The RSC is putting money into the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme
To encourage more chemistry undergraduates to consider teaching as a career, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is putting money into a scheme which gives undergraduates experience of working in the classroom. Through its Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Section, the RSC will fund the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (UAS) to the tune of £40k over two years with the aim of promoting the scheme in university chemistry departments.
A national initiative funded by the Training Development Agency for Schools (TDA), the UAS provides university science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) departments with a framework for a classroom-based degree module with academic credit to STEM undergraduates working with teachers in local schools (see Educ. Chem., 2006, 43 (2), 32). Launched in 2002, the scheme is currently offered in ca 85 university STEM departments but only seven of these are chemistry departments. Students spend three-four hours per week in a school for about 10 weeks, working closely with a teacher. As well as give undergraduates first-hand experience of working as a chemistry teacher, the scheme also provides teachers with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic assistant who can give practical help and engage pupils in science.
Professor Ray d'Inverno, the national director of UAS based at Southampton University said, 'The funding support offered by the RSC will help us target chemistry departments and support them in the first few years in getting UAS up and running'. He hopes the extra cash will lead to more chemistry students considering teaching as a career, which might help to address the shortage of specialist chemistry teachers in schools and colleges.
For further information about the scheme visit the UAS website.