A project investigating how to develop and enhance science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) communicator models across the South West has come to a successful conclusion.
The project, led by Professor Chris Budd of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, drew together academics and students from the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol and the Institute of Physics with a shared interest in the techniques of STEM communication.
Over the course of a year and a half, 100 students from across the institutions were trained in communicating STEM through a variety of voluntary, paid and accredited models. The experiences of these students were carefully evaluated through a longitudinal study and the results published.
In support of this work, two workshops were arranged attracting over 60 delegates from 35 universities to discuss, share and compare good practice in student involvement in STEM activities. These workshops, alongside the experiences of the students and project working group, led to the production of a Guide to Good Practice for Student Involvement in STEM Activities.
Chris Budd said: “The project has proved a great success both in enriching the experience of the students taking part in it and also in showing what effective ambassadors for science and maths they are to the local community.”
The project was funded by the South West Spoke of the National HE STEM Programme, whose team was based at the University of Bath from July 2009 to July 2012. The National HE STEM Programme enabled the HE sector to engage with schools, enhance curricula, support graduates and develop the workforce in STEM disciplines. Some £1.2m of collaborative project activity across universities in the south west was instigated by the Spoke team, translating into over 40 innovative projects of benefit to the HE sector. Full details of these projects and associated outputs can be found on the Spoke’s regional website.