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STEM in Computing

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by ridleyrumpus, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    I teach Physics and Computing at a secondary school in England (I am able to teach Maths and D&T also.)

    I am very keen on bringing more STEM activities into the school as I really think that the students benefit from a cross-curricular approach.

    This summer I took myself have taken myself on the Raspberry Pi Certified Educator course.

    I have tried to run a STEM club but it is difficult as the school are not supportive and have not given me a budget for the last two years, I confess I have spent quite a bit of my own money on kit for the students to use. We build 3d printed Robots, code music, build computer-controlled infinity mirrors, stranger things boards etc etc. The enthusiasm is evident by the number of students coming back at every opportunity. Their coding skills is coming on leaps and bounds as is their confidence.

    I would like to expand STEM from a club activity to the classroom but the trouble is my Computing HOD wants nothing to do with it, he states that it cannot be used in the KS3/4 Curriculum.

    Is he right?
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Your HOD is talking bolleaux.

    My advice is to stop doing it unless the school supports you with timetabled prep time and a budget.

    You might be ok with spending your own money to support a school activity but it sets a dangerous precedent.
  3. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Look around for schools with a more enlightened approach and apply there?
  4. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    I am very aware of this and the powers that be are not aware at the moment that I have been, they are assuming I am using the equipment I bought from a small budget three years ago.

    TBH It is, long-term, what I would like to specialise in or do perhaps visiting schools. Hence the training off my own bat and the Community code club.

    I have to be honest I did think that a school/HoD would be biting their right arm off to have someone on board who wants to do what I want to do and would back me all the way.

    The really disappointing thing is that getting other departments interested in collaboration is futile too.
  5. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Been looking.
  6. roger_pooley

    roger_pooley New commenter

    I say keep doing what you're doing, as long as you can afford the cost and time. Your school is not likely to come to the party any time soon. Why do I suggest this - because of your long term vision for yourself. Make it known in educational communities around you that you are doing this. Begin putting that awareness of what you do into people's minds.
  7. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Your current HoD is a Dikc and your school dumb. Keep looking.

    Write directly with your CV to schools you like the look of, many of whom have given up advertising as there just aren't enough teachers about and responses are next to nothing, and often nothing. It will take very little time and cost next to nothing. With your skill set, subjects and enthusiasm, you should be able to quickly find a school desperate for someone like you and will support your efforts. You need to make sure you ask the right questions at interview so you don't move from one kr ap place to another, and know your own worth. Time to apply for HoD posts yourself? I've met quite a few who have just reached puberty in HoD positions so as long as you have a year under your belt, don't be put off.
  8. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Many schools seem keen for pupils to attend things like teentech or visit science museums / eureka etc but are reluctant for volunteers to save them time/money by doing things 'in house' using their own time / skill/ resources.
  9. maggie_piano

    maggie_piano New commenter

    Changing schools is a bit radical. set yourself up as the local area resident expert and invite other teachers from other schools to the school to run a workshop? I might run this past head of department and maybe set your school up as a centre of excellence in your area-

    You might also see if hes not upto running it in the classroom, are there any competitions your students can enter with work they have done outside the lesson. It would enhance the schools reputation.

    Finally, it sounds like you are enjoying it as much as the students. If it floats your boat and you can afford it then do it. I am a firm believer in keeping myself up to date
  10. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Surely that is the whole point of having a STEM club which allows the more able/enthusiastic to extend themselves and discover new things that may be of use to them, thus proving that the curriculum does not meet their needs.
    border_walker likes this.

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