Science sisters evolves

By 17th May 2016News Blog

Here at Katalytik we’re excited to announce that our Science Sisters project is evolving

Engineer? Technician? And parent of a primary school child? The School Gate SET wants YOU!School Gate SET

The School Gate SET is an online community of parents, volunteering to add some hands on confidence with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in their children’s primary schools during the school day. We provide activity ideas, training and mentoring, through our blog, webinars and other social media as well as local clusters.

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 School Gate SET and be established as a national network” says Jan Peters, founder of Science Sisters. “We helped women in Christchurch 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 delivering the training and sharing the experiences from Dorset while extending our own network 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.

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.

After one of the Science Week activities, Zara (age 6) said: “I wish every day could be like this. I’m going to be a scientist when I grow up!” and her teacher said: “The children have got so much out of the day today. The fresh ideas that the parents have brought to the table have proved very successful.”

We’re calling on engineer and technology parents on career breaks, based in Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Hertfordshire to get in touch and sign up to take part in small cluster groups. Thanks to a grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s “Ingenious” award scheme, we’re able to offer free training in a range of activities, support from the network as well as tools and confidence boosting workshops.Reconnecting with science and engineering while you are on a career break and your children are young, can (re)connect with professional engineering organisations and enrich the experiences for your own children and others.. Schools will benefit from the enthusiasm and expertise of these volunteers and we hope this will lead to ongoing, self-sustaining, parental involvement for many years to come.
For more information please contact:
Helen Roberts: schoolgateset@gmail.com; Tel: 01362 691352; Mob: 07729 158731
High resolution images are available, on request.