Space Resources for Teachers
Supporting teachers to provide exciting lessons based on space, making science, technology, engineering and maths alive and exciting, not just dry and academic, improving students’ motivation and enjoyment, and increasing their opportunities to go into science, maths and technology careers.
December 2011 - December 2012
Spacelink Learning Foundation
All pupils now study science within the National Curriculum, but far too few go on to A levels, degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM subjects). We need STEM graduates and career entrants for UK competitiveness, innovation and living standards. Secondary schools find it difficult to recruit and retain STEM subject teachers. Much of the problem has been shown to lie in the content and structure of lesson resources, which is what Spacelink addresses.
Spacelink will produce a series of Fact Sheets on space topics for teachers to use in their lessons, each with key information and stimulating activities, maintain and update existing learning resources, produce a fortnightly newsletter, and run a dedicated area for teachers on our inspiring website. The project will help teachers to enthuse students, motivating them to use the direct access information, activities and links on our website, and encouraging them to progress into STEM careers.
Provide specific lesson material
Activities» Produce about 12 Fact Sheets per year and distribute them to teachers
» Maintain and update existing Curriculum Learning resources and Fact Sheets
We will use our feedback programme to collect information about how many teachers have been using our lesson materials and how useful they find them.
Provide support and networking opportunities to support teachers in space teaching
Activities» Produce and distribute a fortnightly newsletter with news, views and ideas for teachers
» Set up and run a dedicated teachers’ area on our website, with news, advice and opportunities for teachers to raise issues and share ideas
We will monitor activity volumes (new/repeat visitors, registrations, subscribers) and views given on our website to establish the success of this support.
Teachers will have increased confidence in using space to teach science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM subjects), and they will develop mechanisms to share and expand the teaching approach across their schools. Their students will be enthusiastic about STEM subjects and more likely to progress to related higher education and careers. We will evaluate success through a feedback programme comparing results over time and analysing differences before, during and after our support.
The risk of our resources not meeting teachers’ needs is met by involving teachers in planning and by piloting materials in advance. We have an incremental approach so that we can be responsive to teachers’ needs and views. The risk of failing to attract interest is addressed by including teachers in our project team, using their peer networks to generate interest. Our feedback programme and website will provide information about what works well and what less, and we will respond accordingly.
News about Spacelink activities is updated regularly on our website and donors may opt in for automatic news alerts. We will also make the results of our regular feedback evaluations of this project available to those donors who wish to receive the information.
Budget - Project Cost: £17,320Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £3,720 Materials & mailings 12 Fact Sheets and 24 Newsletters £10,000 Website Operating & maintaining website £2,600 Teachers' Forum Developing Teachers' Forum on website £1,000 Evaluation Developing and initiating feedback & evaluation programme
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Garfield Weston Foundation £5,000 Guaranteed
Our project is designed to support teachers in schools across the UK, especially those teaching the English Curriculum. The focus is on the use of space based resources to stimulate interest in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, including Astro-Physics & Astronomy).
Teachers will receive specialist support and tailored resources to teach STEM subjects through space. Secondary school students will benefit from their teachers’ increased confidence and enhanced lesson content and structure. This will increase aspirations and career options for students who may not otherwise have access to such opportunities. We will all benefit from more students being motivated to progress to further education and careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
Spacelink is led by people who are both passionate about and expert in space, science and education. The project builds on our existing curriculum-based teaching resources and our dynamic website which includes the Helen Sharman Space Club supported by Britain’s first astronaut. This project is led by a teacher, so the needs of schools, teachers and students are at the heart of our planning and implementation.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Robert Coombes leads the project. He is Assistant Head and Curriculum Manager at Broadwater School, a Maths & Computing Specialist School in Surrey.
Tom Lyons, our programme developer, is an experienced teacher of physics and electronics and is currently Lecturer in Physics at Farnborough College.
Dr Lucie Green
Dr Lucie Green, project adviser, works at Mullard Space Science Laboratory and has been taking the science of the Sun into local schools for 12 years.
Dr Norman White
Dr Norman White oversees all strategic development and will maintain active oversight of the project.