Extracurricular activities

Success with STEM
Sue Howarth and Linda Scott
2014 | 192pp | £24.99 (PB)
ISBN 9780415822893

Book cover - Success with STEM

Success with STEM is a valuable resource for teachers dealing with the expanding and increasingly relevant need for science-literate students. The STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) agenda is relatively recent and this book is an accurate and relevant review of ways to enhance the curriculum and develop extracurricular activities that promote this agenda. Sue and Linda have provided a detailed and thorough background to the agenda and have shown why it is needed – backing this up with data and sources.

The key place to deliver STEM is in the classroom and this is explained and developed well. It is often the most overlooked aspect as you have to influence every teacher in a wide range of subjects. Some good ideas and useful tips are explained in detail. Key resources such as the National STEM Centre and STEMNET are mentioned early and set the scene – contact with these organisations will make teachers’ life easier and make them part of a support group.

This is followed by the main strategies that will help to embed STEM education into a school or college. Although relevant to less-experienced teachers, these strategies are in the main already good practice in STEM subjects in good schools. It is certainly thorough, but at times rather long-winded.

The CREST Award scheme from the British Science Association is mentioned and explained as a way of rewarding students who carry out STEM projects. I would have liked to have seen this made more of as it is a real and tangible method of rewarding STEM success.

The ideas bank section is well worth a look as it makes you think outside the box – this is the way to make a school’s STEM provision outstanding. The information base in this book and the list of resources will be useful, but as with any dynamic area it will evolve and change. However, this is a great starting point for any developing STEM leader.

Where this book is brilliant is as a resource that can be dipped into and used to suggest ideas and opportunities. The list of resources is invaluable and relevant and even as an experienced and established STEM leader I will use it extensively.

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