As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that schools will be closed to most young people until at least early March 2021, so it is vitally important that every young person has access to the technology that will enable them to progress their studies, and particularly their STEM subjects, from their home environment.
In the early weeks of 2021, it was announced that Norfolk’s schools and academies would need to supply around 6,000 devices in order to ensure that Norfolk’s young people have the technology for successful home learning.
The Every Child Online programme has been launched by Norfolk County Council and the Norfolk Community Foundation to ensure these devices are made available to those who need them, and the Dudgeon Community Fund has awarded its 2021 grant funding totalling £100,000 to this initiative
In 2019 grant funding was continued for the projects being delivered by Neatherd High School, Sheringham High School and the STEM Coordination Hub. In addition, five new grants were awarded in June 2019 with most of these projects commencing during the 2019 Autumn term.
Cambridge Science Centre will provide Pop-Up Science Centres in two secondary schools in each of the Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and Breckland districts of Norfolk. Each of the participating secondary schools will be encouraged to invite pupils and teachers from the surrounding junior schools to visit these pop-up events, the themes of which are based around electricity and engineering and include a ‘Power Up!’ workshop and an ‘All Charged Up’ show.
Cromer Academy Trust is undertaking an initiative to highlight careers and their role models within the STEM sector, aiming to inspire students to consider the career opportunities offered by this sector in Norfolk and further afield. The project involves a wide range of activities; these include the establishment of an extensive STEM library as well as the formation of a weekly STEM club where the first project is to understand flight and to design and build a drone using the school’s 3D software and 3D printers.
East Norfolk 6th Form College will deliver three practical workshops across school years 7 -11 in chemistry, programming/coding and electronic engineering to high schools in Great Yarmouth.
Teacher Scientist Network is a science education charity which strives to enhance science education in ways which bring the science and education communities together. It will deliver a series of four STEM workshops to year 9 and 10 students in 10 schools in the Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and Breckland districts of Norfolk.
V3 Power is an organisation which promotes DIY sustainable energy technologies through education. It will work with 10 schools in Norfolk, four in the first year and six in the second year, to deliver a project using model wind turbine kits to explore the science behind sustainable energy generation.
The first grants associated with the Dudgeon STEM Programme were awarded in early 2018, with the first five projects including:
Neatherd High School in Dereham will run an out of hours school-based Community Design School formed on the ‘Maker Shed’ principle. 6 STEM Design School projects will run weekly for 120 Key Stage 3 pupils (11-14 year olds) and their parents/carers.
The Mason Trust will deliver 6 interactive Renewable Energy Days to 6 schools in Great Yarmouth and Breckland, targeting students in school years 9 -11. These Renewable Energy Days will include the latest floating wind turbine designs, with presentations and a practical challenge to build a floating wind turbine.
Greenpower will work with 10 secondary schools in Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and Breckland whose pupils will design, build and race a single seat electric car, competing in the inter-school challenge at Scottow Enterprise Park. Local employers will be encouraged to provide a range of student opportunities for site visits and skills workshops. It is anticipated that between 150 -200 students per year will be involved in this project.
Sheringham High School will run a programme of robotics development moving towards an international robotics completion to take place in Tallinn in Estonia. The programme will be run as an after school or lunchtime STEM club activity, and with Sheringham High School encouraging as many North Norfolk schools as possible to take part, the participation of over 250 students is anticipated.
STEM Coordination Hub Norfolk is already a hub for engineering and technology supporting the energy sector, and the STEM Coordination Hub will initially be piloted in the Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and Breckland districts of Norfolk. It aims to make the most of what is already available, whilst identifying and plugging the gaps and finding new ways to enhance STEM education.