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Headington School inspires pupils with BT STEM Crew

Anneka Streule explains why the BT STEM Crew resources have now become a staple in the classroom

Posted by Lucinda Reid | October 25, 2017 | Technology

Over 750 secondary school teachers from across the UK have registered for BT STEM Crew, the free-of-charge online teaching resource developed by the 1851 Trust, which has been used to teach almost 29,000 pupils in 2016/7.

Teachers can access interactive digital resources covering Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Design & Technology subjects, each demonstrating the applications of STEM through real-life examples from Land Rover BAR, the British America’s Cup sailing team led by 4-time Olympic medallist, Sir Ben Ainslie.

One school that has already taken advantage of BT Stem Crew is Headington School. Here, Anneka Streule, Physics Teacher at Headington, explains how the resources have made an impact in the classroom…

As a teacher, you’re always looking for ways to incorporate interesting and exciting, real life engineering situations into your lessons.

Seeing the boats hydrofoil is such an exciting thing to watch. Most people, even if they have sailed before, have never seen anything like it; it challenges your preconceptions, fires a lot of curiosity in the pupils, and even other teachers, and they naturally want to learn more. 

BT STEM Crew is so easy to use and the videos are such high-quality that they are naturally engaging, starting with an eye-catching clip and introducing just the right level of detail. All I have to do is show my class the video of the flying boats and they want to know how it works, and find out about the engineering and physics behind it!

I ran the BT STEM Crew ‘Design a Boat’ competition with my class of Year 8 girls, using it to bring together three different modules:  Energy Stores & Transfers; Materials & Their Uses; and Mechanisms. The pupils were fascinated to learn how the sailors on the boat are powering the hydraulic systems and they got really creative when designing their own boats. It was fun for them to have a problem and consider different ways to solve it.

The resources have been so well received by my pupils, that BT STEM Crew is now part of our Scheme of Work for Year 8, so other teachers are now using the resources as well.

The videos, worksheets and interactives were so relevant to the curriculum that I used them with my Year 9 GCSE Physics class too. As a lot of the resources fit well with the new GCSE specification for Maths and Physics, for example the Speed, Distance and Time module will fit really nicely into the GCSE course, so this coming year I will find opportunities to use them with classes in Year 10 as well.

At Headington School there is an increased focus on all thing STEM as the school celebrates its ‘Year of STEM’. Staff have been eager to ensure high quality teaching and resources in lessons fire the pupils’ imagination and help them to see the exciting opportunities for them if they choose to study STEM subjects.

The girls loved learning about the challenges faced by Land Rover BAR and the impact of the design decisions. This British sports team which are designing and racing these boats demonstrates a great career opportunity and the girls are fascinated to see the real-life things that engineers can do.

BT STEM Crew is developed by the 1851 Trust in conjunction with teachers to ensure the resources are classroom friendly and curriculum linked. The resources are free of charge to use and aimed at STEM teachers of 11-16 year olds. Sign up here: www.stemcrew.co.uk

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