Education links


This thread is for links about educational resources for Year 7 pupils, 11 - 12 years old. Please do include anything you think might be relevant, including but not limited to:

- Videos about STEM subjects, demos, women in STEM, jobs in STEM etc.
- Resources for teachers about STEM subjects
- How to encourage girls into STEM
- Information on demos
- Information on running after-school clubs around STEM subjects
- Organisations or groups supporting teachers

From Alom Shaha:

In an essay on her frustration caused by the widespread use of the “child-as-scientist” meme, Marie-Claire Shanahan says that “science isn’t just a grownup version of a child’s curiosity”. She points out that “becoming a scientist requires that they learn and skillfully practice many abstract skills that are far from intuitive. When students struggle with scientific thinking later in life it isn’t because they have unlearned or lost the ability, it’s because they (for any number of reasons) didn’t get to take the next steps to developing those skills and understanding.”

Another popular idea that children can “learn through play” deeply frustrates many education professionals because its proponents often fail to acknowledge the complexities of teaching and learning.

If anyone wants to do a bit of a look and see what the evidence is for how best to engage girls in STEM, that would be super!


10 min job: Find a link to STEM education resources for 11-12 yos
10 min job: Find a link to STEM education resources for 11-12 yos

RI’s Science for Kids videos:

Coloured pens experiment

Fizzy bottle rockets



This one requires registration in order to view the materials but it looks like there’s some good stuff here:
It includes resources specifically aimed at helping teachers to encourage girls into physics careers:

This site is aimed at American students aged 4-18 and provides complete, detailed lesson plans for all areas of STEM:
It also has ideas for afterschool clubs:
and provides thematic content for things like Earth Day, National Engineers’ Week, etc.

This one isn’t aimed at STEM in particular, but it has lesson plans for science, maths, and technology. It has a strong focus on practical, interactive lessons that use real-life examples:

This focuses less on lesson plans and more on providing teaching aids for lessons, such as videos, games, and experiments. The database is huge and you can filter by age and subject:

SciGirls offer a small advice/resource centre aimed specifically at girls in STEM:

You probably didn’t expect to see Sesame Street in this list, but they have a bit of a resource centre of demos and experiments. This one is aimed at parents who want to encourage younger children into STEM:

This is an activity pack for parents who want to encourage their children into STEM careers:

Siemens have a cool programme called STEM Academy aimed at teachers. Its goal is to encourage kids into STEM fields at an early age by helping teachers to develop their lessons:

Carnegie Mellon University have a programme that aims to get students interested in STEM fields through the introduction to robotics:

There’s a list of research projects here that have been conducted about engaging girls with STEM:

There are some cool videos here and there are a bunch of resources on the left, though most of them seem to have been taken down:

Here’s a research paper titled ‘What We Know about Girls, STEM, and Afterschool Programs’:

There’s a pretty comprehensive list of STEM resources for girls/parents/teachers here, which is up-to-date as of January 2015:

Center for STEM Education for girls has a massive list of website resources aimed at teacher/students/parents/girls. You need to go through and pick them out, but there are some good ones in there:



Wow, Ryan, that’s an awesome list!! I’ll look at it more thoroughly when I get back to the US.

So, in yesterday’s meeting with ARM, we decided to focus on Year 7 (age 11 - 12), so can you highlight which of those resources would be suitable for that age group (and those that don’t say)? Cheers!



The British Science Association runs something called the CREST Awards (a bit like the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, but for STEM):

Each year, over 32,000 CREST Awards are undertaken by 11-to-19-year-olds, giving them opportunities to explore real-world science, technology, engineering and maths projects in an exciting way.

(I’m apparently not allowed to post a link here, but search for “CREST Awards” and you’ll find it.)

The information provided to schools by the BSA is currently entirely in print, but they’re quite rightly looking to move the whole initiative online, and this could also be an opportunity to rethink it in other fundamental ways. For example, how could they use the web to collect feedback from participating schools, or connect these schools with each other? Perhaps it’s also an opportunity for someone from ALD to engage with them and see if there’s a way to add particular support for girls in STEM.



The latest episode of BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’ is on the subject of Marie Curie (actually her family, but it focuses on her). Towards the the end, Patricia Fara, a very good science historian, makes the unusual and interesting claim that Curie – or at least her public persona – provides a poor role model for women in science. Fara’s basic thesis is that Curie was such an extreme and unusual person that it might lead others to assume that only women like her can succeed in science.

I can’t currently post links here, but you can find the show online by searching for “In Our Time The Curies”. (I don’t know if the content is available outside the UK.)



Oh, that’s very interesting indeed!

I’ve looked them up, and they are here:

I think this definitely goes on the list of resources that are suitable for Yr7s!



In Our Time is available outside the UK (listening now!) and the The Curies is here:

I have heard said before that Marie Curie is not a great role model because she’s not very relatable, but I think that really depends on who’s doing the relating tbh. I’ve found some of the women that I’ve read about via editing our anthology to be really inspiring, despite being very different and very dead. It might sound silly, but the fact that Chien Shiung Wu, for example, was separated from her family for eight years, with no contact, was really helpful when I was separated from my husband for five months as we grappled with the US immigration process. Five months, however hard it was, was nothing in comparison to eight years.

However, I do think that sometimes it’s not the woman that’s the problem, it’s the way her story is told. Florence Nightingale, for example, is usually taught as “the Lady with the Lamp”, with an emphasis on her nursing rather than her use of statistics and the graphical representation of data to both make and support calls for changes. That’s not to say that her work in the professionalisation of nursing wasn’t important, but to say that nursing is already seen as women’s work, whereas statistics is seen as a male field, and by ignoring her statistical knowledge and work, the traditional view of Nightingale flattens her out into a simplistic figure which does her no favours at all and fails capitalise on her as an example of a woman in statistics.



Just listened to The Curies, and the point made at the end is that she’s an awful role model because her story is “set up” to say that “you can’t be a normal woman and a good scientist”, and that she “confirms the stereotype” that “if you’re a woman you have to be really eccentric and strange” if you want to work in science, which is a very fair point.



Lovely campaign from the IET to encourage more girls to become engineers.

Not sure if they’re our age group (I’m rubbish at judging age!) but it is a lovely video.



How to encourage girls who show signs of liking a STEM subject:



Tech Will Save Us - loads of resources for teachers and educators, and already keyed in to the National Curriculum:



Project from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, from a contact there:
I or someone else will do an introductory talk or google hangout with a class or group (e.g. Girls Who Code, other STEM organizations), then run through the activity itself: and then hand out materials on (e.g. and discuss career options. It’s been done with both mixed gender classes and girls only.



The beginner Python curriculum we’ve used to teach the Young Coders class at PyCon since 2013:

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Thanks Bshaurette!



We’ve developed a huge range of curriculum materials and resources at the Digital Schoolhouse; all of which are fully mapped to the new computing programmes of study. All the materials are aimed at 9 to 12 year olds but can be easily adapted to higher or lower year groups.

A range of full workshop materials (categorised by theme) are available for download from the website (

Each workshop is designed to last 4 and half hours, but they can be easily adjusted into a scheme of work for a half term. Workshops include: Shape Calculator, Beautiful Numbers, Let’s Doodle and many more.

Shorter activities are also available from the same website under the title “Playful Computing” ( these are mini play-based resources that work well as standalone activities that take up less than a lesson. Some of the more popular activities include “Making Faces: Programming with Playdough” and a traditional downloadable board game to teach programming.

Both areas of the website are being continuously updated, so check back regularly for updates.



Thanks Shahneila!



Right, a bunch of comments made on LinkedIn have yielded some links:



here are a couple:
For teachers in England, the National Science Learning Centre has a lot of resources.
Also the BBSRC collection of resources for schools is here



Thanks Thorunn!

Practical Action also do posters: