As part of the Ravenstone Early Career Teachers professional learning, three new teachers, Lauren, Jack and Rory, were asked to help plan and organise a student Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Day. Some creative discussions and stimulating ideas workshops with the energetic ECT’s and consultants from the CLC ensued to plan an exciting day of interactive labs for staff and students at the Balham school.
Educators often search for professional learning experiences that explore how STEM concepts and tools can be embedded into the classroom in meaningful, intentional and academically engaging ways. Teachers know their students want more technology in their classrooms and so are always seeking to integrate STEM into learning opportunities, but sometimes suffer a lack of confidence, resources or time to experiment with innovative interactive tools. Partnership, collaboration and sharing are all in abundance through the CLC and their tutors are on hand to come into schools to support staff in delivering and embedding engaging digital transformation into the schools’ curriculum.
Ravenstone Lead Science teacher, and brainchild of the day, Richard Ingham enthused;
“STEM day was amazing! The children had a great time exploring the Virtual Reality world of NASA and taking a trip in a helicopter. Others had the chance to ‘touch coronavirus’ and look at other viruses up close and personal. The overwhelming response was of positivity and learning across both Key Stages. Dave, the facilitator from the CLC, was great, and the day went off with smiles and laughs.”
The stimulating activities included using Artificial Intelligence to allow students to explore a galaxy in the palm of their hand. Learners could hold a 3D object, explore a DNA molecule, enabling an entirely new way to learn and interact with the digital world. Using the fully integrated VR goggles provided students with virtual and augmented reality content to explore and investigate complex scientific topics in a safe and absorbing way.
Pupil engagement and excitement was clearly evident, with the activities triggering incredible discussions and motivation for further future workshops. “I enjoyed the lesson because I don’t get to do those things normally…it was fun to have the opportunity to do different things!” stated one learner, with another adding, “We looked inside a human body through an iPad, it was cool to see the body in a different way!”
The enjoyment and interest from the pupils was matched by the eagerness of other staff wanting to incorporate the digital tools in their own curriculum areas. The exhilarated ECTs, clearly pleased with their accomplishments, chimed about their learners “They loved it…they were fascinated by the technology but it was interesting to see how familiar the
students were with the terms and use of the devices, they were constantly engaged and it was lovely to see.”
Ravenstone skilfully harnessed the energy and enthusiasm of their new teachers Lauren, Jack and Rory to deliver an inspiring and refreshing day of creative practical sessions to promote STEM, and not only motivate pupils but re-energise staff into wanting to integrate tech into their subject areas!
Wandsworth City Learning Centre can deliver specific projects in your school to enhance teaching and learning, and introduce innovative digital tools to motivate and engage staff and students, making difficult topics exciting and fun. Please do get in touch via the form below to discuss how the CLC can bring subjects alive and challenge your learners in the classroom.