Inspiring curiosity for an innovative future

Issue date: 16 May 2017

Curiosity Connections logo

Curiosity Connections is a new network being launched this week to connect people inspiring primary STEM learning in the Bristol region.

Science teachers and communicators across the Bristol region are coming together to share ideas, resources and learning to help inspire Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in primary schools.

The network is a collaboration between UWE Bristol and Graphic Science, and is funded by a grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The network is connected to the national STEM Ambassador programme by the STEM Ambassador Hub West England.

The project sits against a backdrop of an urgent need to improve participation and perceptions of STEM subjects to meet the country's future needs. Estimates suggest the UK will need 100,000 new engineers in the next 20-30 years to solve problems affecting society, grow the economy, and design products for manufacture.

In particular, more girls and women are encouraged to take up STEM subjects as a career. Research indicates girls make decisions about the appropriateness of STEM as a career before the age of 11 – so outreach and engagement with primary schools is crucial.

Laura Fogg Rogers, Senior Research Fellow, who is leading the project, says, “There's so much good practice and inspirational teaching out there, we just need to connect people together. That's the aim of our network – we aim to bring together teachers who want to develop their STEM education practice with science communicators showcasing the latest research and cutting-edge science.”

“Children benefit from seeing the possibilities and excitement of these subjects in person – learning about the science but also about the diverse types of people who make STEM happen. STEM Ambassadors and science communicators are role models who can change the perceptions of the next generation, opening their eyes to a world of possibilities.”

The network is free to join, and will offer a termly newsletter for STEM ideas and activities, as well as a regular networking event to connect STEM professionals. The network welcomes anyone who is interested to learn more, but it is particularly focusing on the counties of Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, and North Somerset.

The launch networking event is on 17 May 2017 in Future Space Bristol at 16:30. Register to attend here:

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