"Wonders of STEM- SPACE" is an enrichment programme for Key Stage 2 pupils that will instill wonder and inspire them in STEM.

Lead Research Organisation: Techniquest
Department Name: Education


Techniquest will be introducing a new and exciting Wonder of STEM Programme in January 2023. This will be a departure from the one off visit to our science centre and will be an ambitious multi intervention programme and provides continuous support for a topic over a six week period.
The Benefits of a more strategic STEM support from Techniquest
For Learners
An exciting way to explore hands on science, meet inspirational professionals, share ideas and discover that we are all scientists.
For teachers
A programme that encourages deeper engagement with STEM topics, support the new Curriculum for Wales and curriculum outcomes, provides a structure for interdisciplinary learning and increases confidence in STEM
For Industry partners
An opportunity to engage school learners and their families in important STEM topics in an active and inspiring way.
Our Vision for the Wonder of STEM educational enrichment programme
We want
1. to support teachers increase their confidence teaching STEM and to support the introduction of the new Curriculum for Wales
2. as many young people and their families as possible to participate on the programme
- to enthuse the next generation of STEM space sector professionals.
- to increase the science capital of the families involved.
3. To fundraise to ensure that our costs are covered and that teachers in schools categorised as disadvantaged can engage for free
4. To work with partners to grow our reputation and bank of programmes

What is involved?
We are intending that this unique learning programme will includes a range of exciting topics, each delivered over several weeks.
We are applying for funding from STFC to develop a Space programme.
Aligned with the New Curriculum for Wales and its 4 purposes and What Matters statements the Wonder of STEM will support teachers to deliver amazing STEM in the classroom.
It is suggested that for each topic 2 hours a week is the optimum classroom time to allocate to the topic and each topic will comprise:
- lesson plans and worksheets
- original video content
- live interactions with scientists
- twilight professional learning session for participating teachers
- family learning activities
- topic themed visit to Techniquest
- learning materials available on MS Teams or Google Classroom
- ongoing support from the Visitor Engagement Team at Techniquest
Twenty classes from schools in socio- economically deprived areas and with a high percentage of free school meals will be invited to run the Wonder of STEM - Space topic. There will an estimated 600 pupils involved in the lessons/activities and their families will also be involved via the family learning activities.

Planned Impact

As part of TQ's ongoing commitment to unique and engaging STEM engagement, the Wonders of STEM - Space programme will be targeting areas and schools in areas with the highest levels of deprivation according to the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD). Schools in these areas typically struggle to engage with our science centre and contain a high proportion of individuals and families with low science capital. Education in Wales is currently undergoing major reforms (the new "Curriculum for Wales"), with a more thematic and skills-based approach to teaching being introduced, so this project would be uniquely placed to develop new materials and approaches in line with these changes.
A best practice model will be disseminated through science centre networks that Techniquest is a part of, such as ASDC (Association for Science and Discovery Centres), and ECSITE (The European Network of Science Centres and Museums). TQ will be available to consult with any science centres investigating the introduction of more meaningful multi intervention programmes. We will also promote The Wonders of STEM programme including the Space topic via our extensive networks within the Education Department, Welsh Government and LEAs. In future, schools will have the option of paying for Wonders of STEM - Space programme but TQ will look to subsidise costs for more disadvantaged schools through a sponsorship wherever possible.


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