Building the capacity of engineering lectures to take part in engineering outreach from HEIs in the Midlands & East Anglia region
The overall aim of the project would be to develop a strategy for engaging engineering lecturers in more engineering outreach in the regions. This will be achieved through the following approach:
To convene a working group to design and develop a program for engaging engineering lecturers in engineering outreach, leading to the creation of a methodology for engaging and motivating lecturers to get involved in engineering outreach. This should include capturing existing effective practice, a research study and further discussion, leading to the creation of a pilot outline and programme for a formal training day (including instructions on how to sign up lecturers up as STEM Ambassadors to the National STEM Ambassadors scheme managed by STEMNET via STEM Ambassadors contract holders within each region).
Each HEI to hold two or more focus groups and/or convene consultation meetings with lecturers to establish a baseline evaluation for the project. This will help project partners to understand what the current motivations of academic staff in getting involved with engineering outreach within their own institution and what puts them off getting involved.
To develop an outreach support package including a re-usable staff development resource pack and training to fit the PGCert qualification for probationary lecturers. This would not exclude other engineering lecturers and researchers from taking part.
To pilot the outreach support package and training in each HEI involved in the project.
To engage lecturers in the delivery of the engineering outreach activities at the HEIs to schools (primary and/or secondary) and colleges.
To work with STEMNET to promote outreach activities run at the HEI as well as promote the STEM Clubs network (managed by STEMNET) to schools and colleges.
There are two main objectives we would like to achieve. Firstly we want to find out how lecturers already engage with and develop outreach activities within HEIs. Secondly we want to understand how we can encourage more lecturers to get involved in outreach and improve existing outreach programmes within HEIs.
This proposal is built on the learning from the London Engineering Project (LEP). The LEP worked to engage engineering lecturers with limited success and the Royal Academy of Engineering would like to further explore how HEIs can engage engineering lecturers in outreach activities.
Within the Midlands and East Anglia there are a number of HEIs delivering engineering outreach within their local area. However many HEIs find it hard to engage lecturers in the design and delivery of outreach activities and events.
The project outcomes can be measured by the number of HEIs involved, the number of lecturers involved in focus groups/consultation meetings, the number of training sessions run within each partner HEI,the number of lecturers trained within each HEI and registered as a STEM Ambassador and the number of outreach activities delivered in schools and colleges.
We would aim to engage with 10–15 engineering lecturers (including both post graduate students and post doctoral researchers) per HEI, per year. So, if there are a minimum of 8 HEIs involved, we would aim to work with a minimum total of 160 lecturers (80 per year) across the HEIs involved over the two years of the project.
The key stake holders would therefore be HEI colleagues who run the training, the engineering lecturers (with a view to disseminating project findings, proposed strategy and pilot training programme to the wider engineering/HEI community) and the STEM Ambassador Contract Holders.
If you wish to know more about this project, please contact the Programme's Engineering team at HESTEM@raeng.org.uk with Reference Number: Midland and East Anglia Engineering Outreach Project.