Local MP, Caroline Dinenage has welcomed an announcement of sponsorship for iSTEM+ activities across the full age and ability range of pupils within the Gosport & Fareham Multi Academy Trust.
The Foundation sponsorship will support a ground-breaking initiative in Gosport schools in 2017 through which every Key Stage 2 student at Gomer Junior School, and every Year 7 student at Bay House School, will make use of micro:bits. These are pocket-sized codeable computers, designed to facilitate computer and tech education. The open-ended STEM explorations the pupils engage in will be designed and supported by older students and assisted by external experts. The Foundation believes that this model of collaborative development is one which could be followed by schools throughout the UK.
The iSTEM+ approach is an initiative to enable schools to respond to UK employers' needs by equipping learners with STEM, digital and employability skills. It has been developed by a team from the Cambridge Centre for Innovation in Technological Education led by Professor Adrian Oldknow. The first iSTEM+ local cluster was established in a group of schools, academies and colleges in the Gosport constituency in May 2015. The lead schools are Bay House School and 6th Form and Gomer Junior School. These schools are two of the founding schools of the new Gosport & Fareham Multi Academy Trust which opens this year.
Gomer Junior School, one of the schools in the Gosport & Fareham Multi Academy Trust, has developed its own 'gSTEM' Key Stage 2 version of the iSTEM+ approach. School leaders will be showcasing this model at the UK's leading tech education roadshow, BETT 2017, on 25th January at 17.10 in the STEAM village.
Commenting on the announcement, Caroline said:
"It is vital that we equip our young people with STEM skills. This boosts aspiration and broadens horizons for pupils leaving school, as well as responding to the tech skills-gap in our economy. I am proud to have schools innovating on the STEM agenda in my constituency. This support from the Micro:bit education foundation will help Gosport schools continue to inspire their pupils through an exciting STEM curriculum."