IET Faraday partnership- Building Relationships and Legacy

As we kick off our 4th year of partnership with IET Faraday we reflect on the project; taking engineering shows to Key stages 1-4 students across the UK and drawing teachers’ attention to some of the great resources available through IET Faraday.

David Price demonstrating some of the principles of flight in 'Who Wants to be a Superhero?'

David Price demonstrating some of the principles of flight in ‘Who Wants to be a Superhero?’ Photo: science made simple (All Rights Reserved)

The Project

This project has grown from strength to strength and in 2013 we delivered 143 shows to 13, 982 students.  We have developed four engineering shows relevant to different Key Stages: Izzy’s Incredible Adventure for Key Stage 1, Who Wants to be a Superhero? for Key Stage 2 and A Rough Guide to Engineering and Engineering for Life: Cradle to Grave for Key Stages 3 and 4.

Funding from the IET has allowed us to deliver these shows in schools and festivals at a substantially reduced cost and funded continuing show development.

As well as providing enriching, engaging and inspiring engineering shows for students, we have been able to take information about IET Faraday directly to teachers.

Reach and Legacy

In 2013 we ran the scheme in 12 regions across the UK, delivering a week of shows in each region, giving this project real reach.  We have been pleased to return to some schools we visited in past years, and hope that this sustained contact with engineering creates a legacy of enrichment in those schools.  In 2014 we will be focussing on increasing further the reach of the project.  This means we will be prioritising reaching schools we haven’t previously visited. The continuing nature of the project also means that schools which didn’t take part in the first years but may have heard about it through others have had the opportunity in subsequent years, allowing us to bring engineering ideas and careers into harder to reach communities, as well as forging stronger links between schools and the IET’s Schools Liaison Officers (SLOs) who can then build on the legacy.

Becky delivering 'Izzy's Incredible Adventure' at the Green Man festival- widening reach

Becky delivering ‘Izzy’s Incredible Adventure’ at the Green Man festival- widening reach.  Image: science made simple (All Rights Reserved)

Evaluation

Evaluation of the project has been important from the outset to ensure that we are meeting the project aims.  In recent years we have commissioned external evaluation from Jenesys Associates.  A copy of the latest report can be found here SMS IET Shows 2013 Evaluation Report Final2.

In 2013 we evaluated responses from 1952 student audience members (14% of the total audience) and 136 teachers.  We compared the student responses with those of 1319 key stage 3 and 4 students who had not seen the shows.

Key Stage 1 audience members were invited to draw pictures to give their responses to the shows, some of which can be seen below.

The responses to the shows from both students and teachers were overwhelmingly positive.

Student Responses

Greater than 90% of all audiences said that they enjoyed the shows with greater than 85% saying they learnt something and greater than 50% saying that they were more interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths after the show. Student comments included:

Some pictorial evaluation from Key Stage 1 audience members

Some pictorial evaluation from Key Stage 1 audience members.  Image: science made simple (CC-BY-NC)

‘I learnt a hovercraft moves by air‘ (KS1)

We leant what things sink and float’ (KS1)

‘An arch is a really strong shape and spreads pressure’ (KS2)

‘Engineers solve all sorts of problems’ (KS2)

In a diesel engine they use pressure to create heat’ (KS3)

Engineering is lots of things- it’s not just about cars’ (KS3)

Teacher Responses:

Across the key stages, 77% of teachers who completed the evaluation said that they would book the show, or one similar again, suggesting that this activity was valued by the schools visited.

Very interactive and exciting for younger children- showed lots of science theory in an interactive way (KS1 teacher)

Understanding of how different aspects of engineering affect daily life (KS2 teacher)

Presenter enthused all the students, they were learning while having fun, which was very inspirational (KS3 teacher)

This  introduced  the  wow  factor  to  science  and  engineering.  Showed  how  they  are  all   linked  and  clearly  illustrated  their  applications  and  implications.  Absolutely  well  done. (KS 3 teacher)

Future Partnerships?

If you are an organisation interested in getting your STEM message into the wider public and would like to find out more about working with us we’d love to hear from you.  You can reach us on 02920 876 884, info@sciencemadesimple.co.uk or via social media www.facebook.com/science.made.simple and @scimadesimple on twitter.
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