The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has donated a range of resources from its STEM at Home e-learning programme to BBC Bitesize’s Autumn collection, supporting young people with an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as the UK moves through its second national lockdown.
While government regulations have allowed schools to stay open, the ongoing crisis means they must be prepared to implement remote teaching and learning strategies at any time, with both staff and students facing self-isolation should symptoms of or contact with COVID-19 occur. Contributions such as this from the IMechE mean students can continue learning remotely from home while they’re shielding.
The BBC Bitesize collection now features six of the Institution’s STEM at Home activities, originally launched over Spring/Summer this year as part of IMechE’s e-learning portfolio to help parents and teachers throughout the pandemic. BBC Bitesize is committed to supporting home learning, combining online activities with classroom time, or helping young people across the UK catch up on content they missed out on last term.
Dr Colin Brown, CEO of IMechE, commented: “There continues to be a real challenge in encouraging enough of our youngsters to see the great potential that lies ahead for them with a career in engineering. The difficulty today under COVID-19 restrictions on face-to-face teaching and practical experimentation makes this ever harder as students lose the ‘hands-on’ experience. These educational materials are just one way we can address that challenge and bring the excitement back into learning about improving the world through engineering.”
The e-learning programmes include a range of activity instructions, kit lists and instructional videos, leading students through fun and engaging tasks such as building a mechanical hand, a hydraulic propagator, a catapult, and a lunar rover.
“The IMechE collection of STEM activities illustrates the fun and varied nature of STEM and aims to encourage children to consider STEM subjects early on,” said Jelena Gacesa, operations manager for the education programme at the Institution.
“By contributing materials to BBC Bitesize, the IMech hopes to be able to impact the lives of as many children as possible, whilst helping both teachers and parents in these unprecedented times.”