Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, added: “The Summer STEM Academy is an exciting and unique opportunity for a mix of students from all stages of education to learn and share in their experiences of STEM together, listen to inspiring speakers such as James Goodfellow, and build vital skills and connections that will greatly benefit them later in life. I’m really proud of the University for hosting such a forward-thinking event, creating a first for the UK, and a model which can now be adapted to allow more organisations within higher education to offer such a beneficial training programme.”
Stephen Scholes, Acting Deputy Head Teacher at Auchenharvie Academy, said: “The UWS Summer STEM Academy is an exciting and truly collaborative initiative between schools, university staff, students and industry partners which will support our learners to deepen their understanding of STEM subjects and to return with the skills and confidence to be STEM ambassadors in the school and wider community.
“The STEM Academy model allows for all involved to become increasingly confident in the STEM arena, beginning a chain reaction that will see STEM education flourish in and beyond schools. For Auchenharvie Academy pupils to be part of this from the beginning is both exciting and important, as we recognise that STEM education fosters the skills of problem solving and creativity that are vital for our young people in our fast-paced and ever-changing world.”
Stuart Naismith, Primary School Teacher at Greenhill Primary School in North Lanarkshire, said: “The UWS Summer STEM Academy will bring huge benefits to the student primary teachers in attendance, and will provide them with a deeper insight into using STEM activities in the classroom, and how to contextualise learning with the many career opportunities STEM presents.
“In my experience, my confidence in STEM grew through working in partnership with university lecturers, just as the students have been able to during this event.
“STEM is an area that student teachers often don’t feel as comfortable engaging with, but the STEM Academy will provide students with not only the knowledge and context, but also contacts they can use if they need help developing STEM in their own classrooms.”
The UWS Summer STEM Academy is hosted in partnership with University of St Andrews, The University of Edinburgh, F1 in Schools, Denford, Royal Society of Chemistry, Science@Cwaben, Data Harvest, Timstar, The Solar Spark, Highland Council and Balnain Primary School.