Connecting STEM Teachers

What is the Connecting STEM Teachers programme?

Connecting STEM Teachers (CST) is a national programme which supports teachers and school coordinators of STEM subjects - science, design/technology, engineering, maths, and computing. We do this by helping teachers to engage a greater number and wider spectrum of school pupils with STEM education and careers awareness. 

Through local regional networks, CST aims to build the knowledge and confidence needed to provide pupils with hands-on cross-curricular activity and thought provoking real-world engineering projects. 
The programme creates an estimated 150,000 STEM experiences for pupils in approximately 900 school every year. 1,900 STEM resource boxes were sent out to schools last year.

Follow us and share your STEM experiences with us on Twitter @EduRAEng

What does CST aim to do?

 The programme is designed to help address the UK's shortage of engineers and technicians whose skills are needed for the future. To increase the pipeline, CST's aims are to: 
 
  • improve perceptions of engineering amongst young people through teacher advocacy, 
  • apply engineering in context of specific STEM subject ares in schools,
  • engage with schools in areas where the social and economic status is low and increase the appeal of engineering careers amongst underserved and underrepresented groups of pupils,
  • connect networks to enhance the provision of STEM learning in schools,
  • improve student progression to STEM subjects post-16.

 

How does the CST programme work?

We have a fantastic team of Teacher Coordinators (TC's) who lead networks based across the UK. TC's are experienced teachers and education consultants of STEM subjects. Their aim is to deliver professional development and training on the Academy's STEM resource boxes at termly network meetings and provide opportunities for teachers to network with each other and share good STEM practice, leading to continued collaboration outside of the programme. 

  Click here to find out more about CST and the work of teacher coordinators.

 

What's in the box?

Teachers who join the CST network will receive our STEM learning resources, many of which come with all the kit and materials needed to run the activities in lessons or STEM clubs. 
Each box is thematically linked to create a setting for real-world learning and contains the materials needed to deliver stimulating and fun activities which will inspire pupils. 

Our engineering-themed resource boxes are developed for teachers, by teachers, with support from qualified engineers when developing. 
Resources are aimed at young learners aged 9 - 14 years old, although they can be adapted for younger and older pupils. 

All of our resources are linked to the curriculum and provide opportunities for young learners to explore and tinker and to express their thoughts and ideas. Pupils will also develop their creativity and practical skills to help them understand, change, and make a difference in the world around them.

Our resources can be used flexibly in the classroom, in STEM clubs and for enrichment workshops. A set of training videos, including tutorial guides with practical advice and demonstrations are available to support the delivery of each activity within a resource.

All of our resources and tutorial films are freely available to donwload and use from our Education Resource Hub. No need to register - you can start using these straight away. 
 

Who can join the network?

 CST is a national network for STEM teachers and coordinators in secondary schools. It is free to join and there is no cost to the school. Primary school teachers are also welcome to join. 
Network meetings are usually attended by a host of people from the STEM community such as STEM Ambassadors, regional and national providers of STEM education such as STEM Learning and Enginering UK and representatives from local employers and universities. 

How do I join a network?

  • Use the map to locate the network closest to you.
  • Click on your region to learn more about your regional TC and find their contact details.
  • Request to join their network. 
  • The local TC will contact you directly with an invitation to attend the next termly meeting.
 

What are the benefits to my school?

  • Training and free STEM resource kits to enhance and add context to the curriculum.
  • Free professional development on the latest STEM pedagogy.
  • Opportunities to network with STEM teacher from schools in your area. 
  • Information on grants and funding opportunities for schools. 
  • Insight into innovations in STEM learning.
  • Improved knowledge of engineering careers. 
  • Recognition as a leader in STEM learning and teaching. 
  • Participate in enhanced learning experiences called collaborative projects. 

Collaborative projects

The collaborative project is an ‘enhanced learning experience’ planned and delivered by TC’s for pupils and STEM teachers from their network schools. Teachers from different subjects come together and support each other to develop pupil’s cross-disciplinary skills.

The collaborative projects also provide opportunities for pupils aged 9-14 from diverse backgrounds to work together with STEM ambassadors and local STEM-based industries through a variety of engineering focused activities.

The aim of the projects is to provide a range of different STEM experiences, highlight opportunities for engineering careers awareness and navigates pupils to think about their future.

 

What impact is CST having?

The Academy acknowledges the need for independent evaluation to understand the workings and impacts of the programme.

Independent evaluation has shown that teachers engaged with the programme have high levels of STEM knowledge and an increased range of pedagogic approaches. They also have increased STEM and engineering efficacy and understanding of STEM enhancement.

CST teachers interact and collaborate with STEM colleagues back in their schools and schools close by. The STEM resource boxes developed by the Academy are viewed by teachers to promote high levels of student engagement with high pedagogic value.

Download a summary of the evaluation reports here

Funding

The programme, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2011 would not be possible without the generous support of its funders: 

 Special thanks to our strategic partner Shell for significant support of the programme. 

CST is also generously supported by: 

The Arthur Clements Fund, BAE Systems, Boeing, the estate of the late Mr. John Gozzard, the Helsington Foundation and the Royal Air Force. 

Contact

Programme Manager, Connecting STEM Teachers: Scott at scott.atkinson@raeng.org.uk
STEM Resource Writer/Developer: Yasmine at yasmine.fahmy@raeng.org.uk
General enquiries at education@raeng.org.uk

Back to top