. It also enabled James Watson and Francis Crick to identify the double helix structure of DNA.

Verena Holmes

An English mechanical engineer and inventor, the first woman member elected to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and a strong supporter of women in engineering. She was one of the founding members of the Women's Engineering Society in 1919. She developed and patented many inventions, including the Holmes and Wingfield pneumo-thorax apparatus for treating patients with tuberculosis, a surgeon's headlamp, a poppet valve for steam locomotives, and rotary valves for internal combustion engines. She held patents for 12 inventions for medical devices as well as engine components.

Arden students STEM successes

The majority of Arden Sixth Form student's progress to university and a very large percentage of those have studied or are studying degrees in STEM subjects. As well as the traditional pure science, engineering and maths courses the degree subjects chosen include:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Science and Anthropology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Music & Sound Technology
  • Architecture
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • LandRover Apprenticeship
Specific Highlights include:
  • James Smith, Engineering Oxford
  • Thirteen medical students
  • Matt Cottell & James Flannery, Mathematics at Cambridge
  • Harry Gray, Chemistry at Oxford
  • Tanguy Feraud, Materials Science at Oxford

This is an amazing achievement considering the relatively short time we have had a Sixth Form at Arden.

Gifted & Talented

What or who is gifted & talented?

Gifted and talented students have a high ability on one or more science subjects. At Arden we identify G&T students using a mixture of data and criteria that outline the attributes of a high ability student.

Extra activities available for Arden Gifted and Talented Science Students

  • KS3 Science club
  • Completion of Bronze Crest award in Science Club
  • Skirting Science Event for Year 9 students
  • Discovery Day - Birmingham University
  • Civil Engineering Day - Birmingham University
  • Biology Challenge for Year 9 students
  • RSC Chemistry Olympiad
  • Cambridge Physics Olympiad
  • Cambridge Physics Project
  • Nuffield Bursary

How we stretch the most able students at Arden

All teaching staff are aware of who the most able students are in their science groups. As part of their routine lesson planning they include activities that enable very able to direct their own learning, pose their own questions and complete open ended activities.

The three separate science subjects are offered at GCSE and the most able Year 9 students are encouraged to take triple science as one of their option subjects.

The level of attainment and expectation within the sixth form is exceptionally high. The most able scientists will chose science subjects at Alevel where we will continue to develop their independent learning skills so they become autonomous learners, fully prepared for life and study at University.

Gifted and Talented Success Stories

We have only had a Sixth Form for a short period of time; we certainly hit the ground running, never slipping below a 100% pass rate in science. There are many measures of success, attaining places at Oxbridge and on Medical degrees is certainly one of them. In the past three Years Arden Sixth Form has wished all the best to:

  • James Smith, Engineering Oxford
  • Thirteen medical students
  • Matt Cottell & James Flannery, Mathematics at Cambridge
  • Harry Gray, Chemistry at Oxford
  • Tanguy Feraud, Materials Science at Oxford