School Gate SET Press Release – May 2016

Engineer? Technician? And Parent of a Primary school child?

The School Gate SET wants YOU!

The School Gate SET is an online community of parents who volunteer to add hands-on confidence with Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) in their children’s primary schools during the school day.
We provide activity ideas, training and mentoring, through practical workshops and via our blog, webinars and other social media.

The School Gate SET builds on the Dorset-based Science Sisters project and is set to become a national network led by engineer and former Tomorrow’s World presenter, Kate Bellingham.

I’m delighted to see the Science Sisters project grow wings in the form of the School Gate SET and be established as a national network” says Jan Peters, founder of Science Sisters. “We helped local mums gain new skills, experience and confidence leading hands-on activities in primary schools and many were inspired to return to work. We’ll be supporting the School Gate SET project with training, sharing the experiences from Dorset and helping to make this next phase a great success.”

Like Jan, when Kate’s children started primary school she volunteered to listen to readers and help out on school trips, but soon began to wonder if her skills could be put to better use. Soon she was helping in maths lessons and running an after-school science club, giving the children hands-on experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise have had and challenging their perceptions of what a “Mum” can be.

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Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects are crucial to address the UK’s skills-gap, but many primary school teachers do not come from a STEM background and face increasing pressures on their time, both in and out of the classroom. Kate has founded the School Gate SET community to inspire and support other STEM-savvy parents who want to help their children’s schools. To date, School Gate SET parents have led Science Week activities; advised on attaining the Primary Science Quality Mark; and set up after-school Code Clubs.

Notes for Editors:

  • Kate Bellingham is an Engineer, a radio and television presenter, and a long-time champion for female participation in STEM. www.katebellingham.com. To request an interview with Kate, contact Helen Roberts (see above)
  • Jan Peters is Managing Director of Katalytik and is a scientists, social entrepreneur and champion for women in engineering and is a past President of the Women’s Engineering Society. katalytik.co.uk
  • Ingenious is an awards scheme, run by the Royal Academy of Engineering, for projects that engage the public with engineers and engineering. The scheme is supported by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. The Ingenious program aims to:
    • Inspire creative public engagement with engineering
    • Stimulate engineers to share their stories, passion and expertise in innovative ways with wider audiences
    • Develop engineer’s communication and engagement skills
    • Create debate between engineers and people of all ages to raise awareness of the diversity, nature and impact of engineering.

Ingenious has funded over 140 projects to date, providing opportunities for over 2,000 engineers to take part in public engagement activities, to gain skills in communication and to help bring engineering to the very centre of society.

www.rae.org.uk/ingenious

  • Royal Academy of Engineering is the UK’s national academy for engineering. We bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering.We are a national academy with a global outlook. We have four strategic challenges:
    • Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    • Address the engineering skills crisis
    • Position engineering at the heart of society
    • Lead the profession