At Phosphor we talk a lot about the importance and value of running STEM clubs in school – but how do you go about setting one up? As the end of the academic year approaches, and with an eye on the new year ahead, here is a (very quick) guide for what to do if you are thinking about setting up a STEM Club in your school.
1. Decide on your objectives
What is the desired outcome? This will vary wildly between schools depending on culture, available teacher skillset, budget, age group. So think about what it is you want to achieve – is it to foster a love for STEM? Build STEM career awareness and develop professional skills? Compete in STEM competitions and challenges? Whatever your aim, determining it now will make it easier to structure.
2. Measures of success
Define what success will look like to you – perhaps it will be more students taking STEM subjects, an increase in career awareness or winning a competition. Decide how you can quantify your success based on your desired outcome so you can do a thorough evaluation at the end.
3. Find a team
STEM is all about teamwork, so try and get others involved! Teachers of other STEM based subjects are an obvious choice but the key is to find others as passionate about the STEM club as you to share the workload.
4. Figure out the logistics
You’ll need to have an idea of how many students you will have in your STEM club to then decide on where you will run it (or perhaps venue restrictions will dictate where STEM Club meets). Will you meet at lunchtime or after school? How will it be funded? And of course you will need to do a risk assessment.
5. Find club members
If you’ve got this far then congratulations – you’re running a STEM Club! When looking for members remember to look back to your objectives and consider who will benefit most from being part of the club (while ensuring the club is an inclusive and diverse environment). Also don’t forget to engage parents as well and share with them all the brilliant things you will be doing to get them on board!
6. Planning activities
The STEM Learning website is a great resource for free STEM club activities. Also don’t forget that at Phosphor we have several brilliant STEM Activity boxes with 6 weeks worth of lesson plans to lessen your work load.
For a more detailed guide to setting up a STEM Club, these resourcesare very thorough and packed full ofuseful information.