The timing of the programme presented a challenge. Timing was critical so as not to conflict with exam time or school holidays. To overcome this challenge, the team worked to identify a 10-week period from January to April which did not impact upon exams and allowed a clear run with minimal disruption.
Feedback from the Glasgow project was reviewed to address weaknesses. This involved outcome sampling and advisory group consultation. Specific systems which have improved through stakeholder feedback from the Glasgow project include on-line participant questionnaires, assessment processes and student and school registration systems.
The Go4SET programme is innovative through its focus on secondary school pupils aged 12 – 14 years. Historically, such programmes prioritise post-16 year age groups however focus groups with students and teachers identified the benefits of earlier engagement.
The programme demonstrates the application of STEM subjects in a practical project environment, providing hands-on experience for the pupils to help inform subject choices for years S3 and beyond.
The programme helps inspire young people earlier in their educational career which can have a positive impact in later life.
The school teams which participate in Go4SET are also eligible to enter for a British Science Association Creativity in Science and Technology (CREST) award. The Go4SET programme can be eligible for the Silver CREST Award.
As part of a best practice approach, teachers and other stakeholders were encouraged to provide feedback on the Go4SET programme and mentors provided feedback as part of regular review meetings.
The success of the Go4SET 2015 programme was such that Glasgow City Council and Viridor are now working with the EDT to deliver the Go4SET 2016 programme in Glasgow. Again following best practice, lessons learned from the previous term of Go4SET have already helped shape and improve this year’s programme.