KUSPACE: Embedding Science Technology and Mathematics Ambassador Activities in the Undergraduate Engineering Curriculum


C. Welch; B. Osborne (2012), JBIS65, 105-108

Refcode: 2012.65.105
Keywords: Kingston University, STEM, STEMNET

The UK national STEM Ambassadors programme provides inspiring role models for school students in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) subjects. STEMNET, the national body responsible for STEM Ambassadors aims to provide more than 27,000 STEM Ambassadors nationwide by the end of 2011. This paper reports on a project at Kingston University to embed STEM Ambassador training and activity in Year 2 of the undergraduate Aerospace Engineering, Astronautics and Space Technology degree. The project, known as KUSPACE (Kingston University Students Providing Amazing Classroom Experiences), was conceived to develop students’ communication, planning and presentation skills and build links between different cohort years, while providing a valuable contribution to local primary schools’ STEM programmes and simultaneously raising the public engagement profile of the university. This paper describes the pedagogical conception of the KUSPACE, its implementation in the curriculum, the delivery of it in the university and schools and its effect on the undergraduate students, as well as identifying good practice and drawing attention to lessons learned.

STEMNET (www.stemnet.org) is the UK’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network. Working with a broad range of UK partners and funded by the UK government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills, STEMNET plays a significant role in ensuring that five to nineteen year olds and their teachers can experience a wide range of activities and schemes which enhance and enrich the school curriculum [1]. Covering all aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), these activities and schemes are designed both to increase STEM awareness and literacy in the young people and also to encourage more of them to undertake post-16 STEM qualifications and associated careers [2]. STEMNET operates through forty-five local contract holders around the UK which help the network deliver its programmes to schools and organisations in their particular areas, mainly through the STEM Ambassador Programme (see below) and the Schools STEM Advisory Network.