Education Today Logo

STEAM clubs need structure

News Image

STEAM clubs have been popping up everywhere and that’s a good thing as they bring young people together who have in interest in STEAM and want to explore the subjects in innovative ways outside the school curriculum.

While STEM/STEAM Clubs are a great way to get students involved in the area, a framework under which they operate brings their intention and processes into focus.

For the clubs to work optimally there needs to be an overarching structure; quite a lot of work on the area has been done overseas and it might prove instructional.

Successful STEAM club frameworks need to consider several factors if they’re to be effective. The STEAM club evaluation table from Education Scotland is a good place to find inspiration or opportunity for appropriation.

The authors make several suggestions:

Self-evaluation for self-improvement Staff, learners and partners should be encouraged to self-evaluate STEAM approaches and look inwards.

Leadership of learning Staff, learners, parents, STEAM partners and employers to learn with and from each other.

Leadership of change Through consultation, understanding of why STEAM is important for our learners, their families and our community should be developed. Senior leaders have set out the strategic direction for STEAM but leadership in STEAM is not overly-dependent on one person.

Management of resources to promote equity It’s important to audit available STEAM resources, including digital technologies, to see what can be used to enhance learning.

Curriculum Engage with STEAM challenges, themed weeks and events build confidence and understanding of STEAM and help develop our curriculum.

Learning, teaching and assessment Staff share successes and practice to enhance learning and teaching and ensure a more consistent approach.

Family learning Families are being consulted to better understand their needs and aspirations in relation to STEAM. 

Transitions Consultation and collaboration with learning community colleagues and partners is helping to improve transitions, information-sharing and pathways in STEAM.

Partnerships STEAM Ambassadors and employers enhance STEAM learning and teaching and promote STEAM careers. An understanding of the different contexts in which we work should be developed and the purpose of partnership working identified. 

Ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion STEAM is beginning to enhance wellbeing and outcomes for learners. Opportunities to promote equality, diversity, inclusion and equity through STEAM are to be explored.

Raising attainment and achievement/Securing children’s progress. Approaches to raising attainment and achievement, including in literacy and numeracy, through STEAM are another area to be investigated through trials. 

Creativity and employability STEAM careers fairs and websites like My World of Work raise the profile of STEAM skills and connect them with employment opportunities.

29 May 2019 | National
Keeping up your cyber hygiene News Image

Cyber-attacks on Australia’s education sector have dropped to 18% (down by 32% from 2017) which saw the sector leave the top spot of most targeted.
Read More

29 May 2019 | South Australia
UK Linked Factory of the Future in Tonsley SA News Image

A proposed $50 million Flinders University-led Australian Centre for Innovative Manufacturing (ACIM) at Tonsley will be the nation’s first reconfigurable ‘Future Factory. Read More

29 May 2019 | National
Math teacher shortage worse with more enrolments News Image

The shortage of Maths teachers is well documented and has been for some time, a shortage has been appreciated since the 1980s, the problem will only get worse as enrolments increase. Read More

29 May 2019 | National
Droning in the Classroom News Image

If we are to believe futurist Thomas Frey, drones will become the most disruptive technology in human history. To be fair Frey’s definition of a drone is more than the flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAVs we typically think of. Read More

29 May 2019 | National
Grant bot uses algorithm to give schools STEAM funds News Image

Grant is kind of generous, if you manage to impress, Grant will make it very worth your while, giving away funds for classroom STEAM resources.
Read More