Name: Mrs Alison Blacklock
Job title: Director of STEM and Student Leadership
School: Nunthorpe Academy
Region: North East
Why did you take part in the TE Energy Quest programme?
To give students the opportunity to experience, firsthand, activities that they would not normally do in lesson time
To contextualise what they do in the curriculum and how it relates to their everyday life. To make them aware of the problems that they will be facing in the future and ways of combating the problems by encouraging them to think
To make them aware of what is available in the way of careers in the STEM sector
How have the pupils benefitted from taking part?
As they are year 8 students at present that is difficult to quantify, however we are tracking every STEM activity they are involved in and we will look at their option choices in year 9
Anecdotally they are more engaged in some aspects of their other STEM subjects
What are the positive outcomes of taking part? Raising awareness of STEM subjects to the students.
Students meeting people, other than teachers, who actually earn a living by being employed in STEM careers.
How has the TE Energy Quest fitted in with your curriculum?
We deliberately chose year 8 students to fit in with the environmental section of their KS3 science curriculum.
Why is it important to you to inspire your pupils to consider engineering as a career option?
There are going to be shortages of engineers in the immediate future and so much depends on engineers, from all disciplines, leading the way in the future to help solve some of the most intractable problems created by climate change, longevity of the human lifespan, infrastructure etc.
What would you say to other schools thinking about taking part in the programme?
I would encourage other schools to take part because of what I said earlier about the students meeting the people who actually do the jobs in the real world. Also the students have the opportunity to free their imaginations as they are not in a classroom situation.
Quotes from pupils:
Written evaluation was done on the day and collected by the presenter. Informal anecdotal conversations with students a week or so after the event were positive and the event had given the students food for thought.
Quote from teacher:
From conversations after the event the students were more aware of what an ‘engineer’ can be and that is a direct result of the workshops.