In 2008 the Skills Academy linked with Teachers from Industry to complete a trial hands-on electrical circuit programme aimed at primary school children from years 1-6. Funding was supplied for 20 schools in the Ellesmere Port area, Cheshire.
“There is a need to encourage more children to be interested in science, technology and engineering and to encourage them to consider these subjects for a career. Initiatives in secondary schools are essential to this; however, we believe that unless we inspire children in primary schools to be interested in science the task at secondary schools will be far more difficult. Primary school science teaching is the foundation on which we can build a new generation of scientists and engineers.”
The Northwest/Northeast Regional Steering Group requested further work be completed on promoting the uptake of STEM subjects in school by improving and encouraging the teaching of science and technology in primary schools.
Sponsorship from the National Skills Academy for Nuclear enabled an experienced teacher, provided by Teachers from Industry, to lead two free two-hour Electrical Circuit Workshops to each of the 20 primary schools involved in the programme. All workshops were completed at the schools.
Schools had a choice of two from three workshops as below all of which support the QCA Scheme of Work for Science.
- Workshop A - Years 1 and 2 - Electricity at home and School.
- Workshop B - Years 3 and 4 - Circuits, Conductors and Switches.
- Workshop C Years 5 and 6 - Changes and Diagrams.
Evaluation of the project was extremely positive, and led to the development of a second project with Teachers from Industry.
Comments from Teachers included...
“Empowered the children to achieve. Children within years 1/2 were working beyond National Curriculum levels. All the children were desperate to explain what they were doing and why it works."
“Expressions on the children’s faces were amazing, looks of astonishment and excitement.”
“ The children were very enthusiastic about the topic which helps to raise the profile of science in school.”
Children’s’ comments included, “ We are doing things like scientists, I’m a genius!”
“ It can be dangerous stuff (electricity), it’s not if you do it properly.”