Training and Outreach Update – December 2018

Education and Training Co-ordinator, Fran Long, summarises the successful start to the PhD Cluster training programme and our plans for outreach activities.

PhD STEM Ambassador Training and Williams Tour
In November the Faraday PhD Cluster students joined us at headquarters at Harwell to begin their STEM Ambassador training, which was facilitated by Claire Hamnett of STEM Learning and myself. The hands-on practical course was interactive and thought provoking. Students will return in January to consolidate their learning and develop engaging battery-related presentations to take into local schools to inspire young people about STEM careers.

While in Oxfordshire, the Cluster students got the opportunity to have their first industry visit (top photo). Rob Millar, Head of Electrical at Williams Advanced Engineering, showed them around their site and presented an engaging talk about battery technology advances and applications.

Here, some of the students describe the impact the visit had:

“It was interesting to see how the technology developed is diversified after initial use. Moreover, the insight into how engineers create dual purposes for certain elements of an electric vehicle was fascinating.”

“… it went beyond blue-skies chemistry and illustrated the practical applications of battery technology.”

“Having a senior member of the Williams team give a talk was a really good learning experience.”

The PhD students will meet again later this month in Newcastle, where their second course will include the disassembly and reassembly of a Nissan Leaf battery pack, and a trip to the Nissan assembly line.

Outreach Activities

Young Scientist of the Year 2018

As part of our outreach programme, the Faraday Institution was delighted to sponsor and present at the Buckinghamshire Young Scientist of the Year Award ceremony in November, which recognised young people’s achievements in science. 58 talented year 13 pupils won awards at the event run in partnership with Science Oxford and the Buckinghamshire Learning Trust.

There, I spoke about the challenges facing society and the opportunities young people have to be part of the next generation of scientists and engineers that will be needed to research ways to overcome these challenges – including in developing battery technologies - in new and creative ways.

The Big Bang Fair 2019. Can you help?

On 13 – 16 March 2019 the Faraday Institution will be showcasing battery technologies and building science capital with pupils, teachers and families at the Big Bang Fair. This is the biggest celebration of STEM for young people in the UK. 

Interactives

We are looking for exciting interactive ways to communicate how batteries work and the type of research being carried out in the area.

Artefacts

Do you have batteries or related equipment and artefacts that could be used or displayed?

Hands-on activities

Do you already have tried and tested practical activities that pupils can take part in to further their knowledge and understanding about battery technology and inspire them about STEM careers?

STEM Ambassadors

Whether a signed-up STEM Ambassador or not, we would welcome support on the stand from researchers from each of the project teams, to talk with attendees. Do think about volunteering for one day (or more) of the event. Training will be given where needed to maximise the opportunities of presenting to these audiences.

Take away

If you have any suggestions for novel battery related freebies we can give away then please do let us know.

For further information or to volunteer your help please email Fran Long.

Posted on December 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

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About the Author

Fran Long is a STEM engagement specialist and award-winning primary science teacher who is passionate about promoting science and engineering. In 2017, Fran was honoured to receive a Primary Science Teacher Award (PSTA), endorsed by the Institute of Physics, and is now a Fellow of the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT). Fran was the creator and organiser of a pioneering monthly STEM assembly series that brought STEM professionals (scientists and engineers) into school to share about a day of their working life over a 16-month period. Research to evaluate the impact of the programme on STEM career aspirations showed a statistically significant increase in the number of pupils who would consider scientific and engineering career paths. As part of a Post Graduate Certificate for Professional Recognition in Engineering STEM Learning, Fran interviewed 35 engineers in the work place, gaining insight into ‘Engineering Habits of Mind (EHOM) as described by Bill Lucas in ‘Thinking Like An Engineer’. She ascertained the inspiration behind STEM career choices and presented findings to industry experts and colleagues. As a skilled teacher and keen project lead Fran has extensive experience of creating bespoke educational material to inspire learners. This includes writing CREST Award material accredited by the British Science Association. Fran is also a competent trainer who writes and facilitates high quality continuing professional development programmes based on best practice and latest research. She is a recipient of the STEM Learning CPD Quality Mark. As an experienced event and conference organiser Fran enjoys creating exciting programmes to engage audiences in new ways. Fran holds a First-Class Honours Degree in Primary Teacher Education and was awarded the Speight Undergraduate Prize for her research.
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