Over 90 delegates attended 'STEM and the New Curriculum' conference at St Fagan's National History Museum on 13 October despite the ferocious weather. A partnership event between the ASE Cymru and Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales.
The keynote session featured a useful and informative panel discussion on preparations for the new Curriculum in Wales. The panel included Tom Crick, Chair of National Network for Excellence in Science & Technology; Sue Quirk, Education through Regional Working; Andrew Jones, Ysgol Glan y Mor; Elaine Stockdale, Tongwynlais Primary School and Sharon Pascoe, Fochriw Primary School.
The discussion received very positive feedback including:
“Very interesting workshops and new ideas for teaching the new curriculum”
“Engaging speakers with excellent ideas for practical work”
“Really impressed by National Museum’s Resources”
Teachers were then provided with an opportunity to attend breakout sessions to allow in-depth discussions focusing on primary, secondary and sector-wide STEM learning.
This was followed by lunch and an opportunity to visit the exhibition area, where there were displays by Data Harvest, Hodder, Timstar, Gratnells and the Royal Society, together with other local exhibitors.
Hands on workshops in the afternoon were very popular and provided teachers with lots of ideas and resources for the classroom. The plastics workshop by Lewis Brown, National Marine Aquarium Association, involved participants becoming part of an ocean food web. Glen Gilchrist, Consortium South Central, lead a popular workshop about the role of Practical work in science lessons which provided food for thought. Other participants enjoyed the creative chemistry of 'Let's Explore' with Dayna Mason from the Royal Society of Chemistry. A coding workshop with Andy Harper, University of South Wales, provided opportunities to learn how to code robots. Heather Jackson, National Museum Cardiff, and Debbie Syrop, Cardiff University School of Engineering, led a practical session on how schools can plan a mission to Mars. Finally, participants braved the weather with Ieuan Donovan, St Fagans National History Museum, and explored how to use scientific surveys in a creative way.
The new Atrium building at St Fagans National Museum of History provided an excellent space for the creative and informative discussions and workshops that helped make this year's conference a success.