Innovation Exchange

Go4SET Educational Programme

Introduction

Key activities

Benefits and impacts

Learning

Go4SET is an educational programme which involved 12 Glasgow Schools in 2015.

 

This nationally accredited programme supports the council’s Strategic Plan Priority Five – A Learning City by engaging the creativity of young people to promote study and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

 

Improving education and inspiring young people was at the heart of this programme, creating a lasting legacy within Glasgow.

 

The 2015 programme was delivered in partnership between the council, Viridor and the Engineering Development Trust (EDT). The participating schools, council officers, EDT, Viridor all contributed to making the 2015 programme a huge success.

Themes: Children and Education

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The key objective of the Go4SET programme is inspiring second year secondary school pupils (S2 aged 12–14) in Glasgow to pursue further study and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

 

This Glasgow City Council’s strategic plan 2012 – 2017 highlights the commitment for higher attainment levels and further study of science related subjects.

 

The programme demonstrates the application of STEM subjects in a practical project environment, providing hands-on experience for pupils involved in the programme and informing subject choices in future years. The programme inspires young people earlier in their educational career which can have a positive impact in later life.

 

The objectives of the Go4SET programme also fall into the UK Government STEM agenda and support the Scottish Government’s Curriculum for Excellence.

 

Sponsorship of Go4SET in Glasgow is part of the educational benefits provided by the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC) project which is being delivered in partnership between the council and Viridor (Glasgow) Ltd; a leading resource and energy management organisation. Go4SET was created by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT) who also supports delivery of the programme.

 

The real lifeblood of the programme is the teachers and pupils, without whom the programme would not exist.

 

A key aspect of the programme is the involvement of the Glasgow Secondary Schools.  A clearly defined programme set out the delivery approach, objectives, benefits and time required from the school children participating in the programme. The EDT, who designed and run the programme, brought a wealth of experience and knowledge that provided clear guidance to participating schools.

The impact and benefits of the Go4SET 2015 programme are clear and measurable.

 

Research has shown that exposure of younger age groups to business based learning of STEM subjects encourages further study at University.

 

The Education Employers Taskforce Report states that 74% of employers value experience as critical or significant when recruiting.  Go4SET helps provide practical experience of learning in a project context.

 

Feedback from teachers and employers on outcomes and impacts of the programme is used to evidence the achievement of objectives. The EDT uses advisory groups of teachers and head teachers to review, evaluate and advise on all programme development and planning.  Student focus groups also play an important part in all aspects of programme evaluation.

 

Go4SET is accredited at the British Science Association CREST Silver Level. Representation of Go4SET teams at regional and national Big Bang finals is an added performance indicator.

 

The overall model is continually refined to ensure it is effective and inspires the future generations of engineers and scientists to become the next James Watt or John Logie Baird.

 

Previous Go4Set programmes have achieved the following outcomes (derived from research conducted by EDT):

 

  • 90% of teachers and employers see Go4SET as relevant and beneficial to students.
  • 75% of teachers and mentors feel Go4SET is relevant and beneficial to their continual professional development.
  • Equal male / female gender split across programme.
  • The programme improves the perception of engineers and scientists.

 

The specific success of the Glasgow 2015 programme is evidenced by key outputs, including:

 

  • Industry Awareness: schools visited the GRREC development at Polmadie and were introduced to industry professionals.
  • Feedback: school teachers expressed positive feedback and support for the Go4SET programme
  • National Final: Bellahouston Academy progressed to the Go4SET National Final at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, where they presented their “Eco School” project to industry professionals and the parliamentary sponsor. This showcased the talents of the Glasgow school pupils.
  • STEM Subjects: 83% of school pupils surveyed were more likely to study STEM subjects after participating in Go4SET.
  • Further Education: 91% of school pupils surveyed were more likely to continue their education after taking part in Go4SET.
  • Recommendation: 97% of school pupils surveyed would recommend Go4SET to other students.

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.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:

 

Afton Hill

Policy Support Officer, Strategic Policy and Planning

Glasgow City Council

0141 287 0411

Case study added to site: June 2016

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