CREST Awards

Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) enrichment activities to inspire and engage young people aged 5-19 years

25/07/2014

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CREST Youth Panel help with Royal Society Visions project

In March the Royal Society put on a workshop with the CREST Youth Panel at its 7th meeting, held at The Big Bang Fair. The Panel is made up of just over 20 young CREST students aged 13-19 of which fifteen attended this particular meeting.

 
Facilitated by Kate Bellingham (TV presenter, engineer and physics teacher), the session provoked thoughtful debate on what the future of science and mathematics education should look like, culminating in the creation of a “manifesto for science and mathematics education”, aimed at senior UK politicians. 

The CREST Youth Panel told the Vision team why it was important to learn science and maths, what science and maths should be taught in the future, how it should be taught, and who should be teaching it.
You can find a video of the session and a blog about the day from one of the Royal Society team here: https://royalsociety.org/events/2013/big-bang-fair/

The Manifesto the students came up with is listed below and also available on the Royal Society webpage.

A manifesto for science and mathematics education

1) We should learn science and mathematics to develop problem-solving mindsets, which ultimately will allow us to solve the technical and scientific problems of the future.
2) We should have the opportunity to learn in different ways outside of school instead of just needing to learn at school, from a teacher. This will help us become more independent learners.
3) Science and maths should be taught in the context of current affairs and problems.
4) Science and maths education should be better related in the classroom to the careers that could result from studying specific aspects of science and maths.
5) We should have the option to learn what we want, to the level we want, instead of what the curriculum says we should learn.
6) We should be able to choose how to show off our knowledge ie the assessment system should be more fluid, allowing us to enter exams how we want (eg a physics oral exam?).
7) A new way of assessing students should also be less reliant on exams (eg continuous assessment throughout the year).
8) Students’ personalities should be matched with their teachers’ personalities and methods; year groups should be divided to reflect this (eg some people are visual/kinaesthetic/auditory).
9) There should be a new way of assessing teachers on how passionate they are about the subject they teach.
10) Young people should have the opportunity to input into UK-wide government decisions on education (eg a panel of students from different regions or backgrounds providing ideas).

Signed: The CREST Youth Panel

We would like to thank the Royal Society for running the session with our students who really enjoyed thinking about the future of education and knowing that their opinions and thoughts were being taken seriously, and would help make an impact in such a high profile project.

If you are interested in nominating a student to the CREST Youth Panel, nominations are taken all year.

The nomination forms as well as information about the Panel can be found here: www.britishscienceassocition.org/crestyouthpanel

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