The National STEM Centre's library
Over the years a number of Gatsby-supported programmes have resulted in successful large-scale national initiatives. Through carefully selected partnerships, we aim to deliver lasting outcomes in improved STEM education.
This country suffers an embarrassment of riches when it comes to schemes, prizes and other initiatives designed to support and promote STEM education and careers. All these initiatives are well intentioned, but they are often fragmented and only a minority secure the level of sustainable impact they are capable of. We believe there is benefit - to schools and colleges, resource and scheme providers, and often the public purse - in increasing coordination between the various initiatives.
We believe that private foundations like Gatsby should see part of their role as being, in some sense, a research and development arm of government. The caution needed when handling public funds can make it difficult for government agencies to back higher-risk proposals, even when they have significant potential for public benefit. For this reason we seek to support innovative projects in our education work. However, to secure lasting impact on a national scale, the lessons learned and outcomes of these proof-of-principle projects need to be shared with policy makers and opinion formers.
The National STEM Learning Centre promotes collaboration across STEM education and houses the UK’s largest collection of STEM teaching & learning resources, allowing teachers online access to material previously only available in hard copy. The Centre, part of the National STEM Learning Network based in York, houses the UK's largest accessible physical library of resource materials to support the teaching and learning of science, design & technology, engineering and mathematics.
The collections range across materials for the 5-19 age group, and include resources produced by government, learned societies, charitable foundations and commercial publishers. Alongside contemporary materials - including print, multimedia, and practical resources - is a growing archive collection which showcases several decades of curriculum development.
In addition to the library of resource materials, a key aim of the Centre is to facilitate and promote greater collaboration between the many organisations working in STEM education. To this end, alongside national and regional stakeholder events, the Centre offers on-site facilities (including meeting rooms, event support, and hot-desking space) for STEM partners to support their work with schools and colleges.
We have supported Engineering UK to run The Big Bang Fair since its outset in 2009 and in March 2017, Big Bang welcomed just over 80,000 visitors to The NEC, Birmingham. At its heart, The Big Bang is about careers and futures and highlighting the exciting possibilities that exist for young people with science, technology, engineering and maths backgrounds. It’s about the contribution they, with the right motivation, can make to the UK economy and to society in general.
To reach more young people, Gatsby has also supported the creation of smaller regional fairs held across the UK throughout the year. These offer young people the opportunity to experience hands-on learning outside the classroom, and insight into future STEM careers in the local area and beyond.
Other related programmes
Good Practical Science
We are committed to supporting practical science in schools and colleges. In September 2017 we launched Good Practical Science by Sir John Holman. The report provides a framework for good practical science in schools. Using international visits, surveys and literature reviews, we’ve developed a series of ten benchmarks for schools to use when planning their own approach to delivering practical science.
Teacher recruitment, retention and development
Gatsby recognises that to achieve our ambitions regarding the supply of STEM skills to the UK workforce, we must ensure that young people are taught by well-qualified and motivated specialists.
Winners of 2016 STEM Inspiration Awards announced
The winners of the STEM Inspiration Awards 2016 were joined by Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, and Lord Sainsbury on 23 November at an event at the House of Lords.