British science week was developed to raise awareness and encourage education, training and careers in STEM subjects. It lasts 10 days and celebrates science, technology, engineering and maths. Research suggests that there are a shortage of STEM teachers and that certain communities are underrepresented in STEM jobs.
Dr Hilary Leevers, Chief Executive, EngineeringUK (2020) said: “We need to work together to understand what causes under-representation of certain groups of young people progressing into engineering and how tackle it at every stage. We will need to: improve knowledge of engineering through the curriculum; support teachers and schools to deliver high quality STEM education and careers guidance; and ensure that our education system it fit to cultivate the skills needed for the UK, now and in the future.”
British Science week offers teachers resources, ideas, competitions and activity packs in order to focus learning on STEM topics. Although each year has a different theme, resources from previous years are available all year round. This year’s theme is ‘growth’ and they have put together some ideas and resources for teachers in early years, primary and secondary schools to access.
In addition, given the underrepresentation and lack of celebration of scientists from certain groups of society, we have listed links to websites about influential scientists from LGBT, Black, Asian communities, as well as women.
Smashing stereotypes: a look at what pupils think working in science looks like and then what it does entail. A list of stories about young people who work in STEM jobs have been put together which you can access by clicking here https://www.britishscienceweek.org/plan-your-activities/smashing-stereotypes/
Activity packs for early years, primary, and secondary schools are available here https://www.britishscienceweek.org/plan-your-activities/activity-packs/
Competition: the theme is ‘growth’ for the poster competition which has a range of prizes for the winners and can be carried out individually or in groups; each school is allowed 5 entries. There are 4 age categories from early years to seniors; the closing date is 15th April 2022. Further details can be access by clicking here https://www.britishscienceweek.org/plan-your-activities/poster-competition/
Underrepresented communities: why not take a look at female, Black, Asian or LGBT influential scientists.
Click here to find 6 LGBT scientists who made a significant impact https://www.osc.org/important-lgbtq-scientists-who-left-a-mark-on-stem-fields/
Click here to find great female scientists :10 of the most influential British female scientists https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/diversity-in-science/influential-british-women-science/?gclid=CjwKCAiA9tyQBhAIEiwA6tdCrLIfle6qCDmHj1LL0ihRdr7kVE0XGrHwNHT3Ao-YLr99N-E3ZvcvOxoCVzoQAvD_Bw
Or women in science from the Natural Science Museum which includes a virtual tour https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/women-in-science-and-research-at-the-natural-history-museum.html?gclid=CjwKCAiA9tyQBhAIEiwA6tdCrN2W4B1A-vl9jQ54CbCac9WlMaX0Pal_X_ioz4tGFTQhFZkjAkkhRRoCT6EQAvD_BwE
Influential black and Asian scientists https://portlandpress.com/biochemist/article/42/3/54/225279/BAME-scientists-the-hidden-pioneers